How to Bet the New England Patriots vs Kansas City Chiefs Game ATS
There are not many scenarios in which a team on an 11-game winning streak would be a five-point underdog in an elimination game, but this weekend’s divisional playoff matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots is all but ordinary. The Patriots are favored to beat the 12-5 Chiefs by five points.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 14, 2016
Why should you back the Patriots (-5)?
While the Patriots did lose to Philadelphia at home, over the past few seasons Gillette Stadium has been a virtually impenetrable fortress for the Pats. Also, they will be welcoming Julian Edelman back to the field. Edelman broke his foot in the team’s ninth game, but before that he had caught 61 balls for 692 yards and seven scores. The Pats were 9-0 in the games where he played and averaged 33.7 points per game. After he went down, the team went just 3-4, scoring only 23.1 points per game. On the Chiefs’ side of the ball, they lost Jeremy Maclin in the wild card game to an ankle injury — the high sprain that can be extremely difficult to recover from. Even if he is on the field, his ability to run with speed and make cuts will be compromised.
Why should you bet on Kansas City (+5)?
The Chiefs finished the season ranked #2 in the AFC in scoring defense — and they have only given up an average of 9.8 points per game in their 11-game winning streak. Ten of those 11 wins have been by at least seven points, and six of them have been by at least 14. So it’s difficult to argue that any part of this streak is a fluke or luck (see: the Steelers’ and Seahawks’ wild card victories last week).
Also, the Patriots are still not themselves, having lost four of seven to finish the season — including two losses to dreadful teams (the Dolphins away and the Eagles at home). Tom Brady is having a solid season, but the injuries around him will make it difficult for them to beat the league’s hottest team — especially with a five-point spread.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Patriots have one of the most blue-chip playoff resumes of any team in the history of the NFL. However, the momentum that the Chiefs have right now, combined with the bevy of injuries on the Pats’ sideline, will lead to a Chiefs victory. I’m picking them 23-20.