Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs -3.5

Games Total: 53.5

  • The Chiefs lead the league with 39.5 points per game, but Denver’s defense is probably better than any Kansas City has faced to this point.

  • Von Miller is tied for the NFL lead with 4.0 sacks, and the Broncos have nine sacks as a team this season. Patrick Mahomes has been sacked just four times, and if Denver can get some pressure on him, it could go a long way towards slowing him down.  

  • The Broncos are also the first team to get a second crack at Mahomes, having faced him in Week 17 last season. Of course, their offense looks much different now than it did last year.

  • Patrick Mahomes still hasn’t thrown his first interception of the season, a fact that has been overshadowed by his NFL-record 13 touchdown passes in three games.

  • Mahomes has taken advantage of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to generate big plays, but he has spread the ball a lot more than most people anticipated at the start of the season. Mahomes has thrown a touchdown to nine different receivers

  • Kareem Hunt has had at least 16 carries in every game this season, but unlike in 2017, there have been no big plays to be had so far. Hunt has just one reception on three targets this season. That is also a departure from 2017, when he caught 53 passes on 63 targets.

  • The Broncos thought they had finally solved their quarterback problems with the signing of Case Keenum , but through three games, that hasn’t been the case. Keenum has just three touchdown passes against five interceptions.

  • Keenum will be without second-year tight end Jake Butt , who is done for the season with a torn ACL.

  • The Broncos may need their offense to do some heavy lifting against a defense that has allowed 30.7 points per game. The Broncos are averaging just 20.3 points per game, good for 27th in the NFL.

  • Denver really needs Demaryius Thomas to match the play of Emmanuel Sanders . Thomas has at least five receptions in every game this season, but he has just 144 receiving yards on 26 targets, including a league-high four drops through three weeks.

  • Phillip Lindsay was ejected in the second quarter against Baltimore in Week 3, and while Royce Freeman and Devontae Booker were pretty decent in that game, Denver probably needs Lindsay to get 15 touches to have much of a chance in this game. Even though Lindsay is a smaller, change-of-pace back, that hasn’t translated into receptions so far. Lindsay has just three receptions on six targets, but he could double those numbers if the Broncos face a negative game script.


1. The last non-kneeling, offensive play of the 1st Quarter is a completed pass (we'll leave this open until the 2:00 mark) (4x yes/1.8x no)

YES. Denver has completed 66 of 108 pass attempts (61.1 percent) while Kansas City has completed 62 of 93(66.7 percent). The Broncos have 84 rushing attempts while the Chiefs have 80. If my math is correct, the Chiefs have completed passes on 35 percent of their plays while Denver has completed passes on 33.5 percent of plays. I think Denver will do better than that against Kansas City’s defense, and if you are going to chase a big payout, I think this is a good place to do it.

2. P. Mahomes (KC) passes for more total yards than C. Keenum (DEN) in the 1st Quarter (2x yes/3.5x no)

YES. Anything can happen in one quarter, but so far this season, Mahomes has thrown for 171 more yards than Keenum. Keenum has a better matchup, but I still think the safe play is the correct one here.

3. Either team forces a turnover in the 1st Quarter (3.9x yes/1.8x no)

NO. As was mentioned above, Pat Mahomes still hasn’t thrown an interception this season, and Kansas City has just one fumble. Case Keenum , on the other hand, has thrown five intereceptions, but Denver has yet to lose a fumble. On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs are tied with the Cowboys for the fewest takeaways in the league with two, while Denver is just barely ahead with three. Mahomes will thrown an interception some time. But the numbers scream No, even if the payout says Yes.

4. The first offensive play of the 1st Quarter gains 4 or more yards (2.4x yes/2.6x no)

YES. Kansas City is averaging 9.6 yards per pass attempt while the Broncos are averaging 6.9. Denver is averaging 5.2 yards per rushing attempt compared to 3.9 for Kansas City. I think I would feel better about this if Kansas City gets the ball first, but I think both offenses probably start with short passes that gain at least four yards.

5. T. Kelce (KC) records a reception on KC opening drive (2.5x yes/2.5x no)

NO. Kelce is averaging just 5.3 receptions per game so far, though his average looks much better if you throw out his one catch for six yards in Week 1. For whatever it is worth, the Broncos have allowed just 13 receptions to tight ends so far this season. I think the knee-jerk reaction is for people to see this prop and think “He’s the second-best tight end in the league, of course he will get a catch.” With the payouts being equal, I think I will zig while everyone else zags.

6. DEN converts a third down on their opening drive (2.8x yes/2.2x no)

NO. The Broncos’ offense ranks 11th in third down conversion percentage at 42.9 percent. Kansas City’s defense has surprisingly allowed opponents to convert just 25.8 of third downs. I suspect that number will be much higher by the end of this game, but the payout for Yes isn’t quite good enough here.