There’s all sorts of intrigue surrounding the Week 2 Thursday night matchup between the visiting Denver Broncos and the host Kansas City Chiefs.
Both enter the game with victories in their openers – KC off a 27-20 upset win at Houston and Denver in an upsetting 19-13 victory at home over Baltimore in which the Broncos’ didn’t score an offensive TD.
Broncos QB Peyton Manning, meanwhile, continues to have the masses concerned over his accuracy and arm strength.
After just one week, KC’s popularity spiked as its Super Bowl odds dropped from 30-1 to 20-1. The odds for Denver went from 9-1 to 12-1 despite their spread-beating victory.
Anyway, here’s a closer look at this AFC West showdown. The odds are courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas:
THURSDAY PRO FOOTBALL
Denver Broncos (1-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
Time: 5:25 p.m. PT
Line: Chiefs by 3 (42.5)
Facts: Kansas City has gone 5-0 ATS as a home pick the final nine weeks last season, but from 2011 through early 2014 that mark was 2-11, including eight straight-up losses… Denver is 6-0 vs. KC since Peyton Manning’s arrival in Colorado in 2012, winning each game by 7-plus points… Chiefs coach Andy Reid is 1-7 ATS/SU in games vs. Manning during his career in Philly and KC… In the Chiefs’ win at Houston, they had a 21-yard edge in average starting field position, the greatest discrepancy in any Week 1 game… Manning, who was sacked four times last week, has famously gone 21 drives this season without a TD, including 11 in practice games.
Analysis: It was startling to see that the NFL Network had Kansas City as the No. 4 team in its power rankings. Those in charge must have been impressed with the Chiefs’ TD drives of 13 and 7 yards vs. Houston. And now KC will face a Broncos defense that held Baltimore to 38 first-half yards last week. Perhaps if this game were played on a Sunday afternoon, the Broncos would stand a better chance. But at night, in front of a Chiefs crowd that takes pride in making a giant racket, this might be too much for Manning and his inexperienced line to handle against a team that had five sacks on the road last week. After all, KC has won its past three prime-time home games the past five seasons despite being an underdog in each.
Forecast: Chiefs 17, Broncos 10
“Popular” Bob Christ has been forecasting NFL games for more than 30 years. His work has appeared in newspapers from coast to coast in Canada and the U.S. Contact him at [email protected].