NFL Thursday Night Football Betting Picks: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, Missouri
Thursday, September 17, 2015, 8:25 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Network
Opening Line: Kansas City -1 1/2
Current Line: Kansas City -3 (-120)
Opening Total: 46
Current Total: 42
Opening Money Line: Chiefs -160 / Broncos +140
Current Money Line: Chiefs -170 / Broncos +150

The Chiefs look to snap a six game losing streak to the Broncos Thursday night in Kansas City.
The Chiefs look to snap a six game losing streak to the Broncos Thursday night in Kansas City.

The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs renew their rivalry Thursday night in Kansas City. While the Chiefs lead the overall series 56-54, the Broncos have won six straight games against the Chiefs. The Broncos won 24-17 in Denver last year and 29-17 in Kansas City. The teams will play again in Denver November 15.

Both teams won their opener last week. Denver escaped with a 19-13 home win over the Baltimore Ravens. Kansas City looked impressive in a 27-20 road win over the Houston Texans.

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Gary Kubiak made his debut as Denver Broncos coach last week. The Broncos were 4.5 point favorites against the Ravens and the total was 46.5. Neither team could get much going on offense. The Broncos kicked two first quarter field goals to take a 6-0 lead. The two teams traded field goals in the second quarter to make it 9-3 at halftime. All four field goals were at least 43 yards and three of them were over 50 yards. In the third quarter Baltimore scored a touchdown on a 24 yard pick six, and would later add a field goal to take a 13-9 lead. Denver scored a pick six of their own with 10 seconds left in the third from 51 yards to take a 16-13 lead. The Broncos would add a field goal with 2:55 left in the fourth to expand the lead to 19-13. Baltimore drove to the Denver 16 but a Joe Flacco interception in the end zone sealed the win for the Broncos.

Denver had 219 total yards including 150 passing yards. Baltimore had 173 total yards including 100 passing yards. The Broncos had 16 first downs to 11 for the Ravens. Baltimore had two turnovers to one for the Broncos. Denver had possession for over 37 minutes.

Peyton Manning has not thrown a touchdown pass in the last five regular season games dating back to last year. Sunday he completed 24/40 passes for 175 yards with an interception. He was sacked 4 times. Running back Ronnie Hillman had 12 carries for 41 yards. C.J. Anderson had 12 carries for 29 yards and 4 catches for 19 yards. He is questionable with a toe injury. Receiver Emmanuel Sanders had 8 catches for 65 yards. DeMaryius Thomas had 7 catches for 60 yards. He is probable with a hand injury. Eight defensive players are questionable or out Thursday.

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Kansas City is coached by Andy Reid. The Chiefs were a one point favorite at Houston and the total was 41. Kansas City jumped out to a 14-0 lead on two first quarter touchdown passes to tight end Travis Kelce from Alex Smith. Houston got on the board with a 4 yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter. They would miss the extra point though. The Chiefs scored the first 13 points of the second quarter to make is 27-6. Houston kicked a field goal to make it 27-9 at halftime. Neither team scored until the fourth quarter when Houston pulled to within 27-17 with a touchdown and a two point conversion. The Texans would pull to within 27-20 with a field goal with 1:23 left. However, the Texans were unable to recover the ensuing onside kick. The Chiefs would run out the clock to seal the win.

Kansas City had 330 total yards including 233 passing yards. Houston had 396 total yards including 298 passing yards. The Texans had 24 first downs to 19 for Kansas City. Houston had 2 turnovers, 6 penalties for 39 yards and allowed five sacks.

Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith completed 22/33 passes for 243 yards and 3 touchdowns  with no interceptions, and rushed for 15 yards on 9 carries. Running back Jamaal Charles had 16 carries for 57 yards, along with 5 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. Kelce had 6 catches for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Jeremy Maclin had 5 catches for 52 yards.

Denver is 5-0 ATS against AFC West teams, 6-1 in Thursday games, 4-1 after rushing for 90 yards or less, 8-3 on grass, 2-5 after a straight up win, against teams with winning records, and after allowing less than 150 passing yards, 2-7 after accumulating less than 250 yards, 1-4 after allowing less than 90 rushing yards, and after allowing 15 points or less, and 0-5 after a cover. The road team is 9-4 ATS and the underdog is 8-3 in this series recently. The Broncos are 4-1 ATS overall in the series and 5-1 ATS in Kansas City.

Kansas City is 4-0 ATS in September, 6-1 at home, 7-2 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 9-3 against AFC teams, 6-2 against AFC West teams, 5-2 after a win and a cover, 11-5 overall, and 2-5 in week two. The under is 7-1-1 in this series recently and 4-1 in Kansas City.

As painful as it is to admit Peyton Manning looks like a very average at best quarterback. The offensive line can’t protect him and he doesn’t have the strength in his arm because of the issues in his neck. It is said sometimes he loses feelings in his fingers. He also doesn’t look too comfortable in Kubiak’s new offensive system. The Kansas City defense should be able to get pressure on Manning. I think the Chiefs end the losing streak against the Broncos in a low scoring game in front of a loud and raucous Arrowhead crowd.

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