The Chiefs are the only unbeaten team in the NFL, overcoming some preseason adversity for the hot start. How long will the run last? Trends suggest a letdown situation this weekend against the Steelers. Check it out with other Kansas City betting angles here.
The Chiefs remain the lone undefeated team in the NFL after a convincing 42-34 win at the Texans on Sunday night. It’s the third time in the 2000s they have started a season 5-0 overall (2003, 2013). Oddsmakers posted an over/under 9 wins total prior to the opener, and even the most optimistic Kansas City fans are pleasantly surprised at the start. This is a team that fired former GM John Dorsey in June because of communication and management issues, parted ways with 6-year, $55 million wide receiver Jeremy Maclin after a two-year experiment, and lost first-team running back Spencer Ware for the season with a torn PCL in the exhibition period.
The signs pointed to the Chiefs with an uphill climb headed into Gillette Stadium for their 2017 regular-season opener against the reigning Super Bowl champions. A 42-27 win against the Patriots as 8-point underdogs suggested otherwise. K.C. is churning like a well-oiled machine. Andy Reid has helped fabricate a plug-and-play system immune to hiccups, injuries and front office changes since claiming head coaching duties in 2013. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt is the perfect example. The third-round pick out of Toledo leads the NFL in rushing with 609 yards and is 10th choice at +3300 odds at Bovada to win the MVP award. All Pro safety Eric Berry went down in the opener with a torn Achilles. No problem. K.C. held two of its next three opponents below market projection for points.
The Chiefs are legit, but the fact remains, they are 1-6 SU and 1-5-1 ATS in the playoffs since 2003. They lost in the first round in each of the prior seasons starting perfect through five games. Is Kansas City peaking too early? Perhaps. Nonetheless, below are a few trends centered on Reid that point to some spots where the Chiefs will likely excel or falter against the spread the rest of the year.
The Chiefs are 14-1 SU and 11-4 ATS versus AFC West foes since December 2014. That’s insane. Three of the failed covers occurred in the only four contests with K.C. laying 6.5 points or less. Overall, the Chiefs are winning by 11.7 points per game with a 27.1-15.4 average score. The lone outright loss was a fluke as well. The Broncos returned a Jamaal Charles fumble 21 yards for a touchdown with 27 seconds remaining in regulation time to stun K.C. 31-24 in Week 2 of 2015.
Reid’s Road Warriors
Here’s a rule you need to start adhering to today: Do not bet against Reid on the road. Simple as that. Dating back to his days leading the Eagles, including the playoffs, his teams are 99-57-1 ATS away from home. That’s a remarkable 63.5 percent cover rate. With the Chiefs, his record is 27-10-1, including nine straight winners. K.C. has five more away dates scheduled: at the Raiders (Week 7), Cowboys (Week 9), Giants (Week 11), Jets (Week 13) and Broncos (Week 17). Advanced lines released over the summer had Reid’s squad favored only against the Jets (-6). Adjustments will surely see K.C. favorites for a couple, but target the New York date possibly as the one to fade. When lying a touchdown or more, the ATS record falls to 5-5 overall.
What Home-Field Advantage?
Reid is 71-83-1 ATS at home in his coaching career, including a 15-19 mark at the Chiefs. His teams tend to roll over in expected high-scoring contests where opponents have the potential firepower to challenge his stout defenses. In games with a total closing 43 or higher, Reid’s men are 24-42 ATS. This includes a miraculous cover over the Redskins in Week 4 after linebacker Justin Houston scooped up a Washington fumble and scampered 13 yards for a touchdown as time expired. K.C. won 29-20 as a touchdown favorite. The Chiefs host the underachieving Steelers this Sunday as 4-point chalk. The total is 46 as of publication. Don’t be surprised if Ben Roethlisberger and company find their groove this week and hand K.C its first loss of the season. Historically, this is a letdown spot for Reid.