We get Week 7 underway with a AFC West showdown on Thursday Night Football, as the Denver Broncos host the Kansas City Chiefs. Kickoff is set for 8:20 EST at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium. The game will be televised on FOX and the NFL Network.

Oddsmakers opened this game at Kansas City -3 with heavy juice (-125), the number is still -3 at most books, but the juice is down to -115 at most places. The total opened at 50 and is down to 49 and even 48.5 at some books.

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Chiefs vs Broncos Vegas Betting Odds & Game Preview

Kansas City Chiefs (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS)

The Chiefs come into this one off a 31-24 loss at home to Houston as a 4-point favorite. That’s back-to-back losses for Kansas City after starting the season 4-0. The previous week the Chiefs lost 19-13 at home as 3.5-point favorite on Sunday Night Football against the Colts.

Kansas City jumped out to a 17-3 first quarter lead on the Texans last week, but gave up 20 unanswered to go into the half trailing 23-17. The Chiefs would take a 24-23 lead in the 3rd quarter, but the defense couldn’t hold up.

KC did a complete overhaul on the defense in hopes of improving one of the league’s worst units, but it doesn’t look any better. They are having a miserable time stopping the run. In their last 4 games they have allowed 180+ yards on the ground.

Denver Broncos (2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS)

While the Chiefs have lost back-to-back games following a 4-0 start, Denver has won two in a row after starting out the season 0-4. Denver followed up their 20-13 win at LA as a 4.5-point dog with a 16-0 win at home over the Titans as a slim 1-point favorite.

The defense has been outstanding in both wins. After holding the Chargers to just 246 yards in Week 5, they held the Titans to just 204 yards. Not only was the defense stingy in terms of yards allowed, they were very opportunistic with 3 turnovers in each victory. Note that Denver had not forced a single turnover in their 0-4 start.

The big concern with the Broncos going forward is the offense. They have just two offensive touchdowns in their two wins. It’s going to be interesting to see if Denver can continue to win games with how much they are struggling to score.

Matchup History

The Chiefs have owned their AFC West rivals over the last few years and Denver has been no exception to that. Kansas City has won 7 in a row over the Broncos and are 6-1 ATS during this run. Broncos last week over the Chiefs was a 31-24 win at KC back in Week 2 of the 2015 season.

NFL Betting Predictions & Free ATS Pick: OVER 48.5

I’ll admit that it’s tempting to lay just a field goal with the Chiefs. Kansas City is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 against the Broncos and have covered an incredible 14 of their last 18 against AFC West opponents. However, with how bad the defense has played and all the guys questionable to play on that side of the ball, I think the best value in this game is the OVER 48.5.

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If you have read my past previews for Thursday Night Football matchups, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that I’m leaning towards the OVER. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I think it’s really hard for the books to set the number high enough in these Thursday games. It’s hard for these players to bounce back from just 3-days of rest and it tends to have a bigger impact on the defenses ability to perform up to expectations.

The Chiefs offense welcomed back arguably their best weapon in wide out Tyreek Hill last week and he led the way with 5 catches for 80 yards and two scores. This week they are expected to get back wide out Sammy Watkins, who missed the previous two games with a hamstring injury.

I think the Broncos will have a tough time here keeping Mahomes and this Chiefs offense in check. At the same time, there’s little reason to think the Kansas City defense is going to play well in this game. They are down nose tackle Xavier Williams and may be without two of their better players in defensive linemen Chris Jones and corner Kendall Fuller (both questionable).

As bad as the Broncos offense has been, this is a team they can have success against. I also think it’s important to note that Denver’s offense has faced a lot of good defenses. Outside of their two division games against Oakland and Los Angeles, they have had to go up against the Bears, Jaguars, Packers and Titans. All of those teams rank in the top half of the league in scoring defense.

You also got to look at the last three meetings in the series, all of which have come with Mahomes as the starter for KC. Each of those games saw at least 50 combined points.

OVER is 17-5 in the Chiefs last 22 road games, 7-2 in their last 9 off a game they failed to cover, 4-1 in their last 5 off a SU loss and 5-1 in their last 6 on Thursday. Take the OVER!