NFL Picks: Chiefs vs. Redskins

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 2:01 PM GMT

Talk about your tough calls making NFL picks! After starting the season 9-0, Kansas City has lost three in a row and not covered the spread once. While that is awful, Washington is even worse having gone over a month without a victory or besting the betting odds. So what do you do, continue reading.

Kansas City Has to Find Answers Swiftly

The good news for Kansas City is the wild card is all but a formality in the AFC and they still have the second-best record in the conference and have a month to fix their ills.

But some problems will be not solved by practice or execution. The Chiefs pass rush has been curtailed during this losing streak and the secondary has been found to be a fraudulent commodity, particularly cornerback Marcus Cooper. The rookie has held his own most of the season, but during this stretch, his play has resembled that of former NFL corner Elvis Patterson, who earned the nickname “Toast”.

Kansas City has surrendered 34.5 points a contest in this timeframe and those making NFL picks are turning to head coach Andy Reid, who wants the world to relax.

“This isn't college football," Reid said. "This isn't the end of the season. It's not the national championship game that you're playing. We came up short (against Denver) and now it's important that we get ourselves back and ready to finish the season like we're capable of doing."

Just so its sooner than later Andy.

Woe is Washington

No doubt, several NFL football handicappers saw a crummy season on the horizon for Washington. Previous to last year’s 10-6 stupefying campaign, The Redskins were 4-12, 6-10, 5-11, not exactly showing signs of a team on the rise.

The defense is consistently pathetic and has not shown one iota of improvement since being blitzed for 33 points in the season opener against Philadelphia.

Weekly, opposing players are saying Robert Griffin III should have not come back so soon or should be seated now, with the familiar refrain “something ain’t right”. Griffin took some hellacious shots last year, but most of those where when he was on the run, not getting nailed in the pocket like this season.

[gameodds]16/227062/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Linebacker Brian Orakpo said his team will fight on. "We have four games to show that we're not going to lie down for anyone," said Orakpo. "We're going to go out there and continue to play as if we're making the playoffs. Hopefully, we can ruin other teams' playoff chances."

While those are heroic sentiments, unless the Skins come ready to play it will not matter and they are being outscored in the first half by a resoundingly, 188-119.

NFL Betting Odds and Matchup Numbers

Sportsbooks listed Kansas City as a 2.5-point favorite for starters and they went to -3 rather quickly. In reviewing the NFL odds at different books, they seem hesitant to go to 3.5 points and have juiced the Chiefs on the critical number of three. Washington is 1-8 ATS as an underdog this season and 0-5 SU and ATS versus K.C. the past two decades.

The total has headed upward from 44 to 45.5 and I uncovered Kansas City is 20-8 OVER after three or more consecutive losses against the spread.

What to Watch For

There is ample reason to believe QB Alex Smith and RB Jamal Charles should have very good games against the Redskins defense. Smith was much sharper throwing the pigskin down the field last week and Washington allows 8.1 yards per pass attempt (32nd in the NFL). The same goes for Charles, who should be equally efficient as a runner or pass-catcher.

The Chiefs defense has injuries, but it is not like they are the only unit in the league with this conundrum. Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton has to be creative with blitzes to confuse RG3 and the run defense has to stand up.

Washington has to establish RB Alfred Morris from the opening snap, against a Chiefs defense which is surrendering an unsightly 145.2 yards per game the past four weeks. This would slow the pass rush and afford Griffin time to find receivers.

What can you say about Skins defense? How about this – Don’t Suck.
 

Final Outcome

In a battle of scuffling teams, Kansas City still has more of an upside and through four quarters, ends up winning by 10. 

NFL Football Free Pick: Kansas City -3