The surprising Kansas City Chiefs travel to the Mile High City to take on the Denver Broncos that at times have looked like one of the worst teams in the league this season. Mismatch? You’d think so, but this AFC West matchup could prove to be a lot closer than people may think. Here’s why:
Yes the Chiefs are the most surprising team in the AFC, if not in the entire NFL. They lead the AFC West division and through 9 weeks are holding down the 3rd playoff spot. Much of their success is due to their coaching. Talent wise, they’re quite similar to last year, which is why not many people picked them to be any different from their 2009 4-12 record. Bringing in Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel as coordinators has injected a college style approach and energy to this team. They’re young, talented and don’t know any better that to play with heart, and that’s what’s getting them wins so far. However as the season continues and the schedule and weather gets tougher, watch for the Chiefs to falter. As it stands their rushing attack is ranked 1st in the league with almost 18o yards per game. They’re also getting great linebacker play in stopping the run, ranking 9th on the season. Their record is 5-3, but on the road they’ve had trouble generating the same success as they have at Arrowhead Stadium. With away losses to Houston, Indianapolis and Oakland, this week’s matchup in Denver is certainly not a lock by any means, regardless of team records.
The Broncos have been painful to watch at times, and at times they’ve looked like the 2007 Patriots reincarnated. Coach Josh McDaniels is using the same pass heavy philosophy that he did with the Pats. They’re the worst running team in the league averaging an abysmal 67 yards on the ground. The difference between the ’10 Broncos and ’07 Pats (besides talent) is the Broncos can’t stop anyone. They give up the second most rushing yards and 5th most points, which puts even more pressure on Orton. They’ve lost their last 4 prior to last week’s bye and if McDaniels wants to emulate his former boss in New England, a win coming off a bye is a great place to start.
Chiefs vs. Broncos Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Kansas City Chiefs -1
@ Denver Broncos +1
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Chiefs vs. Broncos Predictions for Week 10 Betting:
Game Total Prediction (Top Play): I’m making this my top play this week and I’m very surprised as to how low this number is. The Chiefs are averaging over 22 points a game and have the league’s best rushing team while the Broncos are giving up over 27 points per game and have the league’s worst rushing defense. KC will run all day on them, and Jamaal Charles should break at least one big one to the house. The Broncos will throw to keep up, something they’re actually good at, ranking 3rd in passing yards. Denver are also coming off a bye which has giving them extra time to prepare, but the fact is they won’t stop KC on the ground so I like this one to be a shootout. The Over is 5-1 in the last 6 between these two.
Spread Prediction: The Chiefs are for real this year, or at least in the regular season. They missed a great chance to take a strangle hold on the AFC West last week by losing to the Raiders. But Oakland are much better than Denver (see week 7’s blowout for evidence) and I can’t see KC dropping back to back games to weaker opponents. The Broncos are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 overall and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 as an underdog.