The Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs collide at Wembley Stadium in London, marking Sunday’s early start to round 8 of NFL betting. Find out where the value NFL picks are to be had.
Detroit Lions (1-6, 0-3 away)
The Detroit Lions are coming off a disappointing loss at home to the Minnesota Vikings, a week after securing their first win of the season at the expense of the Chicago Bears in overtime. On the heels of that latest setback, a whole slew of offensive coaches were shown the door. What seems to be a desperate move to shake things up – if not too little too late.
The Lions got off to a bright start in week 7 and, even, led the game at one point 14-3 by the end of the first quarter. Unfortunately, the ensuing three quarters were coloured purple as the Vikings mounted a comeback in the game, only for Matthew Stafford and the O-line to respond with five additional measly points in the 28-19 loss.
To say the Lions are enjoying a horrendous season is the understatement of the year. To put it simply, their season is all but over. All that is needed is an official rubber stamp on their passport as they look ahead to their summer vacations.
Ironically, they’re flying to London this week where they’re sure to get rubber stamps. But we digress. The Lions have nothing left but pride to play for if they don’t want to finish the season as the laughingstock of the league –heck, the Bucs and Jaguars have better records on the season right now –and a whole slew of British NFL fans have paid good money to see a worthy game.
As it is, bookies aren’t holding out much hope for the Lions. They are matched as the 3.5-point-to-4.5-point underdogs – so-called road underdogs as this game counts as a “home” game for the Chiefs on the schedule – and at a high of +165 NFL odds at BetOnline for the straight up win. The total is trading around 45-points depending on your sportsbook of choice, which is somewhat high given the inconsistent offense of both the Lions and Chiefs.
Kansas City Chiefs (2-5, 1-3 away)
Kansas City Chiefs are in slightly better shape than the Lions in terms of the broad spectrum of the season. They are 2-5 SU and ATS with a 3.1-point losing margin. Aside from the Denver Broncos, who are riding roughshod over the AFC West, it’s a tossup between the remaining three teams in the pursuit of the elusive playoff spot via a potential wild card ticket at worst case scenario. The Raiders are second in the table with a 3-3 SU mark while the Chiefs and Chargers are locked on a 2-5 SU mark in the division’s cellar.
Of course, the Chiefs need to perk up if they are to capitalise on this rather fortuitous opportunity. They are coming off a win over the Steelers, which marks their second win of the season. A morale-boosting win potentially towards the attempt to mount a renaissance in the AFC West.
Not to be churlish about their winning performance in week 7, but they did defeat a Big-Ben-less Steelers at home. Take from that what you want, but what it means to us is that they are not credible favourites in this game.
It’s the first-ever regular season game for the Chiefs at Wembley, sacrificing a home game on the NFL schedule no less. Arrowhead is renowned for its raucous fans and deafening home-field advantage, where the Chiefs went 6-2 SU and ATS last season. Giving up such an enviable home-field edge could prove costly in their bid to turnaround their season. Of course, in hindsight, they couldn’t have known they would be 2-5 SU at the halfway point of the season, when it was their turn to dabble in the London experiment, and faced with the monumental task of a comeback. (This season they are 1-2 ATS at Arrowhead, improving to 7-4 ATS since 2014 with a 6.8-point winning margin).
NFL Betting Verdict: Here’s a fun fact to consider before making your NFL picks for this game. In 13 regular season NFL games staged at Wembley Stadium since 2007, the so-called “home team” won just once; that was last week when the Jaguars defeated the Bills 34-31. That’s not a very encouraging NFL betting trend for the Chiefs – hopefully, nobody has shared that fact with them.
In any event, this game is a complete and utter tossup for our NFL picks. There’s really nothing redeeming about either team in terms of the outright win or cover. That said, we’re giving the edge to the Lions simply because they flew out to London earlier in the week and have had time to acclimatise to the conditions. Plus, they’ve been to Wembley before and that familiarity might play to their slight advantage over the Chiefs, who only arrived just a day ago and will have brutal jet lag to contend with. So we’re giving the slight edge to the Lions on our NFL picks as the +3.5-to-4.5- road dogs. Given, however, the offensive struggles of both teams an NFL pick in total betting markets might be the better option here. In which case, we’re leaning towards the UNDER 45.5.
NFL Picks: Under 45.5 (-110) at Bovada