Manning Not 100% Heading In To Key AFC West Showdown With Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs have had two weeks to prepare for this week’s AFC West showdown against the Denver Broncos. It may also help that Peyton Manning is less than one-hundred percent. The undefeated Chiefs have been one of the biggest surprises this NFL season with nine-straight wins to open the year. Kansas City is the league’s only remaining undefeated team heading in to week 11, but will face its toughest test yet under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football this week with a date against Manning and the Broncos. The Chiefs already have a one-game lead over Denver in the AFC West, and an online sports betting win this week would put them in control of both the division and the AFC’s top seed with just six weeks left in the regular season.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos
Sunday November 17, 2013 – 8:30 PM ET
Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
NFL Sports Betting Line: Denver – 8
For the first time in his nearly two years with the Broncos, Manning was roughed up in last week’s win over the San Diego Chargers and suffered a high-ankle sprain in the victory. Interim head coach Jack Del Rio has said there is no doubt that Manning will start this week, but he will certainly have a target on him with the chance that his week could come to an end on any given play.
NFL Betting Preview: Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City has already had the extra week to prepare for their biggest game of the year, and you can bet they have plenty of motivation heading in to this contest. The Chiefs can move one step closer to a division title with a win, and the fact that they still aren’t getting enough respect from the experts will only add fuel to the fire. Alex Smith has thrown for 1,919 yards and nine touchdowns in his first year with Kansas City, and he will need to be at his best opposite Manning this week. The Chiefs like to keep the ball on the ground and pound it inside in order to control possession and avoid costly turnovers, and they need to play to their strengths again this week. The Kansas City defense is ranked sixth in the NFL against the pass, and will be tested early and often.
NFL Betting Preview: Denver Broncos
Denver owns the league’s top-ranked passing attack, as Manning has thrown for an average of 353.4 yards per game this season. The Broncos have plenty of weapons for Manning to spread the ball around with, but the key will be an offensive line that has to step up and make sure that he isn’t exposed to violent blows in the pocket that could aggravate an existing injury or lead to a new one. Denver will likely try to run the ball more often in order to keep the Chiefs’ defense off balance, with the ability to factor in more play-action passes. The Broncos’ defense has been considered a liability all year, particularly against the pass, and will need to step up with Manning hurt.
NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
Even with a perfect record, an extra week to prepare, and the fact that Manning is dealing with a high-ankle sprain, Kansas City still isn’t getting any respect as an eight-point online betting underdog heading in to this game. The Chiefs have been proving the experts wrong from the outset this season, so look for that to continue with the chance to take an eight-point cushion in a key AFC West showdown knowing that Manning may not even be able to finish this game.
NFL Betting Pick: Kansas City Chiefs + 8