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Unbeaten Chiefs underdogs of more than a TD Sunday at Denver

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The Chiefs, winners of their first nine games of 2013 and favorites in all but one of those contests, are underdogs of more than a touchdown on Sunday at Denver at various Nevada sports books, according to “The Linemakers” of Sporting News.

The Chiefs-Broncos line sent us to our leather-bound, rich-mahogany-smelling point spread archives to answer this question: Has a team that has started 9-0 ever been an underdog of more than a TD this late in the season?

The answer is yes. But it’s complicated, as you’ll see.

Using a list of other 9-0 teams from a recent Kansas City Star story as a jumping-off point, and using point spread archive data from handicapping services Jim Feist and Marc Lawrence dating back to 1985, we found  the 2013 Chiefs are the fifth team to be an underdog of more than seven points after starting 9-0. In short, we are considering all games after the ninth game of the season, including postseason contests.

So how does this get complicated? Well, in several instances, teams that started 9-0 eventually rested starters late in the regular season before reaching the playoffs.

In this vein, we have the 2005 Colts, the 2009 Colts and the 2009 Saints.

All three clubs were big late late-season underdogs. The 2005 Colts were 9.5-point underdogs at Seattle in Week 16. The 2009 Colts were eight-point underdogs at Buffalo in Week 17, while the 2009 Saints were 10-point underdogs at Carolina in their regular-season finale.

So who’s the fourth past underdog of more than a TD to start 9-0?

A Super Bowl champion, as it turns out.

The Giants were eight-point underdogs at San Francisco in the 1990 NFC title game. The Giants prevailed 15-13, then went on to beat the Bills in Super Bowl XXV as 6.5-point underdogs.

Time will tell how the 2013 Chiefs turn out. But here’s what Sunday’s line tells us: the 9-0 record is nice, but they’ve got some proving to do.

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36 Responses to “Unbeaten Chiefs underdogs of more than a TD Sunday at Denver”
  1. santoryu64 says: Nov 11, 2013 9:52 PM

    History will remember this year as the beginning of the Reid Dynasty.

  2. Uncle Leo says: Nov 11, 2013 10:00 PM

    No one cares if a team that started 9-0 was an underdog 7 weeks later!
    Has any team started 9-0 and then been underdog in their 10th game?

  3. jk86nfl says: Nov 11, 2013 10:01 PM

    I think what’s obvious here is that Roger Goodell has orchestrated a massive conspiracy to promote a sleepy midwestern town without an elite QB. It’s obvious he stacked the schedule in their favor after having a combined 6 wins in two years….oh yeah, and he probably hurt all those starting QB’s so they had to play backups.

    /sarcasm

    P.S. Denver has virtually the same schedule. They went 13-3 last year. Preferential treatment to Elite QB’s? You decide.

    Gonna be a great game! Even with a KC loss they’re still tied for first in the AFC West.

  4. johninthewest says: Nov 11, 2013 10:04 PM

    HA! Wow it should be less of a spread if KC plays an old NY Giants QB!

    Denver by 21.. Sorry but reality will kick in after next Sunday.

  5. tedmurph says: Nov 11, 2013 10:05 PM

    Vegas begs you to take the points.

  6. chawk12thman says: Nov 11, 2013 10:06 PM

    Wow; I’ll take the points. This one is going to be closer than on TD…….Denver by 4.

  7. thepftpoet says: Nov 11, 2013 10:06 PM

    “Andy Reid has assembled a dynasty”

    LOL that was my good laugh for the day

  8. slugbaitspace says: Nov 11, 2013 10:08 PM

    There were several reasons the 2005 Colts were underdogs to the Seahawks. First, the club had done everything but publicly announce that Peyton and several other starters wouldn’t play in the second half. Second, they were playing a team that Vegas projected to represent the NFC at the Superbowl that year. Third, it was being played at Qwest Field.

    Peyton couldn’t score a touchdown while he was in, the Colts already had secured a first-round bye, so preserving him from injury in the second half was a smart move by Dungy.

    I’m siding with the odds-makers again: that thin air at Mile High, plus the wind chill factor, will be a negative factor for KC players. If Peyton controls the ball for long periods, the KC defense will get gassed. Smith can’t win a shoot-out with Manning. But if KC’s defense can penetrate Denver’s O-line and get to Manning a few times, force him to throw early or whatever, they still have a shot to win it.

  9. tlcummins says: Nov 11, 2013 10:11 PM

    The only reasons people wanna doubt the chiefs is cause they cant believe they can go from what they were last year….a horrible coaching staff and worse qb to this… imagine now if u will pioli and crennel were not here a few years ago. Manning could be in a red uniform and not orange…but hey, this is only the start of a long strech of winning for kc and whinning for denver. Manning is only around for a couple mire years. Chiefs are building for longer

  10. swaggyy says: Nov 11, 2013 10:12 PM

    The Chiefs are a 5-4ish team hiding behind a 9-0 record. That schedule is terrible.

    #pretenders

  11. sagatti says: Nov 11, 2013 10:12 PM

    You mean they actually have to face a REAL TEAM with a STARTING QB? Maybe they paid that Charger to try and knock Peyton out of this weeks game.. They sure excel against BACK-UPS! Lol

  12. johnemi says: Nov 11, 2013 10:12 PM

    None of those teams mentioned were undefeated at the time they were underdogs. They had all lost before that time. A better question is “When has an undefeated NFL team which has won at least 9 games been an underdog of more than a TD.”

  13. raynman49 says: Nov 11, 2013 10:15 PM

    Jeff Hostetler, better than Phil Simms, but never got a chance till the Super Bowl. Should have been MVP too.

  14. ravenswhat says: Nov 11, 2013 10:21 PM

    Peyton will win on Sunday and then lose in January. Rinse, wash, repeat.

    It’s what he does. Fact.

  15. tjjohnson98 says: Nov 11, 2013 10:29 PM

    So the 8-1 Broncos, who have lost a game and played a very similar schedule, don’t have any proving to do?

  16. jrebar88 says: Nov 11, 2013 10:32 PM

    Bet on the Broncos. This game will be a joke, over by the end of the third.

  17. jk86nfl says: Nov 11, 2013 10:38 PM

    So the 8-1 Broncos, who have lost a game and played a very similar schedule, don’t have any proving to do?

    Only loss was against Colts. How’d Colts fare against the Rams, I missed the game…LOL

    Any given Sunday…

  18. jrebar88 says: Nov 11, 2013 10:47 PM

    ravenswhat says:
    Nov 11, 2013 10:21 PM
    Peyton will win on Sunday and then lose in January. Rinse, wash, repeat.

    It’s what he does. Fact.
    ———-

    Seven touchdowns later, still butt hurt.

  19. jrebar88 says: Nov 11, 2013 10:48 PM

    jk86nfl says:
    Nov 11, 2013 10:01 PM

    Gonna be a great game! Even with a KC loss they’re still tied for first in the AFC West.
    ——–

    There is no tie, when Denver is 3-0 in the division after beating the Chiefs who will be 1-1 in the division. Thats sole possession of first.

  20. mikemaric says: Nov 11, 2013 10:53 PM

    Offense is overrated. Defense wins championships. Whichever D plays better will win. Physical teams are dominating the rankings, except for the Nintendo teams. Those teams (we know who they are) will NOT win the SB.

  21. bobbyinlondon says: Nov 11, 2013 10:55 PM

    Im not a Chiefs fan but these comments about the schedule are ludicrous. For one thing, the sked comes out in Apr/May and no one knows how good you or other teams are going to be. For another, you can’t penalize the team for the failings of other organizations. Is it the Chiefs fault that other teams have lost their No.1 QB to injury and those teams didnt have a viable backup?

    Vegas also seems to ignore Reid’s history AFTER the bye–13-1with the Eagles with the only loss last year.

  22. vaphinfan says: Nov 11, 2013 11:01 PM

    Both teams have weak schedules but are still good teams. Its going to be closer than the spread.

  23. jlavenger says: Nov 11, 2013 11:02 PM

    Thing about the 90 Giants is they started 10-0, but so did the 49ers. And the Niners were 2 time defending Super Bowl champs and had already beat The Giants in the regular season. But, the reg season game was close, so the spread shouldn’t have been that high.

  24. swchiefsfanatic says: Nov 11, 2013 11:22 PM

    siding with the odds-makers again: that thin air at Mile High, plus the wind chill factor, will be a negative factor for KC players. If Peyton controls the ball for long periods, the KC defense will get gassed. ??????

    Just a geuss, but you’ve never been to KC in the winter have you. The cold, not gonna be a factor.

  25. swchiefsfanatic says: Nov 11, 2013 11:26 PM

    Nov 11, 2013 10:47 PM ravenswhat says: Nov 11, 2013 10:21 PM Peyton will win on Sunday and then lose in January. Rinse, wash, r It’s what he does. Fact. ———-Seven touchdowns later, still butt hurt.

    –——–
    Okay…. seven???? How about 3 Tds and 2 ints. Sounds a little more realistic.

  26. blue18hutthutt says: Nov 11, 2013 11:28 PM

    44 combined points

    Thumbs up for over, thumbs down for under

  27. rodh32340 says: Nov 11, 2013 11:36 PM

    I like Reid and all that…but he didn’t assemble anything, he just did something with what was there and his schedule helped a little…lets see how the Def schemes for Manning and all his receivers! I’m looking for the RB and TE to have a great day!

  28. svn2011 says: Nov 12, 2013 12:06 AM

    people calling out the chiefs schedule were surely smart enough to predict them to be 9-0 before the season started…

  29. raiderheart says: Nov 12, 2013 12:19 AM

    Reality sets in for the Chiefs this week. It doesn’t even matter though neither of these 2 teams will hold the Lombardi trophy. I don’t know who chokes more in the playoffs Manning or Andy Reid coached teams. The only reason Manning got a ring is because Rex Grossman was across the field getting the heimlich from Lovie Smith. Donkeys
    by 17.

  30. dd8228 says: Nov 12, 2013 12:21 AM

    Buffalo d gave chiefs offense fits, I think Denver’s d at home is pretty dsmn dominant with dumervil, Phillips and miller all on field. Denver has struggled Denverting manning at times and he puts it on the ground when he’s sacked. If KCs great front four can break through denvers sub par oline, could see a few strip sacks. Kc has struggled recently vs the run and some deeper routes when they don’t get pressure. Their offense has been stopped by worse defenses than dencers, gonna need a better
    gameplan coming out of the bye than what they have shown. Best game of the year in afc so far, Kc has the extra rest and horses to keep it close they need to b perfect and not kick fg’s in redzone and hold Denver to some fg’s, opposite of san Diego last week

  31. fmlizard says: Nov 12, 2013 12:34 AM

    Can someone explain how KC is any different from Seattle? They are near copies of each other.

    Everyone just bags on KC because they were 2-14 last year. They got as good of a chance as anyone to win the Super Bowl. 11 of the 18 teams to start 9-0 have made it there.

  32. i10east says: Nov 12, 2013 12:35 AM

    Never underestimate the tactical scheming of Big Red.

  33. akboot says: Nov 12, 2013 1:07 AM

    Denver by more than a touchdown, I’m shocked, NOT.

  34. david10654 says: Nov 12, 2013 1:12 AM

    I think this will be one heck of a game. Im not sure who wins, especially if KC can get to a hobbled Manning. If not, then KC will have to get into a shootout with him. Which, I believe, that they can do it. Do not forget about the playoff game 49ers vs Saints where Alex Smith and Drew Brees went balls to the wall and produced one great finish. However it is in Denver, and Denver has Nuclear Weapons on offense

    This will be an exciting game, and I’m looking forward to it. At this point, im leaning KC, but really i could be persuaded either way. This might be the first Sunday night game where I watch through the whole thing, and not switch over to the Walking Dead! XD

  35. dstep24 says: Nov 12, 2013 1:52 AM

    Chiefs finish 11-5 at best. Lose in 1st round. And I love the Chiefs. It just is what it is. They’re about to enter a storm.

  36. trevor123698 says: Nov 12, 2013 2:04 AM

    “No one cares if a team that started 9-0 was an underdog 7 weeks later!
    Has any team started 9-0 and then been underdog in their 10th game?”

    The answer is no you fool. Did you see an example of this listed? Bottom line is gambling odds mean nothing and statistically this game is very likely to hit under the 7 point spread

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