As if the Broncos season hasn’t been a big enough disaster, tonight they will be on the road to take on the first-place Chiefs for their first of two meetings against the defending Super Bowl champions. We’ll preview the game before going over which prop market I’ll be targeting for my play.
In the Chiefs' 27-20 win over the Vikings this past weekend, it was all about the passing games, and despite not scoring in the 4th quarter, the Chiefs still managed to win their fourth straight game. Behind Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City would finish with a (15.55) offensive EPA despite having a (-2.77) EPA on rush plays.
Kansas City’s 14-point third quarter was the difference-maker in the game. Coming out of halftime tied at 13, Mahomes led two scoring drives that ended in Travis Kelce and Rashee Rice touchdown passes. Kelce managed to haul in that touchdown pass despite leaving in the first half with an ankle injury, and his status for tonight’s game is questionable.
Even with the Kelce injury and scoreless 4th quarter, it was still a nice bounce-back performance for Mahomes after he struggled against the Jets the week prior. Lining up against Andy Reid’s high-powered offense this week will be a Broncos defense that is 32nd in average points (36.2) and yards (450.6) allowed per game.
The Broncos defense has allowed yards in bunches, whether on the ground or through the air. In their 31-21 loss to the Jets last weekend, they allowed 234 rush yards, which means on the season, they allow an average of 5.2 yards per carry and 187.6 rush yards per game. When it comes to pass defense, they are 32nd in yards per pass and 29th in passing yards allowed per game.
While Mahomes' defense and offensive line have helped him out, those same units for the Broncos have not done the same for Russell Wilson. Denver’s offense is 10th in points per game and 7th in yards per game, but they are coming off a loss in which the offense posted a (-6.26) EPA.
Second-year running back Isiah Pacheco has been having a solid start to the year, scoring in three straight games and averaging 84.8 total yards per game. Andy Reid has made a real effort to get the ball in Pacheco’s hands, which is one of the reasons why my first pick of the night is Pacheco’s longest reception to be over 8.5 yards at (-120).
Pacheco has exceeded this mark in four of the five games, and his average for longest reception this season is 12.2. Kansas City running backs could see a big bump in the passing game tonight since Denver has allowed the 4th most receptions and 3rd most receiving yards to running backs this season.
In two games against Denver last season, Pacheco had three catches for 23 yards and two catches for 18 yards, and the Denver defense has only gotten worse since then. The former Rutgers standout ran 12 routes last weekend, and with Travis Kelce possibly limited, Mahomes could lean on his running backs even more for check-downs or screen plays since Denver hasn’t proven they can stop either.
Isiah Pacheco Longest Reception Over 8.5 Yards (-120)