Chiefs vs. Broncos: The Opening Line

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 24: Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe #82 of the Kansas City Chiefs catches a pass between defenders Stanford Routt #26 and Mike Mitchell #34 of the Oakland Raiders during the second half on December 24, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Oakland defeated Kansas City 16-13 in overtime. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

Good afternoon! I won't wax nostalgic just yet, but it is disappointing to me that this will be our final edition of The Opening Line this year. It has been fun this season to bring you up to speed each week on the early developments out of Vegas and you can be sure I will be back for more next season and beyond.

I wish I could tell you we were playing for more than pride, but alas we are not. Knowing that the Chiefs do not have a lot to play for and the Broncos clearly do, I wondered what Vegas would think about this matchup. One would think that it would be skewed in Denver's direction because of the aforementioned need to win, but to think Kyle Orton won't be jacked up for this one is a big mistake. So with all the factors contributing to this one, what will we see? Let's find out this and more in our final edition of The Opening Line.

The Denver Broncos are one win away from being division champs and are looking to sweep the Chiefs for the season series. The Chiefs though have some motivation to win this game. A win here, coupled with a Raiders win over San Diego will give the Chiefs the 3rd place finish if my records are correct. And correct me if I am wrong, but a schedule of Jacksonville and Buffalo would be a better one (in my humble opinion) than an improving Miami and Indianapolis. Just a thought, but I think 3rd place would be a better option for us.

Denver has opened this week as a 3 point favorite and the total is at 36.5. In a few places it has gone up to 3.5 but it is still early. I think this line speaks volumes about how Vegas now sees the Tebow-led Broncos. After his absolutely pathetic performance in the 4th quarter against the Bills, confidence in him is waning universally for the first time. Add in that homefield should give about 3-4 points (with everything that is on the line) and I am surprised to see the line this low. Do I think Denver is better? No. But the perception is that they are and it's nice to see that those "in the know" have this pegged just about right. I don't have any predictions right now but I do think this will be a tough one for the Chiefs.

Let's take a look at a few recent trends:

  • Kansas City is 4-2 ATS and SU this season in games where the line is +3 to -3
  • Kansas City is 5-2 ATS against teams with a winning record
  • Kansas City is 8-3 ATS this season as an underdog
  • Kansas City is 5-0 ATS and SU in their last 5 as a road underdog of 3 or less
  • Denver is 1-5-1 ATS at home this year
  • Denver is 5-10 ATS in their last 15 against teams with a losing record
  • Denver is 3-7-1 ATS in their last 10 in the last four weeks of the season

Not a lot in the way of successful trends, but a slight lean in the trend department toward the Chiefs. With that said, I would like to reiterate it has been a pleasure to run this column on Mondays (sometimes Tuesdays) this season. I hope some of the info has been helpful and has given you a better understanding of how the lines work and move throughout the week. Thanks for reading and let's get the Donks here in Week 17 to finish on a positive note! Have a wonderful day!

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