Sports betting players are gearing up for the final week of the NFL regular season, and Denver is one of those teams that are in the hunt for the playoffs. A win will get them in, but the Broncos have to deal with a Kansas City team that has Denver’s former starter at quarterback, and along with their defense, the Chiefs will make the playoff picture more interesting.
What: NFL Betting
When: Sunday, January 1st, 4:15 PM ET
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs +3
Why Bet On Kansas City Chiefs (6-9 SU, 8-7 ATS)
A week after the Chiefs ended Green Bay’s run at an undefeated season, they fell 16-13 in overtime to Oakland in a sloppy game that featured four turnovers (two by each team) and 26 flags (Kansas City was penalized 11 times for 88 yards). Kyle Orton was 21-of-36 for 300 yards and a touchdown, but he was also picked off twice as he is still learning his way around the offense, as well as the tendencies of his receivers. The ground game racked up 135 yards, led by 56 yards from Jackie Battle and another 51 yards from veteran Thomas Jones, and the offense was aided by five first downs due to penalties. But they lost this game due to mistakes by their own accord, as well as a 49-yard field-goal attempt by Ryan Succop that was blocked at the end of regulation (he had two blocked in the game). The defense did a very good job against the Oakland offense, holding them to 308 yards, but in the end, the Kansas City offense just couldn’t put enough points on the board.
Battle (foot) was seen in a walking boot this week and the Chiefs may hold him out, which means Jones would get the majority of the carries and the 33-year-old hasn’t been that effective in 2011 to begin with. Losing Jamaal Charles early in the season really killed the Chiefs’ NFL betting chances, and things got worse when quarterback Matt Cassel got hurt. Now, the Chiefs are just aiming to play spoiler as a win would play havoc with Denver’s playoff chances.
Why Bet On Denver Broncos (8-7 SU, 7-7-1 ATS)
The Broncos didn’t help their cause in a 40-14 loss in Buffalo, and quarterback Tim Tebow finally fell to earth, going 13-of-30 for 185 yards and a touchdown, but he was picked off four times and two of them were taken back for touchdowns. He did run for 34 yards and a score, but the second-year pivot couldn’t conjure any magic for the Broncos, whose defense didn’t help matter by allowing 160 yards on the ground. The Broncos even gave up a 80-yard punt return for a score in a game where all three facets of the team failed miserably, and their performance in the fourth quarter was especially disappointing as they were outscored 17-0, although Denver can point to a Buffalo team that had nothing to lose and played like they were relaxed. On the other hand, the Broncos looked tight, especially Tebow, who learned that an NFL game with playoff implications is much more difficult than, for example, an SEC title game. All the Bills did was bring to light what we already knew: if you turn Tebow into a passing quarterback, your odds of winning increase dramatically.
Running back Willis McGahee (hamstring) has played through his injury, and he’ll give it everything he has got this week. But it’s on defense where the Broncos have serious problem as safeties Brian Dawkins (neck) and Quinton Carter (hamstring) are questionable and will have to be watched throughout the week. The Broncos need to win this game and they win the AFC, while a loss opens the door for Oakland so they are in control their own destiny, but Denver has to come out firing for this game if they want to reach the postseason for the first time since 2005.
How It Will Play Out
Denver is a 3-point favorite at home according to NFL betting odds, and they’re 4-1 SU and 2-3 ATS in their last five at Mile High against the Chiefs, with three games going over the posted total. However, the Broncos are 1-5-1 ATS at home, while the Chiefs are 4-3 ATS on the road.
The Chiefs would love nothing better than to stick it to their rivals, and they’ll also be out to avenge a 17-10 loss at home back in November in which the Broncos ran for 244 yards. There is another subplot as Orton was released by Denver to make room for Tebow, and he has some added inside knowledge as well, although the defense surely knows his tendencies. The key will be stopping the run as the Chiefs are dangerous against the pass, and they’ll shock Denver en route to an online betting upset.
Chiefs Broncos Betting Pick: Kansas City Chiefs