Monday, January 24, 2022

Chiefs vs. Broncos prediction, odds, spread, line: 2022 NFL picks, Week 18 best bets from model on 135-96 run

The Denver Broncos will try to play spoiler to the Kansas City Chiefs when the AFC West rivals meet Saturday in an NFL Week 18 showdown from Empower Field at Mile High. The Chiefs (11-5) already have captured their sixth consecutive division title but still have the AFC’s top playoff seed at stake. They need a victory Saturday and a loss by the Tennessee Titans on Sunday to the Houston Texans to claim the No. 1 spot. It has been more than six years since the Broncos (7-9) defeated Kansas City, but they have an opportunity to end their inconsistent season on a high note with an upset.

Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. ET from Empower Field at Mile High. Caesars Sportsbook lists Kansas City as the 10.5-point favorite in the latest Chiefs vs. Broncos odds, while the over-under for total points is set at 44.5. Before locking in any Broncos vs. Chiefs picks, make sure you check out the NFL predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model

The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up more than $7,200 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception six-plus years ago. The model enters Week 18 of the 2021 season on an incredible 135-96 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates to the 2017 season.

The model also ranked in the top 10 on NFLPickWatch four of the past five years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 94 percent of CBS Sports Football Pick’em players four times during that span. Anyone who has followed it has seen massive returns. 

Now, the model has zeroed in on Chiefs vs. Broncos from every angle and released its top NFL Week 18 picks. You can only see the model’s picks at SportsLine. Here are the NFL odds and trends for Broncos vs. Chiefs: 

  • Chiefs vs. Broncos point spread: Chiefs -10.5
  • Chiefs vs. Broncos over-under total: 44.5 points 
  • Chiefs vs. Broncos money line: Chiefs -550, Broncos +400
  • KC: The Chiefs are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games as a favorite 
  • DEN: The Broncos have won and covered in three of their past four home games

Featured Game | Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs

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Why the Chiefs can cover

Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo took the bulk of the blame for defensive breakdowns in last week’s 34-31 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and indicated he wasn’t worried about his unit becoming a liability in the playoffs. The Chiefs had allowed more than 17 points just once during their eight-game winning streak before last Sunday, but their blitz-heavy scheme was exploited by Joe Burrow, who threw for 446 yards and four touchdowns.

Spagnuolo sent an all-out blitz against Burrow on third-and-27 from the Kansas City 41-yard-line late in the fourth quarter and Burrow connected with Ja’Marr Chase for 30 yards to get the first down and set up the game-winning score. Spagnuolo told the media this week that the blitz was called to force a sack or incompletion because even a short gain could put Cincinnati in range for the go-ahead field goal. He also admitted he took for granted that the Bengals might go for a home-run play instead of a conservative call on third down.

Even so, the Chiefs still rank No. 5 in the NFL in passing defense, allowing 256.3 yards per contest. Defensive tackle Chris Jones had his third game with at least two sacks last week, and the Chiefs sacked Burrow four times total. 

Why the Broncos can cover 

Head coach Vic Fangio said he was impressed with the recent progression of strong-armed backup quarterback Drew Lock, who put up decent numbers in last Sunday’s 34-13 loss to the Chargers despite a roster that was ridden with absences because of health and safety protocols. Receivers Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick were among the missing pieces, along with five defensive starters.

The third-year pro has often been criticized for his recklessness with the ball, which caused him to lose the starting job after throwing 15 interceptions in 13 games last season. Even so, he provides the downfield threat rarely seen when the team is led by incumbent starter Teddy Bridgewater, who has been out since suffering a concussion against the Cincinnati Bengals three weeks ago.

Lock threw for 245 yards on 18-of-25 passing with a touchdown and no interceptions. He was sacked just once and distributed the ball to seven different receivers. Wideout Courtland Sutton and tight end Noah Fant had 12 combined targets and nine receptions. Fant finished with 92 receiving yards and a touchdown. Fangio told the media this week he believes Lock is still an NFL-caliber starter and a strong outing on a national stage this week could improve his profile. 

How to make Broncos vs. Chiefs picks

The model is leaning over on the total, projecting 45 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can only get the model’s Broncos vs. Chiefs pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Chiefs vs. Broncos on Saturday? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Broncos vs. Chiefs spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $7,200 on its NFL picks, and find out.

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