Thursday Night NFL Picks — Control is Key For Broncos vs. Chiefs

By Charles Jay

The Kansas City Chiefs may be reaching that point where they need more answers on the defensive side of the ball than they are able to offer. These shortcomings, however, are not necessarily going to be exploited by every opponent. Are the Denver Broncos, who posted an impressive win last week, one of those teams?

That’s one of the things we’ll get answers for on Thursday night, as these squads meet up at Mile High at 8:20 PM ET. Fox Network will televise the game, so everybody can see it, and BetAnySports customers can watch and wager, as they use the software made available through Live Betting Ultra.

As Kansas City has lost these last two games, they have been beaten badly up front. The Colts held the ball for 37 minutes, while Houston had it for 39. The Chiefs can’t stop the run, and unfortunately that wasn’t addressed sufficiently in the off-season. They have allowed 5.2 yards per carry. And they have surrendered over 40 yards per drive. These are distressing numbers. And we’re going to have more of them for you in a moment.

So the question becomes whether the Broncos can exercise some ball control to do something similar to the Texans and Colts, because the key may be keeping Patrick Mahomes off the field. The good news for them is that the run game is a major part of their plan, and even more so over the past few weeks, as they have been on the ground 46% of the time.

And we know that there are two capable running backs – Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, and an attack that averages 4.3 yards a carry. So it is quite possible they can accomplish their objective.

In the Thursday Night NFL odds posted on this game, the Chiefs are laying points on the road, although the Broncos have attracted “smart” money:

Kansas City Chiefs -3 (-103)
Denver Broncos +3 (-107)

Over 49.5 points (-102)
Under 49.5 points (-108)

As you will notice, no one is asking you to lay -110 here. That’s a result of reduced juice, which BetAnySports offers as a way of giving greater value to its customers. If you want to do the math, you will discover that you can break even with a smaller winning percentage, so it really means something!

Everyone knows what Mahomes can do. And Tyreek Hill is going to be a threat; he came back last week and caught two touchdown passes. But does the absence of Sammy Watkins mean something? We think it does. And Mahomes hasn’t really had a chance to sit and rest that ankle for any particular period of time. It affects his accuracy. And seeing as how Denver has been dialing up the pass rush lately (seven sacks of Marcus Mariota last week), maybe they should try to make Mahomes run around as much as possible. Or conversely, seal up the outside with the rush and force him to deal only from the pocket. Either way, it appears as if there are strides with first-year coach Vic Fangio and his defense.

This Bronco stop unit is interesting. Yes, they are sixth best in the NFL in yards allowed per drive. But they are also tops in the NFL, by a considerable margin, in the touchdown-field goal ratio they’ve allowed. And that comes by virtue of their red zone defense, which is #3 in the league.

By contrast, the Chiefs are 31st in the yards-per-drive stat, and they have given up longer drives – in terms of number of plays and possession time – than anyone else. They just can’t get opponents off the field, forcing a three-and-out only 13% of the time (also the NFL’s worst). So they are good candidates to lose the field position battle.

We’re pretty certain the Broncos couldn’t win a shootout here. And they are convinced of that as well. But they CAN control the clock and limit the number of possessions, and they will design the game plan to do just that. That makes this total bloated. As we continue with WagerWAR, the battle for the World WagerSport Ultimate Championship, we’ll go UNDER it.

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(The preceding information has been furnished for news matter only)

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