Unbeaten NFL Preseason Angle Prompts Pick Chiefs Over Rams ATS

Alex Smith

Friday, August 19, 2016 3:56 PM GMT

Our NFL handicapping professional previews Saturday’s game between Kansas City and Los Angeles. Go inside to read his expert opinions that culminate with a free NFL pick.

NFL Preseason Hollywood Night
The Chiefs and Rams will meet on Saturday night in what we'll be the second preseason game for each team. The opening kickoff at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is slated for 9:00 PM ET. Current NFL betting odds at MyBookie.AG shows the Rams as a 3.0-point favorite, and the posted total is 39.0.

Last Week
Kansas City lost their preseason opener last Saturday 17-16 to Seattle, and in doing so failed to cover as a 3.5-point home favorite. The Seahawks were able to pull the game when rookie quarterback Trevor Boykin (TCU) connected on a 37 yard “Hail Mary” pass with no time left. Seattle then opted to go for the win and was successful on an ensuing two-point conversion. For what it's worth, since 2008, Kansas City has gone a dismal 8-28 ATS in preseason games. The Chiefs are also a futile 3-24 ATS in preseason action since 2004 following a loss.

Los Angeles was on the positive side of a comeback in their opening preseason game. They trailed Dallas 24-7 late in the 3rd quarter before answering with 21 unanswered points and came away with a 28-24 win. Second-year backup quarterback Sean Mannion was the orchestrator of that furious rally. Mannion was 18-25 passing for 147 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Rams were able to amass an impressive 373 yards of total offense, and that includes averaging a robust 5.6 yards per rushing attempt.

Chiefs Backup Quarterback Battle
Barring an injury, Alex Smith will be the starting quarterback on opening day. However, there's a heated competition pertaining to the backup job transpiring between four other quarterbacks on the roster. Tyler Bray, Aaron Murray, Nick Foles, and rookie draft pick Kevin Hogan all saw action last Saturday. None of the four appeared to separate themselves from the pack based on last week's stat line. As a matter of fact, they combined to go 12-27 (44.4%) for 132 yards, no touchdowns, and Kevin Hogan tossed the lone interception. I fully expect all four to split time over the final three-plus quarters on Saturday night.

Rams Rare Preseason Win Under Jeff Fisher
Despite that stirring come from behind win last Saturday, the Rams are still a dismal 3-10 since 2013 in preseason games under head coach Jeff Fisher. They also failed to cover on 11 of those 13 occasions. Fisher has also seen the Rams go a money draining 0-6 SU&ATS as a favorite of 5.5 or less during that exact time period. With #1 overall draft pick Jared Goff sidelined by a rib injury, I would expect Sean Mannion to receive extended playing time in relief of projected starting quarterback Case Keenum. It's possible we'll also see former South Carolina Gamecock and Cleveland Brown quarterback Dylan Thompson be given an opportunity as well.

Spotless NFL Preseason Betting Angle
Since 1987, any away underdog of 7.0 or less (Chiefs), playing in their second preseason game, and is coming off a home favorite straight up loss, and is facing an opponent coming off a home win, resulted in those away underdogs going a perfect 14-0 ATS. Those underdogs also won 11 of those 14 games outright. That closed the deal for me, and the road underdog will be one of my NFL picks on Saturday.

Free NFL Pick: Chiefs PK +100
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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