Week 8 NFL Picks: Bet Chiefs to Cover ATS vs. Struggling Lions

Jason Lake

Friday, October 30, 2015 5:38 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 30, 2015 5:38 PM UTC

There's not much difference between them in the standings, but the Kansas City Chiefs look like the much better NFL pick when they play the Detroit Lions in London.

Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 30: 22-17-1 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 18-26 Total

The Kansas City Chiefs are better than this. Dumb luck and injuries have held the Chiefs down at 2-5 SU and ATS, but according to the stat gurus at Football Outsiders, Kansas City has played well enough this year to earn 3.3 Estimated Wins. Maybe they'll go on to win the Estimated Super Bowl.

The Detroit Lions, on the other hand, are about as bad as their 1-6 SU and ATS record would suggest. Football Outsiders has the Leos pegged at 1.4 Estimated Wins – yet it's the Lions who have gotten the most love for Sunday's matchup (9:30 a.m. ET, FOX) at Wembley Stadium in London. Detroit opened at +6 on our NFL odds board before moving to +3.5 at press time.


Lions < Three Lions
A closer look at our expanded consensus reports tells us that bettors aren't quite so sure who to put in their NFL picks this week. Although over 58 percent of people are on the Lions at press time, the amount of money bet on either side is nearly identical. As a result, Kansas City's average bet size is $62, compared to just $46 for Detroit. Our surveys also show two $1000+ bets on the Chiefs and one on the Lions. The sharps have spoken – softly.

For some more back-up, let's turn to our friends at Pro-Football Reference. They've got the Chiefs at –1.6 on their Simple Rating System, well ahead of the Lions at –8.1 SRS. We don't need to do any other math, since the two teams are playing on a neutral field: A line of Kansas City –6.5 would have been entirely appropriate, market forces notwithstanding.


Bring the Boys Back Home
The bigger question might be this: Will Andy Reid or Jim Caldwell be the next head coach on the chopping block? You might recall we got paid out at 16-1 when the Miami Dolphins fired Joe Philbin after losing to the New York Jets in London. The Dolphins and Jets both had the bye after playing across the pond; so will the Chiefs and Lions.

Maybe both coaches will make it home with their jobs intact. The Lions have already handed out pink slips to offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, as well as offensive line coaches Jeremiah Washburn and Terry Heffernan. Before those dismissals, Caldwell was near the top of Bovada's odds list at +400 to be the next head coach fired, well ahead of Reid at +1000.

Given the advanced stats, the expanded consensus figures and the palace intrigue in Detroit, we're emboldened to make the Chiefs our pick in this contest. Bad weather doesn't look like it'll throw a wrench into our plans, either. Make it a small bet, though. If you haven't got a penny, then a ha'penny will do.

NFL Picks: Take the Chiefs –3 (–130) at 5Dimes

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