2017 Kansas City Chiefs Home Schedule Odds with Expert Picks and Predictions
Interesting offseason for the defending AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Did the club overpay to re-sign Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry? Sure, but it's not my money. Berry got a six-year deal worth $78 million with $40 million of it guaranteed that makes Berry the NFL's richest safety. He's the heart-and-soul of that defense and a guy you simply have to root for after missing the 2014 season due to Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Since K.C. signed Berry, it was thought the team would then use the franchise tag on nose tackle Dontari Poe, but instead let the two-time Pro Bowler walk. He signed with Atlanta, whose assistant general manager, Scott Pioli, selected Poe with the 11th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft when he was general manager of the Chiefs. In 2016, Poe didn't miss a snap as he recorded a career-high nine pressures in 885 snaps, 16th-most among all NFL defensive linemen, to go along with 27 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.
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In another surprising salary-cap move, the team released Jeremy Maclin, its most experienced and most accomplished wide receiver. That means the roster at receiver now includes no player drafted above the third round or older than 24.
I'm not sure the Chiefs got better by losing Poe and Maclin (letting Jamaal Charles go was fine as he was breaking down and past his prime), and I know the team didn't get better for 2017 by trading from No. 27 in this year's draft to No. 10 to select Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes. To do so, the Chiefs also sent their third-round pick (the 91st selection) and a 2018 first-round pick to Buffalo.
Mahomes could be a good player eventually and has been compared to a young Brett Favre, but he's not close to being ready for the NFL after playing in an Air Raid offense and essentially never taking a snap under center or making play calls. Frankly, the Chiefs don't want him to play this year as they have the solid Alex Smith. However, if you read between the lines it seems like this will be Smith's final season in red. The last time the Chiefs took a quarterback in the first round was Todd Blackledge in 1983. So while Mahomes may not help the team this year, I loved the third-round pick of Toledo running back Kareem Hunt. Snap him up in your fantasy dynasty league this year.
Kansas City was 6-2 at home last season, 3-5 against the spread and 2-6 "over/under." The Chiefs host three playoff teams in 2017: Pittsburgh, Oakland and Miami. It's an easier slate than the road schedule. Kansas City has one three-game homestand and doesn't play back-to-back weeks once on the road, so that's nice. It has the second-toughest schedule overall with an opponents' combined 2016 winning percentage of .576. BetOnline lists the Chiefs' win total at 9, with both at -110. I projected a 2-6 road record and can see no better than 6-2 at home, so go under that total. No playoffs this year. Odds listed for the home team.
Sept. 17 vs. Eagles (-4): Chiefs likely to be 0-1 after opening in New England, but at least that's a Thursday night and more time to prepare for Carson Wentz & Co. Obviously this game will mean a bit more to Coach Andy Reid as he goes up against his former team and ex-offensive coordinator in Philly coach Doug Pederson. Key NFL betting trend: Chiefs 5-5 ATS in past 10 at home vs. NFC East.
Oct. 2 vs. Redskins (-5): Monday night, with the Chiefs off a trip to the Chargers. It's the first Monday night game at Arrowhead since 2014, which seems almost impossible. Kansas City is 8-1 in this series, losing in 1983. Key betting trend: Chiefs 9-1 SU & 5-5 ATS in past 10 as at least a 5-point home favorite on October.
Oct. 15 vs. Steelers (-1.5): Kansas City is in Houston the previous Sunday night. This starts a killer four-game stretch with two short weeks involved. The Chiefs lost the AFC divisional-round game to visiting Pittsburgh last season, 18-16, despite keeping the high-powered Steelers out of the end zone. Kansas City had only 227 yards of offense and two turnovers - Reid's teams rarely win when losing the turnover battle. Then again, few teams do. Key betting trend: Chiefs 5-5 ATS in past 10 as a home dog (I think they will be by kickoff).
Oct. 30 vs. Broncos (-3): The Chiefs are in Oakland on Thursday in Week 7. Kansas City is facing the Broncos in prime time at home for the fifth straight season. It was a 33-10 Chiefs win on Christmas last season to keep their AFC West title hopes alive - which they'd win the next week. Travis Kelce had 11 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown vs. Denver. Tyreek Hill had a 70-yard TD run. Key betting trend: Chiefs 3-7 ATS in past 10 as home favorite in series.
Nov. 26 vs. Bills (-6): Oddly, Kansas City will play all three New York teams in one three-game stretch - at Giants the week before this and at Jets the week after. The Chiefs have beaten the Bills the last three times they've met. It was 30-22 at home in 2015. Key betting trend: Chiefs 4-6 ATS in past 10 at home vs. AFC East.
Dec. 10 vs. Raiders (-3): The Chiefs have won the last five matchups against Oakland. It was 21-13 at home on a Thursday in Week 14 a season ago. Hill was spectacular with a 78-yard punt return TD and a 36-yard TD catch. The K.C. defense held the Raiders to 244 yards. Key betting trend: Chiefs 3-7 ATS in past 10 as home favorite in series.
Dec. 16 vs. Chargers (-6): Saturday night. Kansas City beat the visiting Bolts 33-27 in OT in Week 1 last year, rallying from a 24-3 third-quarter deficit. That was a franchise record comeback. Smith threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns and scored the winning TD on a sneak in OT. Key betting trend: Chiefs 4-5-1 ATS in past 10 as home favorite in series.
Dec. 24 vs. Dolphins (-4.5): The schedule really worked out well for the Chiefs. They get the warm-weather Raiders, Chargers and Dolphins all in December. Miami rarely plays well on the road inside its AFC East Division in December when it's chilly in the northeast. The Chiefs beat the Dolphins 34-15 the last time they met in 2014. Key betting trend: Chiefs 3-6-1 ATS in past 10 vs. Dolphins (any location).
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