With NFL betting markets settling down after opening up with Week 6 Spreads & Totals. Let’s take a look at four games where the numbers provide an edge.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Minnesota Vikings -3½, 43½
The Kansas City Chiefs (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS) and Head Coach Andy Reid (20-18 ATS) felt pretty good heading into the season and now they have to feel pretty bad, losing as 10-point favorites to the lowly Chicago Bears in Kansas City last Sunday. Here, the Chiefs and QB Alex Smith (29-27-2 ATS on Road) head to TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis to face the host Minnesota Vikings (2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS) in this inter-conference affair which will definitely be more important to Kansas City as a Loss would send them to 1-5 and no doubt talk about “next season.” The last time these two teams met was in 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City where the Chiefs won and covered as 3-point favorites, 22-17, while the last meeting here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes was way back in 2003 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Dome where the Vikings easily covered and rolled to an easy 45-20 victory.The Chiefs have won just once in 4 trips to Minnesota— in 1981 by a 10-6 score—but the series information between these two teams is pretty irrelevant in that these two teams don’t play that much and that they have only met 11 times in the NFL Regular or Postseason—the first coming in 1971 in Super Bowl IV at a rainy Tulane Stadium in New Orleans where Hank Stram-coached Kansas City defeated the Vikings, 23-7 as the Chiefs clinched the win and NFL championship on a Len Dawson to Otis Taylor 46-yard TD pass in the 3rd Quarter, turning a 16-7 game into a route and demoralizing the Purple People Eaters. Kansas City WR Taylor caught the ball on the Minnesota 46-yard line, broke free from the Vikings Earsell Mackbee, sprinted down the sidelines, and then broke free from Karl Kassulke to take the ball into the End Zone and demoralize Minnesota which had just scored its first, and only, TD of the game.
The Chiefs are 3-1-1 ATS the L5 in this series and the Advanced Line here was (Vikings minus) 2½, so you can see how the Kansas City Loss to Chicago combined with the Vikings Open Date and 13 Days of rest heading in here has moved this up and over the Key Number of 3 and to 4 in most sportsbooks (Wednesday afternoon) although there are still some 3½’s to be found in the marketplace. Kansas City will be without star RB Jamaal Charles (Torn ACL) who has been ruled Out for this one and may be gone for quite some time so Charcandrick West will fill in for him, but with so much pressure on and Smith not looking like the winning QB many thought he would be, backing the host Vikings to cover the Point Spread here at 3½ seems good advice and if you have an opportunity to buy the ½ point and pay the vigorish and get that number down to (minus) 3, certainly do so. The Vikings—who have gained a reputation of losing off Bye Weeks (Open Dates)—are looking up at the undefeated Green Bay Packers in the NFC North while the Chiefs are looking below them in the AFC West and seeing nothing. Desperation can be a powerful motivator, but the Desperate need a better Roster and usually need to be playing at Home to pull off an upset against a team which has assembled some nice Skill guys on Offense with QB Teddy Bridgewater, RB Adrian Peterson, WR Mike Wallace, WR Charles Johnson and TE Kyle Rudolph. Without bullworker RB Charles out (and Knile Davis in), expect Smith and the Chiefs to try to rely heavily on WR Jeremy Maclin and TE Travis Kelce and if Minnesota is smart, they will make Life hard for both of those receivers coming off the line of scrimmage early on in this game to try to frustrate the Kansas City Offense.
NFL Pick: Vikings -3½ (MGM Mirage)
Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions -3 -120, 43
The Chicago Bears (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS) have a healthy and now motivated Jay Cutler (15-29-1 ATS vs. NFC North) back and slinging and here at Ford Field on Sunday afternoon against their NFC North rival, the Detroit Lions (0-5 SU, 1-4 ATS) against a hobbled Matthew Stafford (17-22-1 ATS at Home), this seems like a game the visitors can definitely win, although recent history hasn’t been so kind to Chicago in Motown. The Lions are 5-1 ATS in their L6 against the Bears and a perfect 5-0 ATS the L5 here in the Motor City, but those were Detroit teams and it seems anything can happen here in this one, with the Bears on the upward curve and ahead of the Lions in standing and Detroit down as they possibly can be, winless, frustrated, the last team in the league without a Win and lacking the kind of killer D it possess last season when Ndamukong Suh (Dolphins) and Nick Fairley (Rams) were still in town and bolstering the DL. And even though Stafford and the Lions have great Skill players like WR Calvin Johnson, WR Golden Tate, RB Joique Bell (Ankle) and Rookie RB Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska), Detroit has only averaged 16.5 ppg and may have peaked as a franchise last season. On the other hand, Cutler (23-27-1 ATS on Road) and the Bears (4-12 ATS L16 vs. NFC North) are feeling better about themselves after a dramatic 18-17 win at Kansas City lifted them to 2-3, keeping Hope alive for the time being in the Windy City.
The absence of WR Alshon Jeffery (Hamstring) has reportedly frustrated Bears management and top Draft Pick WR Kevin White (West Virginia) is out for the season (likely) with a bad Shin injury, so for now, veteran RB Matt Forte, TE Martellus Bennett, WR Marquess Wilson and WR Eddie Royal, if he’s healthy, will be the guys Cutler tries to get the old pigskin to. Last season, the Lions rolled to a 34-17 win in this game at Home, easily covering as 7-point favorites while in the return leg in Chicago, Detroit also won, 20-14, but failed to cover as massive 10-point Road Chalks in the Windy City in the second-most played series in NFL history (Chicago 95-69-5).
Detroit (2-6 ATS L8 in October) also has some injury issues with DT Haloti Ngata, TE Brandon Pettigrew (Hamstring), TE Eric Ebron, RB Bell (Ankle) and LB DeAndre Levy (Hip) all less than 100% heading in here and after getting trounced by the Cardinals here in Detroit in Week 5, the though is that Chicago (4-14 ATS L18 in Week 6) and K extraordinaire Robbie Gould could win this one, even though the Lions have W4 in a row here in Detroit. The Advanced Line here was (Lions minus) 6½, so you can see what Arizona’s 42-17 thrashing of Detroit combined with the Bears late win over Chiefs in Kansas City did for odds perceptions. The Under (18-7 L25 Lions games, 6-2 L8 Bears games) may also be worth consideration here with a couple Trends backing that angle.
NFL Pick: Bears +3 +100( Even) (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets -6, 41
Back from Jolly Old England, well-rested and off of an Open Date, the new-look New York Jets (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) welcome the Washington Redskins (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS) to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Sunday afternoon for this inter-conference affair which looks like it will be much more important to the visitors from the NFC who actually have a pulse this season and can get to the .500 mark with a victory. The last time these two played, the Jets smashed the Redskins (5-11 ATS L16 on Road) in Landover, 34-19, covering easily as 3-point favorites in 2011, while the last meeting here in New Jersey was in 2007, where the then Joe Gibbs-coached Redskins won 23-20, but failed to cover as 3½-point favorites, getting nipped by ½ point.Although they have had their Bye Week and played one less game (4) than many other teams in the NFL (5), the Jets have allowed a league-low 55 points heading in here. The Advanced Line for this game, out last Tuesday night, (Jets) -6, so you can that the NFL Oddsmakers have some respect for the Redskins (1-7-2 ATS L10 in Week 6) and when this opened Monday, it went from 5½ to 6 fairly quickly. And much credit goes to Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who has probably won the starting job over Geno Smith (1-6-1 ATS vs. Non-Division) who remains sidelined after getting punched in the face by a former teammate in the locker room. Always pay your debts.
As far as the handicap, New York AFC (Under 9-3 ATS L12 Jets overall) has played tight, Defense-oriented affairs and on FieldTurf (MetLife), J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets! Unders are 6-2 ATS the L8 and the Under is 21-8-1 ATS over the L30 Washington games in October. This one should be tight, low-scoring and actually pretty entertaining and both of these teams should be proud of where they are and how they are playing this Regular Season. Robert Griffin III and Geno Smith are not the types of QBs to build winning NFL teams around and Washington’s move to Kirk Cousins and Smith’s freakish injury have made it clear who should be quarterbacking these respective NFL teams.
NFL Pick: Under 41 (CG Technology)
New England Patriots -7, 55 vs. Indianapolis Colts
NFL Games of the Year, released in the late Spring, actually had the Indianapolis Colts as 2½-point favorites in this game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday night, a testament to how perceptions of Indianapolis have changed combined with the Deflategate-mad patriots sparkling 5-0 start to this NFL Regular Season. The Advanced Line had the Patriots -5 and on Monday this game opened up at 6½ and 7 at most places. Now (Wednesday afternoon) the 7s are nearly impossible to find and there are even a couple of 8’s in the marketplace (Station Casinos, Coast Casinos, Jerry’s Nugget in Las Vegas and 5Dimes Offshore), and two very small (and unnamed places) are actually showing a 9 and a 9½ here. So, this all almost seems like rumblings that this Point Spread will keep climbing and there has been over an actual 10-point change on perceptions on this high-profile football game—Colts -2½ to Patriots -8—and a serious (perceived) switch of the game’s favorite. Even with the injured Andrew Luck—who could possibly play here this weekend in such a crucial game—New England would likely be the favorites here at this point in this Regular Season the way these two teams have played. Reality always ends up being greater than Perception.
The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots (4-0 SU, 3-0-1 ATS) have scored the most points in the AFC (149) even though New England and QB Tom Brady (64-44-1 ATS on Road) have actually played one less game (4) than many of the other teams in the conference (5).
Here in primetime on Sunday, the Colts (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS) will be looking to get to .500, but with the unbeaten Patriots (11-3 ATS L14 vs. teams with Winning Record) motivated, in the midst of Dynasty and outscoring opponents with relative ease, Indianapolis (3-10-2 ATS L15 in Week 6) could be in real trouble. The last time these two played was that famous Deflategate AFC Championship Game in New England last season, where the Patriots corralled the Colts, 45-7, easily covering the 7-point spread. The Patriots are 3-0 ATS the L3 overall in this series and New England is 3-0 ATS the L3 meetings here in Indianapolis, dating back to the days when Peyton Manning was still Colts QB although the Underdog is a respectable 14-6-2 in the L22 meetings. That matters little. Having TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Danny Amendola, WR Julian Edelman, RB Legarrette Blount and invaluable RB Dion Lewis matters a lot.
NFL Pick: Patriots -7 (MGM Mirage)
NFL WEEK 6 MID-WEEK VALUE PICKS: Vikings -3½ over Chiefs (MGM Mirage); Bears +3 EV over Lions (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook); Jets-Redskins Under 41 (CG Technology); Patriots -7 over Colts (MGM Mirage)