NFL Picks: Giants vs. Chiefs in Week 4

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 6:13 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 25, 2013 6:13 PM UTC

As all of us are aware, NFL teams can change quickly from year to year, some for the better and some for the worse. There is no better example of this occurrence than this non-conference clash.

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Giant(s) Deception
Coming into this season, a number of educated NFL football handicappers thought the New York Giants could bounce back from last year’s 9-7 campaign and be a real threat in the NFC East. They would not be the first team to slump after winning a Super Bowl. Besides, it is not like the Giants were awesome during the regular season in either Lombardi trophies years since 2007 with 10-6 and 9-7 marks respectively.

The Giants did not try and sign a few higher-priced free agents and the injuries to the offensive and defensive lines would be overcome somehow by GM Jerry Reese, Coach Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning.

It turns out this thought process could not have been anymore wrong with Big Blue. There are 28 players averaging more yards per game on the ground than New York has generated per contest (44.3) for the league’s sorriest rushing attack. The defensive line used to be the strength of the defense, but with injuries, age and defection, the front four cannot cover up for a faceless group of below-average linebackers.

Honestly, the Giants deserve to be 0-3 at this point.

Kansas City Revival

Andy Reid in his short time in Kansas City is enjoying regeneration as coach with his new team. There is any number of explanations why the Chiefs would go from 2-14 to a 3-0 start in 2013. Here is the one that has mattered most.

Reid spent a great deal of time talking about in his very first meeting with the Kansas City players about turnovers and touchdowns.

"I keep it real simple," Reid said. "Turnovers and points on both sides of the ball are very important. From the defensive standpoint, you want to create turnovers and takeaways and you want to limit points. Offensively, you want to score points and eliminate turnovers. That's been from the first meeting with the players - that's what we've stressed."

Coming off a -24 turnover margin season, Reid’s message made immediate sense to the K.C. players and three games into this year, the Chiefs are +9 in turnover margin, failing to supply the opposition with one major miscue.

NFL Odds and Matchup Numbers

Somewhat stunningly, sportsbooks sent the home-standing Chiefs out as only four-point favorites against the gasping Giants. In the subsequent 36 hours, Kansas City was raised to -5 in the NFL odds. Though the get-togethers have been infrequent, New York is 5-1 and 6-0 ATS versus Kansas City the past 20 years.

The NFL betting odds on the total have been stationary at 44 points.


What to Watch For

Eli Manning has been working in front of a human turnstile and has zero chance of success in finding his useful pass receivers with no time to throw. If this means a quicker rhythm passing offense, than this is what New York needs to do.

Conversely, opposing teams are stripping the Giants of their main defensive weapon, the pass rush by throwing the ball on quicker drops to the first read. New York counters this with tighter coverage on slot receivers and tight ends and the front four does a better in elevating their hands to block passes or makes quarterbacks throw at uncomfortable angles.

Last week was supposed to be the Giants bounce back week; instead, they were even more pathetic. Their confidence has to be at the low ebb and Reid knows all the weaknesses of the New York players after so many years facing them twice a season.

Kansas City should come out throwing to receivers Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery and blending in a bit of speedy Dexter McCluster would not hurt to get the Giants on their heels immediately.

Pass rushers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston (6.5 sacks) have to be exhilarated watching the Giants O-Line on tape and cannot wait for Sunday to come to test their talents against New York’s most glaring weakness, the offensive line.

Final Outcome

It sure seems all but impossible Kansas City does not win and cover this game. For system players, the Chiefs make a ton of sense because undefeated teams favored by a touchdown or less in non-conference play in Week 4, cover 87.5 percent of the time (14-2). For one of my sports picks this week, this works.

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 NFL Pick: Pick the KC Chiefs at -4 on the point spread, available at Ladbrokes

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