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AFC West: Week 8 Recap

Alex Smith has led the Kansas City Chiefs to an 8-0 start to the season.

Alex Smith has led the Kansas City Chiefs to an 8-0 start to the season.

After taking sole possession of top spot in the AFC West last weekend, the Kansas City Chiefs took to the field Sunday looking to remain undefeated at the halfway mark of the season.

Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos looked to bounce back from a surprise loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7, keeping the pressure on the first place Chiefs in the process.

BettingSports.com brings you a recap of all of the AFC West action from Week 8, beginning with the unbeaten Chiefs.

Cleveland Browns 17, Kansas City Chiefs 23

The Chiefs narrowly defeated the Browns on Sunday.

The Chiefs narrowly defeated the Browns on Sunday.

A week after fending off the Houston Texans 17-16, the Kansas City Chiefs found themselves in another close game Sunday, narrowly getting the better of the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Chiefs jumped out to a 20-7 lead late in the second quarter, taking advantage of a pair of Ryan Succop field goals and scoring strikes from Alex Smith to Anthony Sherman and Dexter McCluster.

Smith was 24 of 36 on the afternoon, compiling 225 yards passing, 40 yards rushing, and a pair of touchdowns, despite being sacked by the Browns’ defense six times.

The Browns scratched their way back into the game though. Billy Cundiff kicked a 44-yard field goal before the half to bring the score to 20-10.

Having already found Josh Gordon in the end zone, Jason Campbell – starting in place of the benched Brandon Weedon – then connected with Foswhitt Whittaker in the third quarter, bring the Browns within a field goal. Campbell finished the day 22 of 36 for 293 yards and no interceptions.

With the Browns’ breath on their necks, the Chiefs then took a stranglehold on the game. Succop’s 40-yard field goal with 0:17 left on the clock gave Andy Reid’s team a little extra on the scoreboard as the Browns came up short.

Vegas Impact: Kansas City (5-3-0 ATS) failed to cover the spread for the second straight game while Cleveland (4-4-0 ATS) covered for the first time in three weeks. The total went over for just the second time in a Chiefs (2-6-0) game this season. Cleveland (4-4-0) has split the over under evenly. Kansas City’s win saw a boost on the NFL Futures list. The Chiefs (9/2) are second favorite to win the AFC championship, behind only Denver (7/5).

Up Next: Kansas City (8-0, 3-0 road) will head to western New York in Week 9 to take on the Buffalo Bills (3-5, 2-2 home) at Ralph Wilson Stadium. This will be the sixth straight year the two sides have met, with the Chiefs looking to buck a 1-4 trend over that stretch.

Opening Odds – Favorite: Kansas City Spread: 4.5 Over/Under: 41.5 (matchup)

Washington Redskins 21, Denver Broncos 45

The Broncos beat the Redskins in the weirdest of games.

The Broncos beat the Redskins in the weirdest of games.

Having seen a 17-game regular season winning streak snapped last weekend, the Denver Broncos made a return to winning ways Sunday, but it wasn’t quite as easy as the 45-21 final score suggested.

The Broncos scored on their opening possession of the game, with Peyton Manning finding Wes Welker in the end zone. From there the Broncos took a trip to the Twilight Zone.

Washington forced the Broncos to punt on the next three possessions before tying the game on Robert Griffin’s pass to Leonard Hankerson with seconds left before halftime. After the break, Manning lost a fumble, resulting in a 1-yard Alfred Morris touchdown, before throwing the first of three interceptions, which was returned by DeAngelo Hall for a score.

Trailing 21-7 and looking out of sorts, the future seemed bleak for the Broncos. Of course, Manning has always had a way of turning bleakness into glory.

The Broncos proceeded to score 38 unanswered points, including a franchise record 31 in the fourth quarter. Manning connected with Joel Dreesden, Knowshon Moreno, and DeMaryius Thomas, while Monte Ball scored his first career touchdown and Dan Prater kicked a 19-yard field goal.

The Denver defense got in on the act too, with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returning an interception 75 yards for a score with just over two minutes left in the game, while Von Miller recorded his first sack of the season.

Griffin was forced out of the game with injury in the fourth quarter, having been twice intercepted. His replacement Kirk Cousins threw a pair of interceptions as the Redskins attempted to make a comeback.

Vegas Impact: Denver (4-4-0 ATS) covered the spread thanks to an awe-inspiring fourth quarter performance, while Washington (2-5-0 ATS) failed to cover for the second time in three weeks. Once again, the total went over, something that has become a given when the Broncos (8-0-0) take to the field. Denver remains the bookies’ choice when it comes to the Super Bowl. Odds of Peyton Manning and Co. lifting the Lombardi trophy currently stand at 13/4.

Up Next: Having completed the first half of the schedule, Denver (6-1) will take a week off before returning to action in Week 10 with a road trip to divisional rivals, the San Diego Chargers.

Pittsburgh Steelers 18, Oakland Raiders 21

Terrelle Pryor made history against the Steelers.

Terrelle Pryor made history against the Steelers.

The Oakland Raiders entered Sunday’s clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers looking to shake a huge monkey off the back: the Raiders had not won following a bye week since 2002.

The silver and black side got off to the best start, with quarterback Terrelle Pryor notching up a 93-yard scoring run on the opening play from scrimmage. The run marked the longest by a quarterback in the history of the NFL.

Oakland didn’t rest on its laurels after the history-making play. Pryor handed the ball off to Darren McFadden later in the quarter for a 7-yard scoring run and a 14-0 first quarter lead. McFadden’s second scoring run of the day gave the Raiders a 21-3 lead heading into halftime.

The Steelers, looking for a third straight win after starting the season 0-4, finally got themselves back into the game in the fourth. Ben Roethlisberger found Emmanuel Sanders for a 9-yard score before rookie Le’Veon Bell scored his third touchdown of the season. Sanders ran for the two-point conversion to put the Steelers within a field goal, but the Raiders hung on for the win.

Vegas Impact: Oakland (5-2-0 ATS) continues to be a solid bet against the spread, covering in this one, while Pittsburgh (2-5-0 ATS) is a liability. The total went under for the fourth straight game featuring the Raiders (1-6-0) and third straight featuring the Steelers (2-5-0).

Up Next: Oakland (3-4, 3-1 home) will look to make it three wins from four games next Sunday, welcoming a Philadelphia Eagles (3-5, 3-1 road) side that has fared well on the road so far this season. Having won three of the last four meetings between the sides, Oakland will like its chances in this rematch of Super Bowl XV, even if the odds makers don’t.

Opening Odds – Favorite: Philadelphia Spread: 2.5 Over/Under: TBC (matchup)

San Diego Takes Bye Week

How long with The Q be home to the Chargers?

How long with The Q be home to the Chargers?

With back-to-back wins for the first time this season, the San Diego Chargers took a bye week to prepare for the second half of the season, a stretch that fans hope will not see the Chargers go to sleep again.

Last week, Oakland’s bye week was punctured by questions surrounding the team’s future in the Bay Area. This week, the Chargers faced a similar scenario as San Diego Padres owner Ron Fowler called for a new football stadium to be built in the city to ensure the Chargers stick around. Whether the Chargers will be sticking around or heading back to Los Angeles remains to be seen.

In terms of this season, head coach Mike McCoy was clear that he would not rush linebacker Melvin Ingram back from an ACL injury.

Up Next: Well-rested, San Diego (4-3, 2-2 road) will make the long journey to the East Coast to take on the Washington Redskins (2-5, 1-2 home) on Sunday. After losing the first six meetings between the sides, the Chargers have picked up wins in each of the last three games, dating back to 2001.

Opening Odds – Favorite: Even Spread: Even Over/Under: 50 (matchup)

For a full list of Week 9 NFL odds, click here.

For a full list of NFL Futures, click here.

For NFL team prop bets, click here.

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