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Chiefs vs. Broncos: NFL Week 18 betting odds, preview, and pick

Profile Picture: Dan Halverson

January 5th, 2022

This Saturday afternoon we get a special treat, as the NFL debuts its first Week 18 with a stand-alone matinee contest that has playoff implications.

The Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Broncos in Denver, where a win will put the Chiefs in contention for the first overall seed.

Sat, January 8 2022, 9:30 PM

DEN Broncos

Moneyline

+360

Spread

+10.5

Total

O 44.5

KC Chiefs

Moneyline

-500

Spread

-10.5

Total

U 44.5

The Chiefs are 11-5 straight up on the season and 8-8 against the spread. They are 10.5-point favorites in this game, which will kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

The Broncos are 7-9 straight up on the season and 7-9 against the spread. Amazingly, the Broncos have failed to cover in every outright loss, but have covered in each outright win.

The total for the game is 44.

Chiefs' stellar offense

Rumors of the Chiefs’ demise were greatly exaggerated, as the offense has continued to chug along at an impressive pace. They ended the season tied for third in yards per play, at 6.0, and were even more impressive on the road, where they averaged 6.8 yards per play.

They were fourth in points per game, third in completions per game, and first by a large margin in third-down conversion percentage. Along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Chiefs topped the league in most first downs per game.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes continues to be the catalyst for Kansas City's success, and he has mostly adapted to the two-deep safety look that so many opposing defensive coordinators threw his way in the first half of the season in an effort to limit his deep-play ability and force the gunslinger into checkdowns and short dump-offs.

Mahomes will not be this year’s MVP, but he has yet to put forth even an average season, and this one was no different.

As the Chiefs’ defense rounded into form in the second half of the season, the ever-reliable presence of Mahomes and this consistently strong offense turned the Chiefs into AFC favorites yet again.

Chiefs vs. Broncos injury report

Kansas City ChiefsDenver Broncos
CB L’Jarius Sneed: Questionable (knee)
QB Teddy Bridgewater: Doubtful (concussion)
LB Anthony Hitchens: Questionable (knee)
OG Dalton Risner: Out (elbow)
OT Lucas Niang: Doubtful (knee)
RB Javonte Williams: Questionable (knee)
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire - Questionable (collarbone)
RB Melvin Gordon: Questionable (hip)
DE Bradley Chubb: Doubtful (ankle)

Chiefs and Broncos betting trends

  • Chiefs are 5-0 ATS in their last five games on grass
  • Chiefs are 4-0 ATS in their last four games versus the AFC West
  • Chiefs are 7-0 ATS in their last seven matchups in Denver
  • Chiefs are 10-2 ATS in the last 12 meetings between these teams
  • The Over is 4-0 in the Chiefs' last four games

Broncos limp home

If there were ever a tale of two teams headed in opposite directions, this is likely it. The Chiefs are coming off a loss in which they had greater than 90% in-game win probability against the Cincinnati Bengals, but have generally been on a roll in the back half of the season, having won eight straight before last week’s defeat.

The Broncos, meanwhile, have had a disappointing close to the season, as they are on a three-game losing streak. Starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater sustained a serious head injury in a Week 15 loss to the Bengals, and the injuries have only increased since that time.

Both running backs are banged up, the receiving corps is lacking continuity, and replacement quarterback Drew Lock isn’t doing nearly enough to make up for the team’s shortcomings offensively.

On defense, both the line and the secondary have several players on the injury report as well. Now that the team is eliminated from playoff contention, it is hard to imagine this franchise pushing its young players too hard in this final game. Franchise players like Bradley Chubb and Patrick Surtain II should not be asked to stress already banged-up bodies.

With Kansas City needing to win to potentially secure the No. 1 seed, there’s no reason the Chiefs won’t fire their best.

The Chiefs are the obvious public favorite here, and only an odd series of events will prevent them from covering their eighth straight game in Denver.

Score prediction: Chiefs 34, Broncos 14

NFL Week 18 pick: Chiefs -10.5

Chiefs vs. Broncos Pick powered by The Quant Edge

Our predictive engine is calling for the Chiefs to cover the spread and for the score to go Over the projected total.


 

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