NFL Betting Picks: Kansas City Chiefs At Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos
Sunday, December 30, 2012, 4:25 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket
Sports Authority Field at Mile High – Denver, Colorado
Opening Line: Denver -16
Current Line: Denver -16 1/2
Opening Total: 42 1/2
Current Total: 42
Opening Money Line: Broncos -1300 / Chiefs +850
Current Money Line: Broncos -1300 / Chiefs +850
The 12-3 Denver Broncos, coached by John Fox, are the hottest team in football having won 10 straight games. They have already clinched the AFC West title and will clinch at least the #2 seed and a first round bye with a win Sunday at home against the 2-13 Kansas City Chiefs. In fact if Denver wins and Indianapolis beats Houston then the Broncos will clinch the #1 seed in the AFC. A Denver loss could drop them down to the #3 seed if New England beats Miami. Denver beat Cleveland last week at home 34-12. The Broncos are 9-6 ATS and the total is 10-5 this season.
Kansas City is coached by Romeo Crennel, who will likely be fired at the end of the season. The Chiefs have lost 11 of their last 12 including 3 in a row. Kansas City lost 20-13 at home to the Indianapolis Colts last week. Kansas City is tied with Jacksonville for the worst record in the league but the Chiefs will clinch the #1 pick in the draft with a loss. The Chiefs are 5-10 ATS and the total is 6-9 this season.
Denver leads the series 14-9 against Kansas City since 2001. The Broncos won 17-9 in Kansas City earlier in the season. In that game, the Chiefs only had 264 total yards and had 7 penalties for 50 yards. Denver had 368 yards. Peyton Manning threw for 273 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception.
Kansas City is averaging 332.6 yards per game on offense including 179.1 passing yards and 153.5 rushing yards. The Chiefs are #5 in rushing and #31 in passing. Kansas City is being outscored 26-14 this season. The Chiefs are #32 in scoring and #25 in points allowed. Kansas City is -25 in turnovers. The Chiefs have forced 27 sacks and allowed 36 this season. Kansas City is 73/213 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, Kansas City is allowing 347.7 yards per game, including 214.5 passing yards and 133.3 rushing yards. The Chiefs are #9 in pass defense and #26 in rush defense. KC has 2 defensive/special teams touchdowns but has allowed 7.
The Chiefs have used two quarterbacks this season. Matt Cassel has completed 58.1% of his passes for 1,796 yards with 6 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, along with 27 carries, 145 yards and a touchdown. He has been sacked 19 times this season. Brady Quinn has completed 58% of his passes for 1,092 yards with 2 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, along with 17 carries for 62 yards. He has been sacked 17 times this season. There is a chance that third string quarterback Ricky Stanzi could start, but Crennel hasn’t announced his starter.
Running back Jamaal Charles has 271 carries, 1,456 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 34 catches, 222 yards and a touchdown. He is probable with an illness.Peyton Hillis has 80 carries, 305 yards and a touchdown, along with 10 catches for 62 yards. Shaun Draughn has 54 carries, 2210 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 23 catches for 160 yards.
Leading receiver Dwayne Bowe is out for the season with a rib injury. He had 59 catches, 801 yards and 3 touchdowns. Dexter McCluster has 51 catches, 447 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Tony Moeaki has 31 catches, 432 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with a head injury. Jon Baldwin has 20 catches, 325 yards and a touchdown. Other than the running backs no other Chief has more than 8 catches. Twenty three KC players are listed on the injury report including 9 defensive players and 6 offensive linemen.
Denver is averaging 391.9 yards per game on offense, including 281.2 passing yards and 110.7 rushing yards. The Broncos are outscoring teams 30-19 this season. Denver is in the top 6 in the league in total offense, passing, and scoring. The Broncos are even in turnovers. They have forced 48 sacks and have allowed 21 this season. The Broncos are 92/206 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, Denver is allowing 302.2 yards per game including 211.2 passing and 91 rushing yards. The Broncos are in the top 7 in the league in all defensive categories. Denver has 2 special teams touchdowns and 6 on defense.
The Broncos are led by quarterback Peyton Manning, who a year ago was recovering from neck surgery and some people weren’t sure if he would even play football again. If not for Adrian Peterson who leads the league in rushing 12 months after tearing his ACL, Manning would be a lock for both MVP and Comeback Player of the Year. Manning has completed 68% of his passes for 4,355 yards with 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has been sacked 21 times this season. Manning was voted to the Pro Bowl this week.
Leading rusher Willis McGahee is out for the season with a knee injury. McGahee had almost 1,000 combined rushing and receiving yards and 8 total touchdowns. Ronnie Hillman and Knowshon Moreno have been splitting the carries without McGahee. Knowshon Moreno has 123 carries, 481 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 20 catches for 157 yards. He is probable with a rib injury. Ronnie Hillman has 82 carries, 317 yards and a touchdown, along with 10 catches fro 62 yards. Lance Ball has 27 carries, 92 yards, plus 7 catches, 61 yards and a touchdown. Jacob Hester has 2 rushing touchdowns.
Receiver Demaryius Thomas has 87 catches, 1,312 yards and 9 touchdowns. Eric Decker has 78 catches, 988 yards, and 11 touchdowns. Brandon Stokley has 42 catches, 495 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is probable with a quadricep injury. Tight ends Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen are also important parts of the passing game. Tamme has 51 catches, 542 yards and 2 touchdowns. Dreessen has 39 catches, 341 yards and 5 touchdowns. Trindon Holliday has a punt return and a kick return for a touchdown. He is doubtful with an ankle injury. Short yardage receiver Matt Willis is probable with a knee injury. Twenty Broncos are listed on the injury report including 9 defensive players, 4 offensive linemen, and 7 backs and receivers.
Kansas City is 5-2 in road games against teams with winning home records, in week 17, and against teams with winning records, 3-7 overall, and on grass, 1-4 in December, in road games, vs AFC teams, and against AFC West teams, and 0-5 after rushing for more than 150 yards. The last 4 games in the series have gone under the total. The underdog is 6-0 ATS in the last 6 and the road team is 6-2 in this series.
Denver is 5-1 ATS after scoring 30 points or more, and after a cover, 6-2 against teams with losing records, 5-2 against AFC teams, 7-3 overall, 17-35-2 at home, 7-15-1 at home against teams with losing road records, 2-5 after a straight up win of more than 14 points, 2-7 after allowing less than 250 yards, 1-4 after allowing 150 passing yards or less, and 0-3-1 in week 17.
Denver will know by kickoff if they have a shot at homefield advantage in the AFC playoffs becuase Houston and Indy kick off at 1:00 pm Eastern. The Patriots are playing at the same time though so Denver still needs to win to be at least the 2 seed. Still, even though Kansas City is awful, their defense is actually pretty decent. I could see them hanging around the huge 16.5 point number. Especially, if Denver gets a big lead and starts to pull their starters.
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