NFL Picks: Stingy Defenses Point To Low-Scoring Chiefs vs. Patriots Game

Swinging Johnson

Friday, January 15, 2016 12:10 AM GMT

The AFC Divisional playoff features the streaking Chiefs against the struggling Patriots. Let’s focus on the total in this matchup and find out whether to go low or high in our NFL picks this weekend.

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NFL Pick: Under 42.5
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

 

Chiefs Getting Defensive
It was an inauspicious beginning to the season as the Chiefs began 1-5 and mired in the basement of the AFC West. Kansas City had lost their superstar running back Jamaal Charles and it appeared as though the 2015 campaign would be a bitter disappointment. But the tide turned in Week 7 when the defense put the clamps on the Steelers, and the Chiefs came away with a 23-13 victory at Arrowhead.

It would be the first of 11 consecutive victories that now has KC coming into Foxboro with a full head of steam, sporting one of the most ferocious defenses in the league. The official stats will tell you that their season long defense ranks third in points allowed (17.9) but if you review what they have done during their 11 game winning streak you will arithmetically find that this defense is allowing a paltry 11.6 points per game. In short they have become impenetrable, as the Texans found out in the wild card game last week when the Chiefs shut them out to the tune of 30-0.

 

Patriots Stagger into Postseason
New England has lost four of their last six, two of which were to divisional rivals the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. The team ranks 30th of 32 in rushing, averaging a mere 87.8 per game and their vaunted aerial attack has been substantially grounded with Tom Terrific tossing for only 134 yards in the Patriots’ last game of the regular season versus a Dolphins’ pass defense that ranked 21st, allowing 250 yard per game. Not surprisingly all those who backed the under 46 in their NFL picks were rewarded as the Dolphins and Patriots combined for only 30 points.

As the team prepares for the opening round postseason meeting, courtesy of their ranking as the second seed in the AFC making them first-round bye eligible, controversy swirls with the Chandler jones synthetic marijuana fiasco. Jones wound up in the emergency room of his local hospital earlier this week due to a bad reaction to a chemical substance that pretty much freaked the stalwart defensive end right out of his mind. Not so coincidentally, this substance does not show up in drug tests but from all the reports I have read it produces plenty of anxiety and paranoia without any of the “benefits” one derives from smoking the real thing. As if that wasn’t strange enough the head coach himself took to his first postseason presser sporting a black left eye. In typical Belichickian fashion, the Evil Genius shed no light on the shiner leaving the media hordes to gossip and speculate.

 

Betting Analysis
The NFL odds makers are hanging a total of 42 on this Saturday afternoon contest in what should be a cloudy day with temperatures of about 40 degrees. Here we have a team in Kansas City that has been as stingy it gets while the New England defense has allowed an average of only 17 points over the last four games. Offensively the Chiefs have gotten it done through special teams and the game-managing tactics of quarterback Alex Smith. Smith is not a rocket launcher but he has the legs to get out of jams and is accurate on short throws.

The Patriots offense has been stalling due to the absence of trusted wideout Julien Edelman and an offensive line that has been racked with injuries. Steven Jackson has been summoned out of involuntary retirement to shore up the Pats’ backfield but this is not a rushing team as evidenced by their lackluster ground attack. Adding insult to injury superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski has missed two practices over the last three days this week and we still don’t know if he will make an appearance on Friday.

This all adds up to a low scoring game and let us not forget that the total, as it is currently constituted, is 42 which is exactly six touchdowns and the extra point, that we can no longer take for granted. This total was initially set at 44 ½ for this game so let’s go under right now before the number dips even lower.