Thursday Night Football Betting Picks: Chiefs at Broncos
NFL Week 7 kicks off Thursday night as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs look to bounce back against the Denver Broncos. Online sports betting sites opened Kansas City -4.5 but the spread has fallen to -3. The public is betting heavy on the Chiefs as 3-point favorites. The question is, do you prefer walking into a trap with Mahomes or setting one up with Joe Flacco?
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Thursday Football Betting Picks — Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos
- Opened: Kansas City -4.5
- Current: Kansas City -3
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- Opened: 50
- Current: 48.5
Mile High is familiar territory for Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes is only in his second season as a full-time starter, but he’s as familiar with the Denver Broncos and Mile High Stadium as he is with any venue outside of Arrowhead. In 2017 Mahomes was still just a rookie backing up Alex Smith, but thanks to how things shaped out through the first 16 weeks of the season, Mahomes would get his first start on the road against what was one of the league’s best defenses. The rookie completed 22 of 35 passes for 284 yards and 1 interception in his debut. That’s far from the 318.6 passing yards and 3.13 touchdowns he averaged per game in 2018 or the 350.7 passing yards Mahomes is averaging in 2019, but those 284 yards were enough to give Andy Reid the confidence to part ways with Smith. Nearly two seasons and an MVP award later, #15 is Denver’s worst nightmare. Mahomes is 3-0 against Denver in his career, throwing for over 300 yards in each of their previous two meetings.
Mahomes isn’t just Denver’s worst nightmare. Until two weeks ago, he was everyone’s.
After starting the season 4-0 the Chiefs dropped two home games for the first time since 2015. It started with a stunning 13-19 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in a game where the Chiefs entered as 10-point favorites, followed by a 24-31 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Unsurprisingly, defense and offensive line play continue to hold Kansas City back. The Colts defense sacked Mahomes four times, eventually spraining Mahomes’ ankle. The defending MVP hobbled through the rest of the game, but he clearly wasn’t the MVP we’ve become accustomed to watching.
The Chiefs started off hot against the Texans, jumping to a 17-3 lead in the first quarter. The lead wouldn’t last long. Bad blocking would result in a Mahomes fumble-turned Texans touchdown in the final seconds of the half. Kansas City’s offense only possessed the ball three times in the second half as Houston controlled the clock, running 83 plays compared to the Chiefs 46. In terms of time of possession, Deshaun Watson’s offense maintained the ball nearly twice as long as Mahomes and the Chiefs, picking up 35 first downs along the way.
The Broncos are relatively healthy while the Chiefs have key injuries on offense and defense. Check out Notorious’ NFL Grind Down: Week 7 for more injury news and NFL betting/DFS information.
Thursday Football Betting Pick — Kansas City Chiefs -3
Betting on favorites has been painful this season and no week was more painful for favorite bettors than Week 6. After a 10-4 week, NFL underdogs are now 53-36-2 ATS this season, as ESPN’s Ben Fawkes points out. That won’t scare me away from betting on Kansas City Thursday night.
I know, I know. The line opened -4.5 and is down to -3 despite the public predictably backing the Chiefs. This betting line is screaming “Trap!” at us, but I’d rather walk into a trap with Mahomes than set one with Flacco.
Along with a bad defense, the Chiefs had their fair share of bad luck against Houston, including a questionable picked-up flag in the red zone. What Mahomes thought was a free play became his first interception of the season, in the end zone, no less. With Tyreek Hill no longer a game-time decision, the field will open up for other targets. Denver will struggle to keep up.
Thursday Night Football Betting Picks — Player Props and First Touchdown
Tyreek Hill Over 75.5 Receiving Yards (use our William Hill promo code to get these odds)- Hill left in the first quarter of Week 1 with a shoulder injury and finally returned against the Texans. Hill was a game-time decision in Week 6 and despite giving Hill the start Andy Reid proceeded with caution, playing the star receiver only 29-of-58 snaps. Even in that short time on the field Mahomes targeted his favorite deep threat 10 times for 5 receptions and 80 yards. “TyFreak” will see more snaps in Week 7. The Chiefs defense is bad, but don’t expect Flacco’s offense to control the clock like Watson’s did. For the same reason, I think the Hill is a good candidate for a captain spot in tonight’s DFS contests. First-time DraftKings DFS users can get 1 month of RG Premium for free by creating a new DraftKings account and making a deposit.
Travis Kelce Over 74.5 Receiving Yards (use our PointsBet promo code to get these odds)- Find out why DFS analysts Derek Farnsworth (Notorious) and Dan Gaspar (MrTuttle) like Travis Kelce Over 75 yards, plus more of our favorite Thursday Night Football props at NJ.com
First Touchdown Scorer
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Demarcus Robinson +2200 – Mahomes spreads his passes around like they’re pellets from a shotgun shell. Robinson saw 4 targets last week and with Denver’s defense focused on stopping Hill and Kelce, don’t be surprised if it’s Robinson who ends up with the first touchdown
Jeff Heuerman +6000 – Tread lightly —very lightly — here. Heuerman didn’t get a single target last week, but he was on the field for over half of Denver’s snaps.
Thursday Night Football Betting Picks — Monkey Knife Fight Player Props
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Here are my favorite Monkey Knife Fight plays for Thursday Night Football:
Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images