Two AFC West rivals heading in opposite directions square off on Thursday Night Football when the Kansas City Chiefs meet the Denver Broncos at Mile High. After starting the season 4-0, the Chiefs (4-2) have dropped consecutive games to the Colts and Texans. Despite the two-game losing streak, Kansas City still leads the AFC West by a half-game over the Raiders. Meanwhile, the Broncos (2-4) have won two straight over the Chargers and Titans after opening the season with four consecutive losses. Denver is in its first season under coach Vic Fangio, and kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. ET. Kansas City is a three-point favorite in the latest Broncos vs. Chiefs odds, and the over-under for total points scored is 48.5. Before you make any Chiefs vs. Broncos picks, you should see who SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein is backing.
A former lead writer for Covers and The Linemakers, Hartstein combines a vast network of Vegas sources with an analytical approach he honed while working for Pro Football Focus. Last year, he went 61-47 on all of his NFL picks, and he’s even hotter this year, going 24-11 with his NFL picks against the spread. In addition, Hartstein is a stunning 5-1 in his last six against the spread picks involving the Broncos. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, Hartstein has locked in on Chiefs vs. Broncos on Thursday Night Football. He’s sharing his pick only at SportsLine.
Hartstein knows that Kansas City has dominated the series against Denver recently, winning seven straight games. The average score in those games has been 29-20. Kansas City hasn’t lost to Denver since September 2015, when the Broncos won 31-24.
Hartstein also has taken into consideration that the Chiefs have All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill back in the lineup. In his first game back after missing four games because of injury, Hill had five receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday against the Texans. He makes Kansas City’s prolific offense even more explosive.
Even so, Kansas City isn’t guaranteed to cover the Chiefs vs. Broncos spread on Thursday Night Football.
Denver is playing winning defense right now. During the team’s two-game winning streak, the Broncos allowed opponents an average of 225.0 yards per game and 6.5 points. In Sunday’s shutout of the Titans, Denver held Tennessee to 39 rushing yards, 3.3 net yards per play and 2-of-14 on third downs.
In addition the Broncos will face a Chiefs defense that has struggled stopping the run. Kansas City is allowing 161.8 rushing yards per game, and only the Dolphins and Bengals have been worse this season. That bodes well for a Denver offense that ranks 14th in the NFL in rushing at 116.0 yards per game.
We can tell you Hartstein is leaning Under, but his much stronger play is on the spread. He says a critical x-factor makes one side of this spread a must-back. You can only see what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.
Sources from: CBS Sports