NFL Picks: Patriots vs. Chiefs Monday Night Odds Report

Jason Lake

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 3:32 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 23, 2014 3:32 PM UTC

Our latest very special episode of Monday Night Football takes us to Arrowhead Stadium, where the Kansas City Chiefs will try to beat the NFL odds one more time against the New England Patriots.

Jason’s record after Week 2: 4-7 ATS, 1-2-1 Totals

Profit: minus-8.8 units

Here’s a scary thought: What if the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t that bad of a football team? Savvy NFL bettors had the Chiefs squarely in their sights as one of this year’s top regression candidates, and they sure played the part in their season-opening loss to the Tennessee Titans (+3 away). Then a funny thing happened: Kansas City cashed in twice. On the road. Against the Denver Broncos (–13) and the Miami Dolphins (–5.5). The Chiefs even brought out the heavy artillery and scored five touchdowns in last week’s 34-15 win over Miami. Impressive.

Not so impressive: The New England Patriots. These evergreen public darlings started the season by losing 30-22 to the Dolphins (+3.5 at home). Then they took advantage of the Adrian Peterson-less Minnesota Vikings (+3.5 at home) before scraping by the Oakland Raiders (+14 away) 16-9 this past Sunday. Ugly, ugly football. Now the Patriots have opened as 3.5-point road faves for Monday’s prime-time matchup (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) with Kansas City. And they’ve already moved to –4 on the NFL Odds boards, even though the Chiefs are getting 60-percent consensus as we go to press.

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Knile’s Wheelies
The early misgivings about Kansas City were warranted. They did a fantastic job for us last year as a follow candidate, going 11-5 SU and 9-7 ATS in their maiden voyage under new head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith. However, take a closer look at that performance: The Chiefs had the softest schedule of any of the league’s 32 teams, according to Football Outsiders. FO crunched the numbers and gave Kansas City 10.0 Estimated Wins to go along with those 11.0 Actual Wins. Surely the Chiefs were in for trouble against what was projected to be the NFL’s second-toughest schedule in 2014.

The Chiefs are still in trouble. They’re 1-2, and they’re in grave danger of going into their bye week at 1-4 with games coming up against the Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers. They also have a long list of injuries that includes star RB Jamaal Charles (5.0 yards per carry last year), who was held out of Kansas City’s win over the Dolphins with a high-ankle sprain/bruise. Charles is expected to practice and suit up Monday night.

Maybe he should stay on the sidelines. Knile Davis did the heavy lifting for the Chiefs against Miami, carrying the ball 32 times for 132 yards and a TD. Nobody’s about to claim that Davis is the superior player, but running back is one of those “skill” positions where the drop-off in talent between elite and replacement-level isn’t nearly as important as advertised. That’s why the NFL betting market is prone to overvaluing Pro Bowl RBs like Charles.

Where else are we looking for early betting value in Week 4?

I’m 37, I’m Not Old
Speaking of overvalued, the Patriots. After three games, they’ve got a minus-16.6 SRS according to the advanced stats at Pro Football Reference – that’s even worse than the Chiefs at minus-15.1 SRS. New England’s offensive line is not what it used to be without LG Nolan Mankins; the Pats shifted the deck chairs around against the Raiders and got some good play from rookie center Bryan Stork, but it was a disaster otherwise as New England was held to 76 yards rushing on 32 carries.

The Patriots are also having issues with their receiving corps. Aaron Dobson was a healthy scratch last week, while Danny Amendola was targeted just once. Once! This is partly because Tom Brady kept getting drilled by Justin Tuck, who took advantage of new starting LG Marcus Cannon. But it must be said, Brady (82.9 passer rating) is 37 now. His time is just about up. Tick-tock.

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