As Week 7 of the NFL season begins, two AFC rivals are facing off in the altitude of the Rocky Mountains on Thursday Night Football. The first-place Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) are taking on the Denver Broncos (2-4) with kickoff set for shortly after 8pm EST at Empower Field at Mile High.
Despite coming off two straight losses and traveling on a short week, the first-place Chiefs are still 3.5-point favorites over the Broncos according to NFL betting lines from William Hill NJ.
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Chiefs vs. Broncos Betting Prediction Week 7
At some sportsbooks, the Chiefs opened as 4.5-point favorites with early action betting that number down to its current spot at William Hill NJ. Since Kansas City is still viewed as one of the best teams in the league, it's expected the public will inflate this line by the time kickoff on Thursday arrives, although it looks like the pros are leaning toward the home team.
Chiefs Betting Preview Week 7
After a second consecutive home loss in Week 6, the Chiefs may actually be grateful for the quick turnaround to Thursday in some respects, even if it means traveling to the high altitude of Denver. On the other hand, the Chiefs have some glaring weaknesses that need fixing.
A banged-up offensive line is limiting tome for QB Patrick Mahomes to make plays, which led to a grand total of THREE second-half points the last two games. For the second-ranked offense in the league according to DVOA, that's somewhat of a shock.
Kansas City's defense is also being exploited in a way many didn't expect coming into the season. After allowing Indianapolis to run for 180 yards in week 5, the Texans rattled off 192 yards and three scores on the ground in Week 6. Without making a few stops and keeping the pocket clean, the Chiefs aren't the same team that nearly reached Super Bowl 53.
Broncos Betting Preview Week 7
The blueprint on how to defeat the Chiefs has become very evident over the past two weeks: run the ball and control the clock. Kansas City's opponents managed to hold the ball for nearly two-thirds of the game over the last two contests, giving Mahomes and the offense much less time with the ball than they'd like.
Denver will look to follow the same formula with its strong running game. After totaling 191 yards on the ground in Week 5, they tallied 103 in Week 6, led by Phillip Lindsay. The Broncos' defense also sacked the quarterback seven times and forced three turnovers while pitching a shutout against the Texans.
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Chiefs vs. Broncos Prediction
There's no doubt that Kansas City is one of the best teams in the NFL, and is probably still the second-best in the AFC behind the Patriots. There's also no doubt this team is reeling right now and has some things working against them this week:
- Patrick Mahomes' ankle injury
- Chiefs' run defense vs. Broncos' rushing attack
- Chiefs' offensive line vs. Broncos'' pass rush
- Traveling on a short week
All logic points toward Denver covering the spread and possibly handing the Chiefs another loss if its able to execute the game plan. We do expect Andy Reid to add some wrinkles to his offense and find ways to give his star QB some more time, but is it enough to cover the number? Kansas City avoids a three-game losing streak and finds a way to win a three-point game, so let's make Denver +3.5 the first of our Week 7 NFL picks.
Pick: Broncos +3.5 (-115) - Place Your Bet at William Hill NJ
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NFL Week 7 Picks: Thursday Night Football Total
It's an uncomfortable feeling given the capability of the Kansas City offense, but we lean toward the under here.
Denver will attempt to follow the formula set by other teams and keep the Chiefs' defense on the field by running the ball. It won't matter as much how explosive the offense is if it's on the sidelines, and the Broncos shortening the game with possession means fewer chances for the Chiefs to score touchdowns.
As we all know, Kansas City can be part of some games with pretty high point totals. We are theorizing the public will see the Chiefs on the schedule in Denver, where Mahomes may be able to throw it nearly end zone to end zone and jump at the over. For that reason, consider taking the over early in the week and the under late in the week depending on preference.
As always, it would be wise to monitor line movement at various NJ sports betting apps throughout the week and shopping around for the best line possible.