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Broncos vs Chiefs Odds: Expert Pick Is on Week 17 Underdogs

Broncos vs Chiefs Odds: Expert Pick Is on Week 17 Underdogs article feature image
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Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jerry Jeudy.

  • The Chiefs are favored by 12.5 points against the Broncos in Week 17.
  • This is Denver's first game without Nathaniel Hackett, who was fired on Dec. 26.
  • Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the matchup and makes his Broncos vs Chiefs pick below.

Broncos vs Chiefs Odds

Sunday, Jan. 1
1 p.m. ET
CBS
Broncos Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110
45
-110o / -110u
+550
Chiefs Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110
45
-110o / -110u
-800
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

The Broncos’ Christmas Day blowout loss to the Rams felt like a new low in this lost season. Russell Wilson threw three interceptions, Cam Akers ran all over their elite defense and an animated Patrick Star made fun of Wilson on the Nickelodeon alternate broadcast. Denver fell 51-14 and then fired first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

Denver has hit rock bottom with two weeks remaining. Next up is a road trip to Kansas City, which happens to be one of the better buy-low spots of the Week 17 slate.

No one wants to pick the Broncos and that’s led to an inflated spread with Denver opening as a 13.5-point underdog and still sitting as a 12.5 point underdog as of writing.

But while Denver didn’t seem to care much in the blowout loss on Christmas, you’d expect them to get up for a divisional game and a new interim coach Jerry Rosburg. No team in the NFL is ever as bad as they seemed the week before, and don’t forget Denver played a competitive game with Kansas City on Dec. 11.

Broncos vs. Chiefs Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Broncos and Chiefs match up statistically:

Broncos vs. Chiefs DVOA Breakdown
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 30 21
Pass DVOA 28 22
Rush DVOA 29 17
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 1 7
Pass DVOA 1 4
Rush DVOA 17 22

The Broncos’ biggest strength is their secondary, which consistently grades out as a top-five unit. Denver has had problems up front stopping the run — see last week as an example — but that’s not how the Chiefs are going to attack them.

In Week 14, Patrick Mahomes diced up the defense in the first half, but the Broncos also forced three interceptions that helped them get back into the game.


Bet Denver vs. Kansas City at FanDuel


Kansas City built a 27-0 lead in that game, but remember there was a Wilson tipped pick-six and a broken play on a busted coverage that led to a Jerick McKinnon touchdown.

Denver found success running the ball with 5.6 yards per carry. The interceptions helped Denver steal a few possessions, but the offense proved to be capable as well. The Broncos had three touchdowns of 60-plus yards and only one of them came off of a Mahomes interception.

The Broncos are a top five-pass defense by almost every meaningful metric. They rank fourth in DVOA, first in dropback success rate allowed and fourth in EPA per dropback. No one can truly stop Mahomes, but they are one of the few defenses that can slow him down.

Kansas City had just a 64.7% series success rate in the first meeting on series that began with a pass attempt. That is well below their season average and a sign that Denver did do some things well. Mahomes posted just 0.13 EPA/play, which is impacted by the turnovers, but is one of his worst games of the season statistically.

The Chiefs have no desire to get margin, no reason to run it up and the backdoor will be a constant risk for a favorite this big. The Broncos may or may not get a bump from their interim head coach, but given how inept Hackett seemed to be, it can’t get much worse.

Betting Picks

Since the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, Mahomes and the Chiefs are just 5-10 against the spread in divisional games. One of the covers came in overtime. So even though you’ll hear about how much Mahomes dominates the AFC West — 13-2 straight up since that Super Bowl win — the market has clearly inflated them.

The Broncos may have lost by 37 last week, but it was only the second time all season they were defeated by double digits. They’ve been really bad, but they’ve played a lot of close games and are 0-3 in overtime.

It’s created a perception that they’re worse than they actually are. Our Action Network Luck Rankings have the Broncos as the most unlucky team in the entire league, while Kansas City ranks third in good fortune this season.

Denver closed as an 8.5-point underdog in that first meeting. Not much has changed between these two teams since. Denver beat a shorthanded Arizona and then was embarrassed in Los Angeles. The Chiefs barely beat Houston and then handled Seattle.

If you apply home-field advantage, that would make Kansas City an 11.5-point favorite. I bet Denver in that game and would bet Denver in this game at +11 or better.

Pick: Broncos +12.5 | Bet to +11

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