NFL Expert Picks Against the Spread: San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs
Last week, we looked at an AFC Championship Game rematch and potential preview of this year's conference title game between the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars. This Sunday, it's a potential Super Bowl preview between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.
I'm more thinking Super Bowl LIV in Miami, by the way, and not this February's game in Atlanta. I say this because both the 49ers and Chiefs have what look to be future superstar young quarterbacks in Jimmy Garoppolo and Patrick Mahomes - neither of whom was on his current team's roster just two years ago. Jimmy G was a Patriots backup until around Halloween last year, and Mahomes was at Texas Tech in 2016 before sitting all last year behind Alex Smith other than a meaningless Week 17 game.
Sure, it's possible these teams could meet this February, but the 49ers are probably no better than the fifth-best team in the NFC and clearly behind the Los Angeles Rams in their own division. Kansas City looks good enough offensively to beat anyone, but that defense remains a major problem. Still think we're looking at a Patriots-Jaguars AFC title game again with that Jacksonville defense and New England adding Josh Gordon.
The 49ers and Chiefs do have some past quarterback ties in Smith and Joe Montana.
49ers at Chiefs Betting Story Lines
If someone makes an argument for anyone but Mahomes for NFL MVP through two weeks, then you have my permission to slap said person. You always hear how teams love their young quarterback in practices and camp, etc., and then those guys end up terrible in games.
Well, Mahomes looks like Brett Favre with 10 touchdown passes and no interceptions in this team's 2-0 start - and winning on the road against legit Super Bowl contenders in the Chargers and Steelers. Those 10 TDs are a league record through any QB's first two games of a season. Three guys had thrown for nine: Peyton Manning (2013), Drew Brees (2009) and someone named Charley Johnson (1965). Manning's Broncos reached the Super Bowl that year and Brees' Saints won it. Mahomes does have a ton of weapons in Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and defending rushing champion Kareem Hunt.
If there's one negative so far - other than the defense - it's that Hunt is averaging just 3.6 yards per carry. That defense might get back Pro Bowl safety this week as he's improving from a heel injury. Berry is badly needed on a group that has allowed 860 passing yards and six touchdowns.
The Garoppolo hype train slowed a bit in a Week 1 loss at Minnesota, but the Vikings defense will do that to anyone. Jimmy G was better in last Sunday's 30-27 home win over Detroit by going 18 of 26 for 206 yards, two TDs and no picks. The 49ers also rushed for 190 yards, thanks to a career-high 138 on just 11 carries from Matt Breida (who leads the NFL in rushing). The team lost projected No. 1 Jerick McKinnon last month to a torn ACL.
San Francisco also was interested in trading for Gordon; the Niners could use him with Marquise Goodwin (quad) currently banged up. The 49ers defense will get a big boost here with 2017 first-round linebacker Reuben Foster eligible off a two-game suspension. Foster is a lot like Gordon: mega-talent but an off-the-field problem. The Niners have missed a ton of tackles the first two weeks, and Foster excels at that.
49ers at Chiefs Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes , Kansas City is a 7-point favorite (+110) with a monster total of 56. On the moneyline, the Chiefs are -265 and Niners +225. On the alternate lines, K.C. is -6.5 (-110) and -6 (-118). San Francisco is 0-2 against the spread (0-1 on road) and 1-1 "over/under" (0-1 on road). Kansas City is 2-0 ATS (first home game) and 2-0 O/U.
The Niners are 6-14-1 ATS in their past 21 vs. teams with a winning record. The Chiefs have covered six straight September games. The over is 6-2 in San Francisco's past eight vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 4-1 in Kansas City's past five in September. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings.
49ers at Chiefs Betting Prediction
These franchises haven't met sine 2014, a 22-17 49ers home victory. Colin Kaepernick and Smith were the QBs that day. The Niners have lost their past four in Kansas City, for what that's worth.
Needless to say, Mahomes isn't going to throw for 5,000 yards and 80 touchdowns this season. That said, Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford had strong outings vs. this San Francisco defense. The weather looks very nice in K.C. on Sunday. Give the 6.5-point alternate line and go over the huge total on the Week 3 board.
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