By Charles Jay
The Kansas City Chiefs will probably be in an ugly mood this Sunday night, as they let a genuine winning opportunity slip through their hands against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Until last Sunday, they had emerged victorious in five games in a row, and had a 10-game winning streak at Arrowhead Stadium. But their defense failed them, as they gave up 442 yards to the Bucs and ran off only 52 plays in the 19-17 defeat. So they will try to regroup in time for 8:30 PM ET kickoff against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field. NBC will televise the game, and BetAnySports customers will have the opportunity to place wagers in real time, challenging the pro football betting odds through the state-of-the-art software provided by Live Betting Ultra.
These teams are tied at 7-3, as they are in second place in the AFC West, behind the Oakland Raiders. They will obviously know the result of the Raiders’ game against the Carolina Panthers by the time they take the field. But at the moment, these are your two AFC wild-card teams. Denver may have something of a scheduling advantage, in that they had last week off, and after a very lackluster performance against Oakland three weeks ago, in which they had only 33 yards rushing and gave up 218 to the Raiders, they needed to block an extra point and bring it back for a two-point tally in the final seconds to beat the New Orleans Saints.
The good news for them, or so it seems, is that Aqib Talib, the All-Pro cornerback, who has sat out the last three games with back problems, is most likely going to be in action. On the other side, Marcus Peters, another All-Pro cornerback for the Chiefs, who sat out last week’s game with a hip injury, as James Winston passed for 331 yards, should also be in the lineup.
In the Sunday night football betting lines on this game as they are listed at BetAnySports, the Broncos are favorites at home:
Denver Broncos -3.5 (+100)
Kansas City Chiefs +3.5 (-120)
Over 39 points -110
Under 39 points -110
Okay, there is bad news for the Chiefs on the injury front as well. Jeremy Maclin, there top wide receiver, has a groin injury, and has been ruled out, as has linebacker Dee Ford, who has 10 sacks but has a strained hamstring. Justin Houston, who had knee surgery in February and just came back to the lineup last week, will probably have a bigger role, and if he is even close to 100%, he can be very disruptive.
Trevor Siemian has been adequate enough for Denver in the wake of Peyton Manning’s retirement, as he has a 60% completion rate with a dozen touchdown passes. He actually has rather similar numbers to his Kansas City counterpart, Alex Smith. But BetAnySports patrons probably would note that the Chiefs have an edge in the ground game. Spencer Ware will face a stiff challenge on Sunday, obviously, but his 4.9-yard average has been excellent. The Broncos have, truth be told, been looking for answers after CJ Anderson went down with injury. Right now, rookie Devontae Booker (3.8 yards per carry, two touchdowns) is their most viable option.
These teams pride themselves on a couple of things in particular. They both take the ball away with a lot of verve – Kansas City has been the beneficiary of 23 turnovers by their opponents, while the Broncos have 20. And Denver has outscored its opponents 116-40 in the fourth quarter, while the Chiefs have an 86-37 edge in the final 15 minutes. So who will own the last stanza?
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