Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs kicks off this Thursday at 8:15pm EST in Kansas City Missouri as a home game for the Chiefs. The Broncos are currently a +10.5 underdog and +430 on the moneyline while the total is set at 47.5. With Denver’s defense at an all-time low, expect plenty of Kansas City pieces as the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Justin Watson, and Isiah Pacheco serve as valuable player props in this Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs matchup.
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Just when Broncos fans thought they had something after a comeback win against the Bears, reality struck them hard after an embarrassing loss to the New York Jets. The defense grades out as one of the worst units in NFL history since the start of DVOA rankings, now needing to find answers in a shortened week against the Chiefs offense. Even with KC looking underwhelming the past few weeks, Mahomes and company will be in a good position to generate a vintage offensive performance.
Isiah Pacheco Over 72.5 Rushing Yards
After carving out a role as the Chiefs lead back, Isaiah Pacheco is in a good position to run wild against a Broncos defense that ranks a lowly 31st in Def Rush DVOA and 31st in Def Rush EPA. They fare slightly better in defending Rush Success Rate, but still below average and prone to giving up half the distance to gain on early downs.
Better yet, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are both dealing with injuries. Kelce with a scary non-contact foot injury while Mahomes can be seen limping every now and then with his ankle issue. This has slowed down the pass attack, potentially giving up more pass attempts to the ground game at the benefit of Pacheco.
The spread also indicates that this may be a blow out as the Chiefs are a -10.5 favorite, potentially turning towards a heavier ground attack late in the contest in an effort to burn the clock.
Factor in the open field that Pacheco may get to run wild on as well as extra rush attempts due to the game script and his rushing over is an immediate play. Shortened weeks also play towards a more conservative game script as teams have to deal with less practice and time to heal up leading up to the game.
Patrick Mahomes Under 0.5 Interception
After having one of his most efficient seasons in his career last year, Mahomes has regressed back towards the mean with his turnover issues the past two weeks after throwing multiple interceptions. Some have been underthrown deep balls while the others have just been head scratching bad decisions.
Patrick Mahomes throws his 2nd interception of the day to the Jets defense 😬 pic.twitter.com/yEs3VaezKk
— Last Take™ (@TheRealLastTake) October 2, 2023
While it’s easy to point towards the fact that he is clearly dealing with an injury, Mahomes has just looked off these past few weeks. Lucky for him, he should see plenty of open passing lanes as the Broncos secondary ranks dead last in Def Pass DVOA, Def Pass Success Rate, Def Pass EPA, and Pressure.
Justin Watson Over 19.5 Receiving Yards
It looks like Travis Kelce will be able to give it a go with his play being a blessing in disguise for the other Kansas City pass catchers. Even when hampered by an injury, Kelce demands defensive attention as one of the best gap exploiters in football. This frees up the open field to the others benefit, one of them including Justin Watson.
Not only will Watson benefit from singular coverage, but he will also get opportunities to cash this on one catch as the Broncos are unable to defend Pass Explosiveness. He serves as the Chiefs streaking receiver, getting an uptick in targets and routes run per game throughout this season as he builds a rapport with Mahomes. Factor in potential less targets to Kelce and Watson will be in a good position to cash this over early on.
Javonte Williams Under 39.5 Rushing Yards
While not confirmed playing after missing the past few weeks with an injury, indicators are pointing towards Williams to make his return this Thursday night. Even serving as their lead back, Williams may see less opportunities as the Broncos will be playing from behind for a majority of this contest.
When behind on the scoreboard, the Broncos will rely more on their pass attack to try and stay within the Chiefs scoring pace. Especially with Russell Wilson showing signs of his former self, picking apart defenses with his arm and ability to throw on the run. This eats away at Javonte’s rush attempts, playing towards the under.