NFL Expert Picks Against the Spread: Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks
I previewed last Thursday's Chargers-Chiefs game (right on total, wrong on side thanks to K.C. choke job), and had no plans to look at Kansas City again in Week 16 as it visits old AFC West rival Seattle. However, when the Chiefs and Seahawks were both upset in Week 15, that changed my mind and made this game much more interesting.
Let's start with this point for the last pre-scheduled Sunday night game of the 2018 (there is one in Week 17 but it's not prescheduled; NBC gets to shift whatever game it wants into that window): Don't bet on this game until after Sunday afternoon's action has finished.
That's because the Chargers host Baltimore on Saturday night and Houston visits Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon. The Bolts are 4.5-point favorites , but I think there's a pretty good chance they lose that game, especially if Melvin Gordon is out again and if Keenan Allen also sits due to injury. The Texans-Eagles matchup is a pick'em.
Now, if both the Chargers (11-3) and Texans (10-4) lose then Kansas City could clinch the AFC West and the conference's top seed with a victory in Seattle. However, I wonder how truly engaged the Chiefs would be in that scenario knowing they have what looks like an easy Week 17 home game vs. Oakland sitting in their back pocket. Needless to say, the coaching staff would like to clinch and make that one meaningless. Should either the Chargers or Texans win, then I think the Chiefs go all-out vs. the Seahawks because then the wiggle room is gone.
There are some early games that also affect Seattle's wild-card chances. It's going to get in unless it loses out (still could even if that happens) and would clinch with a win. Whether that's as the No. 5 or 6 seed is to be determined. The 5 probably visits to Dallas on wild-card weekend, while the six likely heads to Chicago. Seattle closes with what should be an easy win at home vs. Arizona.
Chiefs at Seahawks Betting Story Lines
Had Kansas City not blown three 14-point leads last Thursday, including with just under four minutes to go in a shocking 29-28 home loss to the Chargers, the Chiefs would be able to skate the final two weeks because they got help for the No. 1 seed in the AFC on Sunday from Pittsburgh beating New England.
Is it a coincidence that the Chiefs are now 0-3 ATS since releasing Kareem Hunt? I don't think so. With Spencer Ware out injured vs. the Chargers (not year clear if he returns this week), former Dolphin Damien Williams became the featured back and had 49 yards rushing and two scores while leading the team with 74 yards receiving on six receptions. Solid, but this team simply isn't the same without the 2017 rushing king. And that secondary is a problem -- Mike Williams was left all alone for the winning 2-point conversion, and now that group is without top cornerback Kendall Fuller, who had wrist surgery on Friday (although now you hear whispers Fuller could play here, which seems impossible). Former Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry did play Week 15 for the first since Week 1 last year but not the second half. Apparently, that was pre-planned.
Perhaps we should have seen Seattle's upset loss in San Francisco coming. It was a short week for the Seahawks off a big win against a very physical opponent in Minnesota. The Niners could throw caution to the wind against a bitter rival in order to end a 10-game losing streak in the series. They did just that in a 26-23 OT win. Seattle was sloppy all day, including 14 penalties for a franchise-record 148 yards.
One of those penalties was an iffy pass interference call on cornerback Shaquill Griffin that set up the winning field goal. Third-string guard Ethan Pocic was called for a couple of crucial penalties. He was only playing because Jordan Simmons had left the game with a knee injury. Simmons was only playing because D.J. Fluker missed a second straight game with a hamstring injury. Seattle safety Bradley McDougald missed the majority of Sunday's game with a lingering knee injury and he was missed as Nick Mullens had a nice day throwing the ball. Linebacker KJ Wright has been out since Week 10 due to a knee injury but could return for this one.
Chiefs at Seahawks Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes , Kansas City is a 1-point favorite (-125) with a total of 53. On the moneyline, the Chiefs are -133 and Seahawks +113. On the alternate lines, K.C. is -2 (-115), -2.5 (-110) and -3 (+115). Kansas City is 8-5-1 against the spread (5-1-1 on road) and 9-4-1 "over/under" (6-1 on road). Seattle is 8-4-2 ATS (4-1-1 at home) and 7-7 O/U (3-3 at home).
The Chiefs are 2-5-1 ATS in their past eight after an ATS loss. They are 2-5 ATS in their past seven in Week 16. The Seahawks are 4-0-1 ATS in their past five following an ATS loss. They are 23-10-1 ATS in their past 34 in December. The over is 4-0 in the Chiefs' previous four. It's 5-2 in Seattle's past seven vs. teams with a winning record. Kansas City is 7-1 ATS in the past eight meetings.
Chiefs at Seahawks Betting Prediction
Perhaps the toughest environment to win in the NFL is in Seattle during a night game as those fans get so loud. The Seahawks have been incredible in home night games in the Pete Carroll/Russell Wilson era. Again, I'd wait until all the other Week 16 action (MNF game aside) is complete before betting on this, but I believe Seattle wins outright. Not stupid enough to turn down the 3 points, though. Go under the total on a night it appears the weather will favor the home side.
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