Denver Broncos (7-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-9)
There are two trends that apply to this game, but both of them can be neutralized by the fact that this matchup is divisional. Home dogs are 57-40 ATS off a loss as home dogs since 2002, but that only 13-10 ATS as divisional home dogs after being non-divisional home dogs. When you go back to 2002 to get a bigger sample size, that trend is just 28-27 ATS.
Meanwhile, fading touchdown road dogs is generally a good idea, which makes sense. It’s really hard, no matter who you are, of winning by a touchdown or more on the road. Touchdown plus road favorites are 80-99 ATS since 2002, but only 31-33 ATS in the division. You’d think it would be stronger in the division because it’s tough to go into a divisional opponent and blow them out because they know you so well, making up for some of the talent gap, but that’s not the case. In fact, since 1989, double digit road favorites in the division are 25-27 ATS.
We are getting some line value with the Chiefs. The yards per play differential method (which the Broncos lead) gives us a real line of Denver -12.5, but the rate of sustaining drives differential method gives us a real line of Denver -4, which averages out to be noticeably less than the -10.5 this line really is. At the same time, this line has made a major shift in the last week as it was at -7 a week ago and still the public is pounding the Broncos, noteworthy because the odds makers have had a rough 3 week stretch and need to make money back, which they always do eventually. Bad teams in a divisional matchup always seem to do well in the 2nd half of the season anyway as dogs with 1 win or fewer are 64-35 ATS as divisional dogs after week 9 since 1989.
That being said, I can’t take the Chiefs here. The Broncos have all the momentum, which eats away at the Chiefs’ line value, maybe entirely and the Chiefs have decided to go back to Brady Quinn at quarterback, who is absolutely horrible, worse than Matt Cassel’s. Cassel’s issue was turnovers, but when he avoids them, he’s serviceable. Quinn rarely turns the ball over and has still never been serviceable. In his career, he completes 53.3% of his passes for an average of 5.4 YPA and 10 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. I hate laying this many points on the road, but the Broncos should be the right side. The Broncos are also my survivor pick, as much as I hate taking road teams in survivor. I would be stunned if the Broncos lost this one and for some reason I still haven’t used them.
Public lean: Denver (80% range)
Sharps lean: KC 5 DEN 1
Final update: This is tied for the least picked game of the week in LV Hilton. That’s no surprise. No one wants to lay double digits on the road, but no one wants to take the Chiefs either. I feel the same way.
Denver Broncos 31 Kansas City Chiefs 9 Survivor Pick (HOU, NE, NO, BAL, SF, ATL, CHI, GB, SD, SEA, DAL)
Pick against spread: Denver -10.5 (-110) 1 unit