Monday Night Football features an AFC West showdown between the visiting Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) and the Denver Broncos (2-1). Andy Reid’s undefeated Chiefs are favored by 4.5 points at the majority of sportsbooks, while the betting total is listed at a robust 54.5 points. The action starts at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN.
Kansas City has played track meet style football through the first three games of the season, scoring a league-high 39.3 points per game while surrendering a league-high 30.7 points per game. They’ve already played some quality opponents in the Chargers and Steelers. The Chiefs’ porous defense will almost certainly bite them at some point, but they should be able to get through this Week 4 matchup in Denver.
Patrick Mahomes has been the catalyst behind Kansas City’s dynamic scoring offense, as he’s already tossed 13 TDs through three games, an NFL record to start a season. The nearly-unstoppable Tyreek Hill has hauled in three of them, while tight end Travis Kelce has accounted for two. The Broncos and their fourth-rated run stoppers should be able to keep Kareem Hunt in check, but their 23rd-best pass prevention unit appears to be in a world of trouble.
Denver’s close-shave victories over the Seahawks and Raiders before a convincing loss to the Ravens last week were hardly inspiring. They will be forced to abandon their run-heavy offense earlier than they’d like with Mahomes piling up yardage on the other side of the ball, forcing Case Keenum to make more than the ideal number of throws. Kansas City’s defense is vulnerable, but Keenum has already tossed five INTs this year (compared to just three TDs).
Both recent and historical trends point toward the Chiefs being the better bet on Monday night too. Kansas City is 7-1 in their last eight against the spread, and have covered in 12 of their last 16 road games. Also, according to oddsshark.com, the Chiefs are 11-1 against the spread in their last 12 divisional games. Narrow it down to just the last three trips to Mile High Stadium, and it’s a perfect 3-0 record.
By contrast, Denver has been the worst bet in the NFL over the last 15 regular season games, going 2-12-1 against the spread. Their recent home performances have been lackluster too, as they’re 1-5-1 against the spread in the last seven games in their own building.
This game should play out just as the Chiefs’ first three games have this season, with plenty of points on both sides. The total is a lofty one at 54.5, but the over seems like the smart side nonetheless. A Kansas City win and cover, however, is the safer option.
Prediction: Chiefs win, 34-27
The play: Chiefs -4.5
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