Sunday Night Football Picks And Predictions: Broncos at Chiefs

Written By Esten McLaren on December 3, 2020

The Kansas City Chiefs (10-1) return to Sunday Night Football for the second time in three weeks. In Week 13, they’ll host the AFC West rival Denver Broncos (4-7) at Arrowhead Stadium for the 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff. Broncos QB Drew Lock is expected back under center to take on MVP frontrunner Patrick Mahomes after he, Brett Rypien, and Blake Bortles were cleared from the Reserve/COVID-19 list following Kendall Hinton‘s surprise Week 12 start. Below, we’ll make picks for the moneyline, spread and over/under as the Broncos face the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.

Hinton, formally (and again) a practice squad wide receiver, completed just one of nine passes for 13 yards with two picks as the Broncos were blown out 31-3 at home against the New Orleans Saints. The Chiefs received 462 passing yards and three touchdowns – all to WR Tyreek Hill – from Mahomes in beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-24 on the road. Kansas City remains a game back of the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers for top spot in the AFC. Denver is on the outer edge of the playoff picture and needs to run the table to have a shot at snapping a four-year postseason drought.

Betting advice will be provided as either a “pick” or a “lean” on each bet type. Picks can be made at the listed odds with a high degree of confidence in the matchup. Leans are reserved in anticipation of the lines moving in one direction or the other or may hinge on injury news. My Sunday Night Football Betting Preview at TheLines dives deeper into the Broncos-Chiefs matchup to help you prepare for your Week 13 betting picks.

Broncos at Chiefs odds

Broncos at Chiefs picks: Moneyline

The Chiefs are the heaviest betting favorites of Week 13. They’ve lost just once since Week 10 of last season and are 4-1 at home this year. They’re winning by an average of 10.0 points per game, rank second in the NFL with 31.6 PPG on offense, and lead the league with 6.5 yards per play offensively.

The Broncos are 31st in the NFL with 19.0 PPG scored and 26th with 5.1 yards per offensive play. They lose by an average of 8.1 PPG and are 2-3 on the road. Lock returns at quarterback, but he has completed just 55.6% of his passes for 1,767 yards with seven touchdowns against 11 interceptions.

Kansas City won 43-16 when these teams met in Denver in Week 7. Mahomes had to throw for just 200 yards and one touchdown and rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 46 yards and a touchdown. The KC defense scored on an interception return and WR Byron Pringle scored on a 102-yard kickoff return. Lock was held to just 24-for-40 passing for 254 yards and threw two picks.

The Chiefs will win this comfortably even with Lock back in the Broncos lineup; however, the chalky moneyline odds of -900 or lower aren’t worth the risk. PASS on a moneyline bet on Sunday Night Football and look to the spread.

The pick: PASS

Broncos at Chiefs picks: Against the spread

The Chiefs opened as 13-point favorites last week but have been bet up to -14 at several of the top US sportsbooks. It’s their fifth double-digit spread of the season and they’re 2-2 against those lines thus far. They closed as 7-point favorites when beating the Broncos by 27 points in Week 7.

It’s the second straight week the Broncos have been double-digit underdogs on the spread. They failed to cover the 17-point line last week with Hinton starting against the Saints. Both teams are 6-5 ATS for the season; Kansas City covers by 1.8 PPG while Denver falls 2.4 PPG below the line.

The Chiefs are the vastly superior offensive team. They also hold the opposition to 21.6 PPG but give up 5.7 yards per play. The Broncos hold the opposition to 5.1 yards per play but just 27.1 points per game.

Turnovers are the biggest factor in the above, with Denver owning a league-worst minus-15 turnover differential. The Broncos have 11 takeaways against a league-high 26 giveaways. The Chiefs are third with a plus-9 differential, with 17 takeaways and just eight giveaways.

Take the Chiefs to win by multiple scores. They still have plenty of motivation to secure the conference’s top seed and have won 10 straight games against the Broncos. The last three victories each came by at least 20 points.

The pick: Chiefs (-13.5 or better)

Broncos at Chiefs picks: Over/Under (total)

The Broncos and Chiefs played to a total of 59 points in Week 7 to easily top a 46-point projected total. Still, both teams are just 5-6 against the O/U but top the projections by more than a point per game.

The projected Week 13 total of 51 matches the highest total of the season for the Broncos. They played to the under with a 37-12 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 10. The Chiefs have had seven higher totals already this season. They’re 4-3 against those numbers.

Liking the Chiefs to win and cover the lopsided spread, we’ll also back the over. Kansas City will handle the bulk of the scoring so we’ll just need a couple of scores from the visitors. Denver has played to three straight unders, but had previously hit three consecutive overs and it will bounce back from last week’s season-low of three points against New Orleans.

The pick: OVER (50.5 or better)

Esten McLaren Avatar
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Esten McLaren

Esten grew up on a golf course and made the switch from real-life trunk slammer to the daily fantasy realm as soon as the game was launched. He's been betting golf regularly for the better part of the last 10 years, most memorably winning big on Rory McIlroy's 2014 Open title, but a trip to Carnoustie for the 2018 Open and a walk around St. Andrews share the honor for best golf highlight. He has written about all major sports at FNTSY Sports Network, theScore, and SportsBookWire.

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