5 min read

2023 NFL Week 6 Betting Preview: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs

Russell Wilson Denver Broncos, Chris Jones Kansas City Chiefs

Broncos (1-4) at Chiefs (4-1)

Spread: Chiefs -10.5

Total: 48

Weather: No current concerns

Line Report

This contest opened as Chiefs -10.5 at most sportsbooks, which is where it has settled.

The total has only seen half-point fluctuations early this week.

Chiefs Offense vs. Broncos Defense

Patrick Mahomes is seventh in the league in passing yards and sixth in touchdowns. Despite those perfectly acceptable early season benchmarks, you could argue that the Kansas City Chiefs are struggling on offense.

They’ll face a broken Denver Broncos defense that allows the most rushing yards to running backs. The Chiefs’ primary ball carrier, Isiah Pacheco, is 13th in the league in rushing yards. Pacheco is also 11th among running backs in receiving yards.

Denver has been more of a middle of the pack group against wide receivers. Kansas City doesn’t have anything resembling a headliner at the position. Skyy Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling lead the group in playing time. Justin Watson and rookie Rashee Rice are first and second among Chiefs wide receivers in receiving yards. Kadarius Toney is second in the group in targets and receptions but sees the least playing time. Rice has shown promise, but no one in this group can be consistently relied upon yet.

The Broncos have allowed the fourth most receiving yards to tight ends, which is not good news when facing the Chiefs. Travis Kelce missed opening night, but he leads the team in targets, receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Kelce’s performances against Denver over the years have seen some significant peaks with some valley’s. Kelce has not hit 100 receiving yards against the Broncos since 2020.

Broncos Offense vs. Chiefs Defense

Russell Wilson has been better than he was last season, but he’s still not all the way back to his prime in Seattle. Overall, Denver is still an unreliable, struggling team on both sides of the ball.

Javonte Williams leads this backfield when he’s active, though at this point he’s more of a name than a difference maker. That said, his best game as a pro came against Kansas City in 2021. Free agent signing Samaje Perine has done very little in his brief Broncos tenure. That cannot be said about rookie running back Jaleel McLaughlin, who has been an explosive option for Denver. McLaughlin is just 5-foot-7 and 187 pounds, so he’s going to have a tough time holding up to volume. However, so far, he’s been the biggest difference maker that Denver has at running back.

The Chiefs have been above average defending the run and wide receivers. Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy are the two top options in Denver’s passing attack. On a per game basis Jeudy leads Broncos’ wide receivers in everything but touchdowns. Sutton and Brandon Johnson have three scores. Rookie wide receiver Marvin Mims looks like a good draft pick, but he’s actually last among Broncos wide receivers in playing time.

The Chiefs have allowed the seventh-most receiving yards to tight ends this season. Adam Trautman is the top tight end for Denver right now, but he only has 60 receiving yards on the season. That includes three games in which he hasn’t caught a pass.

What You’re Betting On

If you’re betting on Kansas City, you are betting on a championship team that seems to always find ways to win games. Mahomes’ offense hasn’t been particularly impressive this year, yet the team is 4-1. Denver’s defense has been atrocious so far this season, so this is a potential get-well game for Mahomes’ aerial assault. Oddly enough, the Chiefs’ defense has been the better, more consistent unit through five games. Since Chiefs’ bettors need to win this matchup by distance, you need one of two things. The first is an offensive explosion from Kansas City where they blow past their team total. The second is that Kansas City’s defense holds Denver to fewer than 20 points. Both scenarios are very possible, especially since we saw the Chiefs accomplish both of these feats against the Chicago Bears in Week 3.

If you’re betting on Denver you get a 10.5 point cushion, which means you need one of two things. The first is that their shockingly bad defense corrects itself on the road, on a short week, against one of the best quarterbacks in history. The second is that Wilson carries Denver’s offense in what ends up being a shootout. If you’re betting on the Broncos, the Wilson spike game is far more likely than Denver’s defense playing their best game of the season against Kansas City.

Score Prediction: Chiefs 30, Broncos 20

Ryan’s Recent Betting Record

ATS 2021: 49-31

ATS 2022: 48-32

ATS 2023: 13-12

Props 2022: 60-40

Props 2023: 11-9

Ryan is the associate director of fantasy and betting at The 33rd Team. Ryan has been covering NFL betting markets for five years. Follow Ryan @RyanReynoldsNFL on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.