Sense of Urgency Makes Chiefs +4.5 our NFL Pick vs. Vikings

Nikki Adams

Thursday, October 15, 2015 9:44 PM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015 9:44 PM GMT

Can the Kansas City Chiefs stop the bleed when they take on the Minnesota Vikings? Find out as we preview this game and serve up our NFL picks.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-4 SU, 1-2 away)
Nothing seems to be going right for the Kansas City Chiefs since week 1 when they opened with a 27-20 win over the Houston Texans as the nominal road underdogs (+1.5 against the spread). They are propping up the AFC West with a subpar 1-4 SU record, which includes a 0-2 record at home and a 1-2 record on the road, and they’ve been outscored 117-to-143 for a minus 26 differential.  Against the spread, the Chiefs are 1-4 with 6.4-point losing margin on average.

Most NFL bettors can pinpoint exactly when things went south for the Chiefs: the fumble-return with seconds left on the clock that gave the Broncos the 31-24 win in Thursday Night Football betting in week 2. It would be churlish to rag on Jamaal Charles for the fumble, seeing as it can happen to any player in the league. Besides the running back is now out for the season, taking any more opportunities to redeem himself away.

Most recently, the Chiefs are coming off a rather shocking upset at home to the Chicago Bears. From odds makers to pundits and fans alike, few expected the Chicago Bears to pull off the feat. Heck, John Fox and his cubs were installed as double-digit underdogs at most sports betting shops. Yet, despite the NFL odds, they turned the table on the Chiefs to not only cover as the 10.5-point dogs but also take the SU win!

One of the heaviest criticisms levied on the Chiefs is on their ineffective offense. Against the Cincinnati Bengals, they were reduced to seven field goal attempts, which highlights their glaring problems in the red zone. Heck, even with a GPS they probably won’t be able to find it. Case-and-point: they only have on passing touchdown through five games, a belated pass coming late against the Packers when the hosts were up by a significant margin. Hardly a relevant pass when all was said and done in a losing effort.

 

Minnesota Vikings (2-2, 2-0 home)
Despite a rather tough schedule the Minnesota Vikings appear to be punching above their weight class, sat second in the NFC North behind the undefeated Green Bay Packers, albeit with a 2-2 SU record. Indeed, aside from the Packers, the rest of the field sports a .500 mark or less with the Lions a perfectly pointless 0.000 through five rounds.

With the NFC North packing a lot less punch than it did last season it’s a great opportunity for second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings to exploit. They are coming off a bye week, which should serve them well against a Chiefs side still reeling from the embarrassing loss to the Bears – another NFC North side. However, the Vikings can’t take anything for granted.

Teddy Bridgewater hasn’t been lighting up the stats sheets to begin with and that’s something that can’t be brushed aside. He’s put up 2 touchdowns through 4 games, one of the lowest tallies of the quarterback class, as well he has an interception for each TD and has been sacked 13 times. Overall, he has an 84.5 QBR, which puts him 23rd in the league and slightly under his QBR of 85.2 in 2015.

Given those lacking stats, the Vikings offense props up the league with 1207 in total offense and with 165.3 yards per game in passing offense. Only their rushing offense shows a flicker of hope with second-place ranking and 136.5 yards per game. But that rushing offense might struggle to get fully going against a Kansas City Chiefs rush defense that allows just 98.6 yards per game, which means the onus will be on the second-year quarterback to lead the Vikings to victory. It’s not impossible, but it’s not going to be a straightforward game in our opinion as the odds makers would have you believe with the Vikings trading anywhere from 3.5-to-4.5-points to the good at home.

 

NFL Betting Verdict
The Chiefs are desperate for a win having lost three on the trot. In more ways than one, this is a MUST-WIN game if they are to have a prayer on the season. The Vikings are coming off a bye week, which might make them slightly slow out of the gates. Whichever way you slice this game on your NFL picks to win straight up, we’re thinking the 4.5-points is just too many points to be laying with the Vikings when their offense lacks balance. So we’re taking the maligned Chiefs to cover as the 4.5-point faves at the very least.

NFL Picks: Chiefs +4.5 (-110) at bet365

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