The Kansas City Chiefs finished 9-7 last season, but with star Safety Eric Berry suffering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer, they will have to go into the 2015 Regular Season without their heartbeat.
With Alex Smith likely to be the Chiefs starting QB this year, expect Head Coach Andy Reid to stick with Rushing the pigskin first, especially with a trio of talented RBs in Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis and former Oregon speedster De’Anthony Thomas. Let’s look at the games on the Chiefs schedule they might be able to win, some Betting Trends and make a Futures Book pick and one each for and against KC in the NFL Regular Season.
This Team Added Some Talent, But Could Use Star Eric Berry Back
The Kansas City Chiefs (40/1 to win Super Bowl, Ladbrokes) have made some nice strides over the past couple of seasons and 2014’s 9-7 record (10-6 ATS) and 18 ppg allowed on Defense is surely a good sign for Chiefs fans, but improving the scoring on Offense (22 ppg) and settling on a decent starting QB for the long-term are priorities for this team—Denver devolving some also wouldn’t hurt either—which will fly, for the time being at least, with 31-year-old Alex Smith. So, Kansas City may be looking for a QB for the next couple of years. The Chiefs and Head Coach Andy Reid (19-14 ATS) brought in Guard Ben Grubbs from New Orleans to help bolster the Chiefs OL and Kansas City also signed Free Agent speedster and deep threat Jeremy Maclin (Eagles) after parting ways with the unproductive Dwayne Bowe (Browns). One area of concern for the Chiefs is the condition and absence of the heartbeat of the team’s Defense, SS Eric Berry, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and has been undergoing treatment for the disease. The Chiefs, who drafted a DB—Washington CB Marcus Peters—with their top pick, have finally got a Defense they can be proud of and are poised to possibly snag a Wild Card berth in the AFC, but missing Berry is huge and if Kansas City can somehow get him back (and healthy), then maybe a Playoff win or two are possible, but because of the seriousness of the situation, everyone is understandingly proceeding with caution.
But can the Chiefs (18/1 to win AFC, BetVictor) contend in the conference and Division without Berry? Of course they can, but Kansas City (+550 to win AFC West, Stan James) will need the Broncos to slip some, the chargers to stay around .500, the Raiders to still struggle and to win some of their non-conference (NFC North) and non-divisional (AFC North) games, which means trying to knock off the likes of the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers—all 5 of those Playoff teams last season. So, it most certainly won’t come easy for the Chiefs who need to work on their Takeaway-Giveaway ratio as
Kansas City was tied for 21st in the NFL last season in Turnover Differential with a -4. And don’t expect the Chiefs to change too much this 2015 season in terms of approach on Offense. Kansas City will run the ball. And then it will run it some more. And with journeyman Smith at QB, an average passer, that’s the best route and HC Reid knows this. So pounding star RB Jamaal Charles (201 rushes, 1,033 yards, 9 TDs) as well as RB Knile Davis (463 yards, 6 TDs) will be the plan again, meaning this team will almost have to play excellent Defense again—and they can—and that like their Show Me State NFC counterparts, the St. Louis Rams, that the Kansas City Chiefs will probably be playing a lot of tight, pretty low-scoring games this Regular Season, something Under backers bets be aware of, if they’re not already. Four of the L5 Chiefs games went Under the Total season, while Kansas City (11-5 Under) also had a streak of 5 straight Unders from Weeks 5 through 9. So, much like MLB and the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals this baseball season, remember to watch teams from Missouri—these Chiefs and the Rams (8-8 O/U in 2014)— going Under in the NFL this coming season. When you possess an average Passing attack but have a Defense good enough to keep you in almost every game, then games with scores from both teams in the high tens can be expected in the right situation.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Depth: Alex Smith—Daniel Chase—Aaron Murray—Tyler Bray
Who’s New and Could Have an Impact? Free Agent WR Jeremy Maclin (Eagles), G Ben Grubbs (Saints, Trade), S Tyvon Brand (Raiders), G Paul Fanaika (Rams), Rookie CB Marcus Peters (Washington), Rookie G Mitch Morse (Missouri), Rookie WR Chris Conley (Georgia), Rookie CB Steven Nelson (Oregon State), Rookie ILB Ramik Wilson (Georgia), Rookie OLB DJ Alexander (Oregon State), Rookie TE James O’Shaughnessy (Illinois State), Rookie DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches (Southern Miss), Rookie WR Da’Ron Brown (Northern Illinois)
Who’s Gone From Roster? DE Vance Walker (Broncos), WR Dwayne Bowe (Browns), CB Justin Cox (Released after arrest for Domestic Abuse)
Possible Wins on Schedule: Week 2: Broncos; Week 4: @ Bengals; Week 5: Bears; Week 6: @ Vikings; Week 10: vs. Lions at Wembley Stadium in London, England; Week 11 @ Chargers; Week 12 vs Bills; Week 13 @ Raiders; Week 14: Chargers; Week 15 @ Browns; Week 17: Raiders
Some Good Potential Betting Spots in Regular Season: Waiting to see how QB Alex Smith and the Chiefs settle may be a good idea, and when looking at all of the recent, relevant Trends, it seems betting against the Chiefs in certain spots may be better from the Cherry Picking POV than trying to back them, especially with AFC West-mates Oakland and San Diego also in some state of professional football flux. One spot where fading the Chiefs may be a good idea is at Home at Arrowhead Stadium against the Broncos in Week 2 where Denver is 5-1 ATS L6 vs the Chiefs, including a 39-16 victory last season as 1-point underdogs. Woof. And a good spot to back Kansas City—and likely as an underdog—comes in Week 11 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, where Kansas City is 3-1 ATS L4 including a 23-20 win last year as 3-point underdogs. Double woof.
Sarcastic Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl 50 Matchup and Odds to Make You Chuckle: Kansas City Chiefs vs. St. Louis Rams 560/1 (5Dimes)
Any Good Chiefs Futures Bets Now? The Chiefs (10-6 ATS) Regular Season Team Win Total is posted at 8½ (Over -125, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), so, even though Kansas City could go anywhere from 4-12 to 12-4 SU and not surprise anyone too much, the Chiefs are a quirky team and with Smith at the helm, will probably lose more close games than win them this time around. It’s not that the 2014 Regular Season was an aberration, it’s just that the NFL is tough year-in and year-out and when the schedule-maker gives you both the AFC North (Ravens, Bengals, Steelers) and the NFC North (Packers, Lions, Vikings) in the same season, well, it may be best to just keep rebuilding for next season and keep looking for a franchise-type QB. Because of all this, backing the Under 8½ Regular Season Team Total wins seems like the best prescription. This team may not be on the downswing, but without Berry and with Smith, it seems the only way Kansas City could shock the world is through the workmanlike legs of Charles, and a 2,000-yard Rushing season and a fold in their AFC West from Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
Recent Relevant Trends: Chiefs 3-0 ATS L3 vs Chargers, 3-1 ATS L4 on Road at San Diego; Chiefs 3-1 ATS L4 Away at Baltimore; Chiefs 5-1 ATS L6 vs Lions; Chiefs 3-1 ATS L4 vs Raiders, 9-3 L12 Away at Oakland but 2-7 ATS L9 in Kansas City; Chiefs 1-4 ATS L5 vs Browns; Chiefs 1-3 ATS L4 Home vs Bears; Chiefs 2-6 ATS L8 vs Bills, 1-6 ATS L7 at Home; Chiefs 1-4 ATS L5 vs Broncos, 1-5 ATS L6 at Home
Players to Watch: RB Jamaal Charles, SS Eric Berry (Cancer),Rookie CB Marcus Peters (Washington), Free Agent WR Jeremy Maclin (Eagles), QB Alex Smith, S Kelcie McCray (Special Teams), CB Ron Parker, RB Knile Davis, RB De’Anthony Thomas, WR Jason Avant, G Ben Grubbs (Traded for), WR Albert Wilson, TE Travis Kelce, P Dustin Colquitt, Rookie G Mitch Morse (Missouri), Rookie WR Chris Conley (Georgia), Rookie CB Steven Nelson (Oregon State), Rookie ILB Ramik Wilson (Georgia), Rookie OLB DJ Alexander (Oregon State)
Bet On Kansas City Chiefs in Regular Season: Week 11—on Road at San Diego Chargers (Chiefs 3-1 ATS L4 Away at San Diego)
Bet Against Kansas City Chiefs in Regular Season: Week 2—at Home vs Denver Broncos (Chiefs 1-5 ATS L6 vs Broncos)
Futures Book Bet on Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas City Chiefs 8½ Under +105, Season Regular Season Team Wins Total (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)