The Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots matchup is a tale of two teams trending in opposite directions. Kansas City closed out the year with 10 straight victories and dominantly made its way into the divisional round of the playoffs with a mugging of the Houston Texans last weekend. New England limped into the postseason with multiple injuries throughout the year and on the heels of a disappointing two-game losing streak that cost the team the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Kansas City may be as underrated of a No. 5 season in recent memory. And with a smothering defense ranked third in points allowed and seventh in total yards allowed, bettors might be enticed to take a long look at this week's line and consider taking the points. But before we jumped into making any sort of predictions, let's take a closer look at Saturday's powerhouse AFC matchup with predictions, analysis and picks.
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots Betting Story Lines
The key betting storyline heading into Saturday will be Kansas City's dominant run, which has turned into an 11-game winning streak with seven double-digit victories and a show-stopping, 30-point win over Houston. Most of the media attention leading up to this matchup, however, will focus on Tom Brady (has he really never had a sip of coffee?), Bill Belichick and the multiple injuries to the offensive line and receiving corps. The real issue in this matchup is just how well the Chiefs elite defense matches up with the struggling Patriots offense.
Kansas City hasn't allowed a team to score over 22 points since a Week 4 matchup against the Bengals, and the squad held its opponents to an average of 11.6 points per game during its current 11-game winning streak. The Chiefs are putting up scary numbers, and any NFL expert who followed the Chiefs closely during the regular season will tell you how they are in fact a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Kansas City may also hold the most value to win the title at +950, but then most fans are not paying any attention to a small-market team like the Chiefs.
Injury-wise, New England's Julian Edelman is expected to play after missing substantial time with a broken foot. And if the wide receiver is anywhere near full health, his addition will do wonders for the team's struggling offense. On the opposite side of the ball, Dont'a Hightower, Chandler Jones, and Sebastian Vollmer are all expected to be in uniform on Saturday.
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots Betting Odds and Trends
New England is currently a five-point favorite at BookMaker.eu, but the line can be found at anywhere from 4.5 to 5.5 points depending on the sportsbook. The total can also be found at 42 to 42.5 points depending on the site, so the first piece of advice is for bettors to shop around and find the best number at the Doc's Sports affiliated sportsbooks. New England ended the regular season with a 7-7-2 ATS record and a 9-7 totals mark. Kansas City currently has a 9-8 ATS mark (playoffs included) with a 8-8-1 totals record as well.
Matchup wise, there are quite a few intriguing trends that bettors should keep in mind. Kansas City is currently 5-0 ATS over its last five road games and 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games versus the AFC. New England, on the other hand, is 4-1-2 ATS in its last seven home games and 2-5-1 ATS in its last eight overall matchups. On paper, both teams are heading in opposite directions, but winning a game in Foxboro is easier said than done.
NFL Expert Picks Against the Spread: Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots Predictions
Sometimes making a pick is a tossup and other times the choice is obvious. For this Saturday's matchup, all signs point to one direction: taking Kansas City plus the points. Yes, New England is a darling in the sports betting world and could very well win and cover this game, but the smart bet is on the Chiefs. Kansas City is elite on the defensive end, a Top-10 team in points scored, it rushes the ball effectively and is managed by a smart quarterback in Alex Smith (he may not be flashy, but he makes few mistakes). Sure, most bettors would rather wager on the Patriots, but sometimes you have to choose value over everything else, and Kansas City plus 5.5 points falls into that category. Expect a close back-and-forth game that Kansas City covers and maybe even wins outright.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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