The Denver Broncos will attempt to end a streak of futility against the Kansas City Chiefs when the AFC West rivals meet Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams. Although the Broncos (7-9) already are assured of their fifth consecutive losing season, they have an opportunity to put another unfortunate trend to rest by beating the Chiefs for the first time since Week 2 of the 2015 season. Conversely, Kansas City (11-5) has a chance to earn the top seed in the AFC playoffs if it can best Denver for the 13th straight time.
Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. ET from Empower Field at Mile High. The latest Chiefs vs. Broncos odds from Caesars Sportsbook list Kansas City as the 11-point favorite, while the over-under for total points is set at 44.5. Before finalizing any Broncos vs. Chiefs picks, make sure you check out the NFL predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up more than $7,200 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception six-plus years ago. The model enters Week 18 of the 2021 season on an incredible 135-96 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates to the 2017 season.
The model also ranked in the top 10 on NFLPickWatch four of the past five years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 94 percent of CBS Sports Football Pick'em players four times during that span. Anyone who has followed it has seen massive returns.
Now, the model has zeroed in on Chiefs vs. Broncos from every angle and released its top NFL Week 18 picks. You can only see the model's picks at SportsLine. Here are the NFL odds and trends for Broncos vs. Chiefs:
- Chiefs vs. Broncos point spread: Chiefs -11
- Chiefs vs. Broncos over-under total: 44.5 points
- Chiefs vs. Broncos money line: Chiefs -600, Broncos +425
- KC: The Chiefs are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games as a favorite
- DEN: The Broncos have won and covered in three of their past four home games
Why the Chiefs can cover
One encouraging sign for the Chiefs is that they appear to have a reliable and effective running back in Darrel Williams, who started the season low on the depth chart but now could prove to be one of their most important players. Second-year pro Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been effective when healthy, but the LSU product already has a reputation of being injury-prone and he's been ruled out for Saturday with a shoulder/collarbone issue.
Williams is a fourth-year pro who went undrafted out of LSU four years ago. With Edwards-Helaire sidelined last week, Williams stepped up with perhaps the best performance of his career. He rushed 14 times for 88 yards and two touchdowns and added three catches for 19 yards, two of which picked up first downs.
Williams will likely again be counted on in a key role. He is now the team's rushing leader with 541 yards on the season and needs just 37 total yards from scrimmage to break 1,000 for the season. Only wideout Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce have eclipsed that feat this season.
Why the Broncos can cover
Although head coach Vic Fangio's job security could be at risk regardless of the outcome Saturday, his supporters will point out that the defensive-minded coach has worked wonders with the defensive unit despite myriad obstacles the past two seasons. For one, franchise cornerstone Von Miller was traded to the Rams, and starting linebackers Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson were lost early to season-ending injuries. What's more, stalwarts such as Bradley Chubb and Ronald Darby have missed numerous games because of both injuries and health and safety protocols.
Even so, through 16 games the defense has yielded just 294 points (18.4 ppg, No. 3 in the NFL), which is two points better than the historic defense that led the Broncos to a Super Bowl title six years ago. The scoring defensive average is the franchise's best mark in the past 16 years. Moreover, Chubb and several other key defenders are scheduled to be back on the field after missing last week's game against the Chargers because of health and safety protocols. The defense held Kansas City to just 267 total yards in their first meeting.
How to make Broncos vs. Chiefs picks
The model is leaning over on the total, projecting 45 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits over 50 percent of the time. You can only get the model's Broncos vs. Chiefs pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Chiefs vs. Broncos on Saturday? And which side of the spread hits over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Broncos vs. Chiefs spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $7,200 on its NFL picks, and find out.