NFL Week 17 odds: Kansas City at Denver

Denver has won the AFC West and is currently tied with Houston for the best record in the AFC. The Broncos are in control for a first-round bye and will earn it with a victory or a New England loss. If Denver wins and Houston loses, the Broncos will clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

“Our goal is just to keep winning,” says Denver wide receiver Demaryius Thomas about the team’s current 10-game winning streak. “That’s what we’ve done. We’ve won all 10 as a team. That’s all that matters.”

Denver beat Cleveland 34-12 last week. Peyton Manning finished with a season-high 339 yards passing and three touchdowns on 30-of-43 efficiency as the Broncos won their 10th straight game. Demaryius Thomas posted 102 yards and a score on nine receptions and Eric Decker added two TD receptions among his six catches for 65 yards for the Broncos (12-3), who have put together their first double-digit win streak since beginning the Super Bowl season of 1998 with 13 consecutive victories. Knowshon Moreno totaled 78 yards on 22 carries and Jacob Hester added a touchdown run as Denver kept pace with AFC South leader Houston in the race for the top seed in the conference.

Kansas City lost 20-13 to Indianapolis. Brady Quinn connected on 10-of-22 passes for 162 yards and two interceptions for the Chiefs (2-13). Jamaal Charles carried the ball 22 times for 226 yards and a touchdown for Kansas City, which racked up 507 yards of total offense. Peyton Hillis rushed for 101 yards on 15 carries.

Before the season, interior run defense was perceived to be a major weakness for the Broncos — but they have played very well. None of these guys are household names (Kevin Vickerson, Justin Bannan, Mitch Unrein, etc.), but they do an excellent job of filling the gaps and playing with good discipline. The only legitimate offensive weapon the Chiefs have is their run game, led by Charles. But if he is forced to bounce runs outside all day, chances are he’ll get bottled up. The Chiefs’ performance last week (352 rushing yards) makes this a lot more interesting and it will catch Denver’s attention.

Back on Nov. 25, Denver beat KC 17-9 as Manning threw for 285 yards and two scores.

WAGERWEB.COM OPENING ODDS: Broncos -16 (42) Check our current lines.

CHIEFS NOTES: QB BRADY QUINN spent 2 seasons (2010-11) w/ Den. Had 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs & 104.3 rating vs. Broncos on 11/6/08 with Cle. … RB JAMAAL CHARLES rushed for 226 yards, incl. an 86-yard TD last week. Has 3 TD runs of at least 80 yards this season, tied with CHRIS JOHNSON (2009 & 2012) & HOFer BARRY SANDERS (1997) for most in single season in NFL history. Needs 44 rush yards to become 3rd player in Chiefs history to reach 1,500 rush yards in season (LARRY JOHNSON & PRIEST HOLMES). Aims for 3rd straight game with 100+ rush yards vs. Den. (116, 107). Has 599 career rush yards vs. Den., most vs. any team. RB PEYTON HILLIS posted 1st 100-yard rush game of season last week (101) … WR JON BALDWIN had career-long 57-yard rec. last week … LB TAMBA HALI (9) & LB JUSTIN HOUSTON (10) aim to become 1st Chiefs duo since NEIL SMITH (11.5) & HOFer DERRICK THOMAS (11) in 1994 to each register 10+ sacks … LB DERRICK JOHNSON leads team with 119 tackles in ’12…

BRONCOS NOTES: Have won 10 consecutive games, longest active streak in NFL … QB PEYTON MANNING (4,355) needs 346 passing yards to set new career-high (4,700 in ’10). Needs 172 passing yards to surpass JAY CUTLER (4,526 in ’08) for most in season in by Bronco. Manning’s teams have reached 12 regular-season wins in 9 different seasons, most by starting QB in NFL history. Has most TD passes (34) in single season by Broncos QB … RB KNOWSHON MORENO is averaging 122.8 scrimmage yards per game in past 5 starts. For career, Moreno averages 113 scrimmage yards per game vs. KC … WR DEMARYIUS THOMAS (1,312) needs 88 rec. yards to join ROD SMITH (1,602 in 2000) & BRANDON LLOYD (1,448 in 2010) as only Broncos to reach 1,400 rec. yards in season. WR ERIC DECKER (988) & Thomas (1,312) can become 1st Bronco duo with 1,000 rec. yards each since ’04 (ROD SMITH & ASHLEY LELIE) … DE ELVIS DUMERVIL (11) reached 10+ sacks for 3rd time in career. LB VON MILLER (17.5) surpassed Dumervil (17 in ’09) last week for most sacks by Bronco in season since ’82.

WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings. Road team is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings. Underdog is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 meetings.

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