NFL Thursday Night Football Picks: Broncos at Chiefs

Week 2 starts with an AFC West divisional battle from Arrowhead Stadium

If Denver’s win over Baltimore last week was the ‘Gary Kubiak’ style of football, anyone who drafted Peyton Manning in the first eight rounds of their NFL fantasy draft is going to end up being sorely disappointed.


Denver took down the Ravens Sunday by a score of 19-13. To put that in perspective, it’s just more than half the points Manning put up in his previous 24 home wins as a Bronco (35 PPG). Click SDQL text Peyton Manning:PY > 100 and team = Broncos and W and H for the complete list of games from!

Kansas City was busy bullying the Texans last week (27-20) and the net result is a NFL line of Chiefs -3 with at total of 42. Manning is 11-1 against the Chiefs all-time (8-4 ATS) and past four meetings each had a total of 49. Some books have moved to 42.5 in the past few hours, suggesting public money on the over, but the first-half total on this game is holding at 21, just slightly higher than the 18.6 points Manning has averaged by himself the past five games against KC.

I get it. Different Manning, older. New coach, questionable offensive line and there are easier places to win football games than Arrowhead. But somehow I still see Manning getting this offense in gear and Denver scoring at least 20 points, which is more than the current posted team total at Pinnacle Sports.

But I’m not betting the team total for this game, I’m taking the Broncos to cover — They’re getting points! My power ratings have Denver winning this game straight-up by five points and I think the knee-jerk reaction to last week’s two outcomes is getting us some solid value. Divisional home faves on Thursday games have been a 75-percent “Under” play with low totals and early in the season, I’ve got a rare first-half angle “live” that’s never seen more than 20 points scored. For that fact, I’m staying away from any bet that has the word “Over” attached to it in this contest. But Manning is a primetime stud and he’s chewed many a secondary apart on these short-rest weeks. Maybe Denver doesn’t score 35 points in this one but with their D, they probably don’t have to. Look for a sharper performance out of this offense, though, as they bring KC back into reality with an upset road win.

Pick: Take the Broncos +3 at even money

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