Monday Night Football Predictions: Chiefs at Patriots Odds and NFL picks
by Alan Matthews - 11/18/2011
It looks like the biggest mismatch of Week 11 in the NFL on “Monday Night Football” when the New England Patriots (6-3) host the New England Patriots Lite, otherwise known as the Kansas City Chiefs (4-5).
Perhaps no two teams have more ties than these two clubs. It all starts with Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, who served as Patriots VP of player personnel from 2000-2008. He has made no secret of trying to turn the Kansas City organization into a Patriots clone.
Last season the Chiefs had both former New England coordinators in OC Charlie Weis and DC Romeo Crennel; Crennel is still in Kansas City, but Weis is now at the University of Florida. A handful of other current Chiefs assistant coaches have Patriots ties.
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Another former Patriot is starting Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel. I should say former starting quarterback. Cassel hurt his hand in last Sunday’s 17-10 loss to Denver, Kansas City’s second defeat in a row, and could miss the rest of the season after having surgery this week. Seldom-used Tyler Palko gets the start Monday.
It would have been fairly ironic for Cassel to play in this game. Why? The last time the Chiefs and Patriots played was Opening Day 2008. In that game, Patriots QB Tom Brady, the reigning record-setting NFL MVP, was lost for the season on a low hit that spawned a new NFL rule.
Cassel, who hadn’t started a game since high school, took over and led New England to a 17-10 win and went on to have a good season, which eventually led to Pioli trading for him when Pioli went to Kansas City. And who knows if that hit perhaps ended a New England dynasty. Remember that the season before the Pats went 18-0 before losing in the Super Bowl to the Giants. New England hasn’t won a playoff game since that injury.
The Patriots enter off probably their best effort of the season, a 37-16 win at the Jets that ended New England’s two-game losing streak and New York’s three-game winning streak. Brady threw for 329 yards, three scores and no picks – his first 300-yard, three-TD game since Week 3.
This will be the Pats’ first home game since the Giants ended their 20-game regular-season home win streak in Week 9; Brady had won 31 straight regular-season games at home.
Chiefs at Patriots Betting Storylines
As usual, we will start with the key injuries, with the biggest of course being to Cassel.
Palko is in his second season as an undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh. He has thrown 13 passes in his career and went 5-for-7 for 47 yards last week in relief of Cassel – for props available at Bodog on Palko this week check out my Week 11 NFL props story here at Doc’s.
The Chiefs aren’t expected to change their offense much as Palko is considered similar to Cassel other than Palko is left-handed. Really the Chiefs can’t be much worse with Palko as KC ranks 28th in the league in total offense and passing offense and 27th in points per game. Plus, Kansas City has just three rushing touchdowns, better only than the Browns.
The good news is that Palko faces the NFL’s No. 32 defense in yards allowed. And that unit is a bit banged up. Linebacker Brandon Spikes and safety Patrick Chung missed the Jets game and Pro Bowl cornerback Devin McCourty separated his shoulder in that one. Chung is likely to return, while Spikes is still unknown. McCourty is out, but he hasn’t been great this year. He has been targeted 64 times and given up 44 receptions, second most in the league, and ranks worst among all cornerbacks with 608 yards allowed.
Look for the Pats to bring pressure as the Chiefs have allowed nine sacks combined in the past two weeks. New England’s Andre Carter blew up with 4.5 sacks last week.
Brady is 11-4 on MNF and threw for a career-high 517 yards in the MNF opener this season. Kansas City is 2-0 on MNF under Todd Haley.
Chiefs at Patriots Betting Odds and Trends
New England is currently a 14.5-point favorite with the total at 46.5 on NFL odds. About 75 percent of the action is on the Patriots. The Pats are 5-4 ATS this season and 2-2 at home. KC is 5-4 ATS on the year and 3-1 on the road. ‘Over/under’ records: KC 3-6, NE 5-4.
KC is 5-0 in past five as a dog and 5-2 ATS in past seven MNF games. The Pats are 3-15 ATS in past 18 as a favorite of more than 10.5 points. They are 5-1 ATS in past six vs. teams with a losing record.
The ‘under’ is 6-1 in Chiefs’ past seven after an ATS loss. The ‘over’ is 5-0 in Pats’ past five following a win by at least 14 points. It is 12-3 following New England’s past 15 wins overall.
Chiefs at Patriots Betting Predictions and Football Picks
There’s no chance at all that Kansas City wins here. But I actually think having Palko in benefits Kansas City in that New England probably doesn’t have much to go on in terms of scouting – assuming no secret taping like Bill Belichick used to do.
You could see a Pats letdown after last week’s big win and tough test coming at Philly next Sunday. I think that half-point is very much in play because the Chiefs only lose by 14, so go with them. I think it’s 31-17, so take the ‘over’.
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