The NFL flexed the Sunday showdown for the AFC West lead into prime time, and bookmakers and bettors and the pay per head community as a whole saw what a big game it was as the point spread was one of the most volatile of the weekend.
Kansas City opened as 10-point favorites, but by the time the teams kicked off on Sunday night, the action on the Broncos had brought it down to 8.5 points.
At issue has been the Chiefs’ ability to win football games, but an inability to cover spreads.
Chiefs Defense Comes Up Big
For the first month of the NFL season, the Kansas City defense was one of the worst in football. And not just for 2021. It was performing like a historically bad defense, and no amount of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill could cover for it.
But following a 38-20 loss to the Bills in Week 5, a switch was flipped, and this defense began playing good football. Then following a Week 7 loss at Tennessee, it began playing great football. Since that game, they are allowing just 11 points per game and haven’t given up more than 17 points in any one game.
And in three of their last four wins, the defense has held teams under double-digits, including Sunday night against Denver.
It began with two straight three-and-outs, which set the tone. The Chiefs were also able to score 10 points following those dominant stops, swinging the game in Kansas City’s favor early on.
There was also a pick-six by safety Daniel Sorensen, another interception by Juan Thornhill, and wide receivers Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick – who both received big contract extensions last week from the Broncos – were held to a combined three catches for 24 yards.
Broncos Turning Point
Despite the terrible first quarter, despite not gaining a first down for the first 13 minutes of the game, despite falling behind by 10 points, the Broncos had an opportunity to make this a game shortly before halftime. Training 10-3, Denver went on a 20-play, 88-yard drive that chewed up more than 11 minutes of the clock but came away with zero points.
The Broncos converted earlier in the drive on fourth-and-one and fourth-and-seven, but on play 20 of the possession and the ball at the Kansas City eight-yard-line, they were stuffed on fourth-and-two.
It was one aggressive play too many. If you go into halftime down 10-6 and have just dominated the entire second quarter, you’re in good shape. But getting nothing after 20 offensive plays sucked the life of the players. The entire impressive drive became defined by that single failure, and it cost the Broncos dearly.
Chiefs Salt Away The Game
A muffed punt gave the Chiefs three points in the second half, a 30-yard pass to Darrel Williams set up another three points, and the pick-six by Sorensen put the Chiefs up 22-3 and clinched the game for Kansas City.
A late touchdown by Broncos rookie running back Javonte Williams, making a start for the injured Melvin Gordon, finished the scoring, 22-9. And Kansas City finished the night in first place in the AFC West.
Power Pay Per Head partners is looking ahead to the next couple of weeks for the Chiefs to gauge where they stand in the AFC pecking order truly.
They face the Raiders next week in Kansas City, and while that seems like an obvious Chiefs win, Las Vegas did win at Arrowhead just last season. Then it’s a quick Thursday turnaround and a trip to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers.
L.A. is one game behind the Chiefs, but a win on December 16 would give the Chargers the tiebreaker advantage. Then after that, Kansas City is back home to face the Steelers.
The Broncos are now 6-6, but with a game against the Lions next week, they can easily keep themselves in the middle of the playoff race. Then it’s home against a good Bengals team, trips to Las Vegas and L.A. to play the Chargers, then back home to finish the season with the Chiefs.
But apart from making the playoffs, this offense needs to establish an identity before the season is over. Otherwise, Pat Shurmur is likely to be out as offensive coordinator.
If you are an independent bookmaker looking to boost your NFL profits for the last month of the regular season, now is the time to partner with a top pay per head provider like PowerPayPerHead.com.