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Mahomes’ Ankle Injury Bringing the Spread and Total in Chiefs vs Broncos Down

Jordan Horrobin

by Jordan Horrobin in NFL Football

Updated Apr 3, 2020 · 11:20 AM PDT

Patrick Mahomes drops back to pass
Patrick Mahomes is less than 100% heading into a Week 7 matchup with division rival Denver at Mile High Stadium on a short week. Photo by Jordan Kelly/Icon Sportswire.
  • Kansas City opened as -5.5 favorites, but that has dropped to -3
  • The game total opened at 50.5 and is now down to 48.5
  • Mahomes has had markedly different numbers since his ankle injury

In today’s NFL, quarterbacks across the league run the show. Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has as much of an impact as any player in the league, but the pendulum swings both ways. When he’s healthy, he sets opposing defenses ablaze. When he’s hurt, his offense grinds to a halt.

After appearing to aggravate an ankle injury in last week’s loss to Houston, the spread and game total in Thursday’s KC vs Denver game (Oct. 14th, 8:20 PM ET) have both declined.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Over/Under
Kansas City Chiefs -165 -3.0 (-110) Over 48.5 (-105)
Denver Broncos +144 +3.0 (-110) Under 48.5 (-115)

Odds taken 10/16/19.

Here is the latest look at Mahomes’ injury in question:

He did later manage this play, in which he was able to escape pressure with above-average quickness, yet didn’t look quite like his nimble self.

The question now is, when it comes to the Chiefs vs. Broncos odds and stats, is there greater value in betting on the decreased over and Chiefs’ spread? Or will Mahomes’ injury continue to slow the Kansas City offense?

Short Week; Who Will Step Up?

One challenge facing Mahomes is that the Chiefs are on a short week; they played at home on Sunday afternoon and now turn around to face the Broncos on Thursday in the rarified air of Denver. That means limited time to rest and heal.

The good news is, Mahomes was a full participant in Tuesday’s practice, as was his favorite target, Tyreek Hill, who returned last week after missing the four previous games with a clavicle injury. In his return, Hill hauled in five catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns.

That certainly helps, but Kansas City will likely need the running game to offer more support to Mahomes. It’s been a rather up-and-down part of the Chiefs’ offense, with three games of 110+ yards and two games of 40 or fewer.

Damien Williams is supposed to be the starter, but his 63 yards on 32 carries (2.0 yards/carry) aren’t nearly good enough. LeSean McCoy, however, has been a pleasant surprise with 258 yards on 48 carries (5.4 yards/carry).

Offense vs. Defense

Thursday pits the Broncos’ fourth-ranked defense (307.8 yards allowed per game) against the Chiefs’ third-ranked offense (422 yards/game). Keep in mind that the Broncos’ numbers might be a bit inflated by playing some of the league’s bottom-10 offenses, including the Titans, Raiders, and Bears.

With that said, the Chiefs’ offensive numbers have been buoyed a bit by playing weak defenses; two of their 30-plus-point outputs this season came against the Jaguars and Ravens, who rank 28th and 22nd in Defensive DVOA, respectively.

Neither the Chiefs’ offense nor the Broncos’ defense has faced as formidable of an opponent as it will Thursday.

Decision Time

Mahomes, the reigning MVP, is a difficult person to bet against. His skill set is unmatched in the NFL, and the fact he is practicing in full is a very good sign. The Chiefs have also won seven in a row against the Broncos.

As for the over/under, this goes back to the offense vs. defense debate. The Chiefs have been over four out of six games, while the Broncos have been under in four out of six. So, whichever team you are leaning toward, you’ll want to follow suit on your over/under selection.

Picks: Chiefs -3.0 (-110); over 48.5 (-105)

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