Adam Chernoff returns with a Total Play in Kansas City on Sunday night.
Double Bets stay perfect on the NFL Season as readers of this weekly blog cash in on the LA Rams with New Orleans teaser. An addition win on Kansas City put the Divisional Weekend record at 2-1 (+2.02x) profit. My overall record on the season heading into Championship Sunday is 19-12 (+10.77x).
Tough Week For Bettors But I’ve Found A Slight Edge On A Total
The markets in both games this weekend is extremely tight. The four teams remaining are the four best teams in the league, with the four best head coaches and three of the four best quarterbacks (sorry, Goff). All four teams carry a ton of support in the betting markets and put forth phenomenal efforts in the Divisional Round. These four teams made up 80% of the outright market margin prior to the Wild Card Round and there are very little surprises between the four sides. It also happens that there is existing market precedence for both games as each is a rematch of a regular season meeting.
I bounced back with a couple angles and ultimately settled on New England Kansas City Over 55.5.
No matter how I break this game down from a side or total perspective, I am always led back to the over.
Before I get into things that matter, I want to put the cold weather narrative to bed.
There is no wind in the forecast.
Unless wind speed gets north of 15mph, we are going to see little effect on the teams due to the cold.
Without a doubt, the game conditions slow down – somewhat. But, the slow down applies to everyone on the field. If there are two teams in the entire league that are used to succeeding in cold weather, they are New England and Kansas City…both won in similarly unfavourable conditions a week ago. If anything keeps this game under the total, it will be the Patriots game planning to hold the ball as long as possible, shorten the game and beat up the interior of the Chiefs defense – not because players hands got cold.
New England playing the possession game is certainly a possibility, but I am not sure it is their best route of attack. This matchup comes down to early game state. Both New England and Kansas City rank in the Top 3 of first-quarter points per game. It is vital for both sides to push for a lead early because it significantly shapes their advantage on offense for the game.
Running Backs Key For The Patriots
In my opinion, it is more likely to be New England getting the jump than Kansas City. The Patriots know their advantage is using multiple running backs. The Chiefs are the worst defense in the NFL when it comes to defending duo running back formations. New England torched the Chargers with running back passes a week ago. Kansas City plays a very different man to man style of defense and is able to key in on those backs, but do not have the speed to stick with them.
I think an early lack of judgement overreacting to the running backs will open up Gronkowski and Edelman – two big matchup problems – on quick passes that go for big gains.
I went back and watched a lot of game footage on the Patriots and while I am less than impressed with Brady throwing the deep ball, his ability to get the ball out of his hands quickly bodes well for the New England offensive line. Kansas City can get pressure on the best offensive lines and football, but, the one way to negate that is getting the ball out fast. This will be key, and something we see often from Brady and the Patriots offense.
An early lead will keep Kansas City competitive. The Chiefs beat up the Patriots defense with Kareem Hunt in the first matchup of the season, especially throwing the football. The Patriots have large defenders in coverage who can man up with Travis Kelce. Success for the Chiefs in this game is going to come from their finesse, speed receivers and through a ground game between the tackles. We may see Williams have another career day as he did against the Colts, or we may see Reid get very creative and use the sideline to sideline speed on the roster to open up the defense.
I anticipate this game starting with a quick score and an answer.
Once we hit 7-7 and Kansas City realizes their pass rush can’t get home, Edelman and Gronkowski start to dominate their matchup and Reid gets aggressive with his play calling, both teams are going to play to their offenses and we will see a very exciting back and forth game that finishes in the 60’s.
The false cold-weather narrative and the tightening up of playoff markets have brought this number down too low. At less than 56, this over is worth a wager.
- New England v Kansas City Over 55.5 (-107 / 1.93). Risking 0.55x.