Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) @ Denver Broncos (2-3)
Moneyline: Chiefs -303 (BetMGM), Broncos +295 (William Hill)
Spread: Chiefs -7.5, +102 (BetAmerica), Broncos +7, -105 (PointsBet)
The Kansas City Chiefs visit the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High at 2:25 p.m. Sunday, where 2-5 inches of snow are expected. This AFC West battle is a rematch of the snow game played at Arrowhead last season, which resulted in a 23-3 win for the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes still managed to throw for 340 yards and two touchdowns and Kansas City ran the ball 25 times. Drew Lock struggled as he finished 18 for 40 for 208 yards.
When it comes to injuries, the Broncos finally received some good news, as they should get Melvin Gordon, Noah Fant and KJ Hamler back in the lineup. Gordon missed last week due to an illness, Fant was sidelined due to an ankle injury and Hamler has missed two games with a hamstring strain.
Phillip Lindsay filled in nicely for Gordon as he finished with 23 carries for 101 rushing yards in the win against the New England Patriots. I’d expect him to be involved this week as well even with Gordon in the lineup, given the expected snow and the fact the Broncos will look to keep Mahomes off the field as much as possible.
Lock struggled last week despite the win as he only completed 10 of his 24 passes for 189 yards and he threw two interceptions. He’s going to have to be much better against Mahomes who ranks in the top five in passing yards, touchdowns and quarterback rating.
The Broncos have played teams very close this season and their win in Week 6 in Foxborough was impressive, but they’re going to have to do better than six field goals if they want to make it three straight wins. They rank 29th in points scored (20), meanwhile the Chiefs rank ninth (29.2).
The line has come down from -9.5 to -7.5 in favor of the Chiefs, and the total has dropped from 46 to 44, which I believe has something to do with the weather. I was leaning Denver and the points before the news of snow, but I can’t quite get there now. I think we’ll see a low scoring game, with both teams running the football, but the Chiefs should win by double-digit points given what we saw last year between these two teams. I believe the Chiefs will generate enough pressure on Lock and force him into a few turnovers which will be the difference.
Prediction: Kansas City, 27-14
Clyde Edwards-Helaire OVER 61.5 Rushing Yards, -115 (BetMGM)
Edwards-Helaire is coming off a monster game where he ran the ball 26 times for 161 yards against the Buffalo Bills. This matchup against the Broncos is tougher and Le’Veon Bell is expected to make his Kansas City debut, but I believe CEH will get the bulk of the touches. Kansas City ran the ball 25 times in the snow game last season, and they’ve been running more this season than last year as teams game plan differently against Mahomes. Forcing KC to run the ball seems fine with Andy Reid and the coaching staff.
Tim Patrick OVER 42.5 Receiving Yards, -115 (BetMGM)
I would absolutely love this prop if there was no snow expected, but I’m willing to take a shot on it anyways. I expect Lock to have to take a few shots down the field and Patrick has a rock solid 478 air yards, 16.48 average depth of target and 19.6% target share on the season. Over the last three weeks, his 293 air yards rank 15th in the league and his 29% target share ranks ninth. He’s also received 43% of his team’s air yards over that span which is a top 10 mark in the NFL. Noah Fant returning will cut into Patrick’s target share a bit, but he’s still the deep play guy in Denver’s offense.