Broncos vs Chiefs Odds, Pick, Prediction | NFL Week 14

Broncos vs Chiefs Odds, Pick, Prediction | NFL Week 14 article feature image

Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Travis Kelce (left), Patrick Mahomes (right).

  • FanDuel has the Chiefs as 8.5-point favorites against the Broncos.
  • Denver has played close games all season, but Kansas City will be its toughest test.
  • Ricky Henne breaks down the matchup and makes his pick below.

Broncos vs Chiefs Odds

Sunday, Dec. 11
4:05 p.m. ET
Broncos Odds
Chiefs Odds
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

The NFL did the inconceivable this week – they flexed Kansas City out of Sunday Night Football. Now, our job is to find a Broncos vs Chiefs pick.

That says all you need to know about the Denver Broncos. Not even Patrick Mahomes and an electric offense can make up for subjecting the entire nation to the horror show that is the Broncos offense.

This is as lopsided a matchup as it gets on that side of the ball. In fact, the Chiefs are scoring literally three times as many touchdowns as the Broncos (42 to 14). As Evan Abrams points out, Denver is averaging 13.8 points per game this season, putting them on track to be the first team to average under 14 PPG since 2012.  Meanwhile, Kansas City leads the league at  29.2 PPG.

Still, while most bets back the Chiefs, the big money is on the Broncos to cover. Why? That’s a great question, and likely comes down to how you feel about Denver’s defense. Let’s take a closer look.

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
Overall DVOA17
Pass DVOA24
Rush DVOA1117
Overall DVOA2825
Pass DVOA2526
Rush DVOA2818

Once upon a time, a Patrick Mahomes vs. Russell Wilson matchup was a must-see event. These days, the gulf between them is the size of the Atlantic Ocean. We can dig into the numbers behind Wilson’s fall from grace and continue bashing Denver’s offense, but what good would that do?  Everyone knows it stinks.

What’s most important to break down is Denver’s defense. It’s the key to whether the Broncos can keep the Chiefs within striking distance. The unit has been outstanding for the most part, surrendering the second-fewest points per game (17.0). They also give up the fewest yards per completion (5.9) and third-fewest passing yards per game (184.5).

Bet Kansas City vs. Denver at FanDuel

However, there’s a chance Denver’s defense is a bit of a paper tiger.  They’ve faced only one team all year ranked in the top 10 in scoring (Seattle), and just two of the league’s top 10 passing offenses (Seattle, Los Angeles Chargers).

It’s Week 14, and we’re only now about to find out just how much bite the Broncos have as they face Mahomes, who’s the MVP front runner (+120) for good reason.

His league-leading 3,808 passing yards are 362 more than the next closest quarterback, while his 30 touchdowns are five more than anyone else. He has the highest defensive-adjusted yards above replacement (1,271) per Football Outsiders, who also rank him second in DVOA (26.7%). His 78.5 QBR is tops in the league.

Meanwhile, on the ground, Isiah Pacheco presents another daunting test for Denver. The rookie has carved out an important role for the Chiefs over the last month, carrying the ball at least 14 times in four straight games. He’s averaged 4.8 yards per carry.

Pacheco should feast against a Broncos defense that's allowed over 100 yards on the ground in five of their last six games. As a result, mitigating Kansas City’s damage through the air might not be nearly enough to keep Denver close.

Betting Picks

It takes a lot for the league to flex the ratings gold that is Mahomes and the Chiefs out of primetime.  The NFL clearly doesn’t see this as an even mildly competitive game, and neither do I.

Denver’s defense is a talented bunch, but it hasn’t been enough to make up for an anemic offense. The Broncos have lost games in which they held the opposition to 10, 12, 16, 17, 17 and 19 points. If they can’t muster enough offense to win games in which the defense is playing lights out, what kind of shot do they have against the Chiefs?

FanDuel Super Boost: Both Chiefs & Seahawks To Win Outright

In the simplest of terms, the Broncos simply don’t have the horses to keep up. Kansas City scores the fifth-most points in the first half (14.3) while Denver averages the sixth-worst (8.5). If that continues and the Chiefs race out to an early lead, you may as well sit back, pop open a bag of chips and enjoy the carefree Sunday fireworks.

Kansas City averages the second-most second-half points (14.7) while Denver musters a measly 5.3, which is second worst. If Denver falls behind early, it might as well waive the white flag.

Fading the Chiefs also means you expect Denver’s top-notch pass defense to get the best of the league’s top-ranked passing attack. Do you really feel comfortable backing them instead of Mahomes? In a battle of strength vs. strength, I’m taking the otherworldly quarterback.

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