Adam Chernoff: NFL Week Two

7 min

I was tempted to pull up my Insights blog for my big bet on Pittsburgh vs Kansas City last year. Much of what I wrote then, is still very valid today.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are loaded with offensive talent, and the Kansas City Chiefs are incapable of tackling anyone.

The crutch of my handicap a year ago was the game plan for Pittsburgh was too easy for Mike Tomlin to screw up – and it came true. Le’Veon Bell ran 32 times for 179 yards, and Antonio Brown caught 8 passes for 155 yards. Pittsburgh won outright by 6 as a 5-point underdog.

The handicap for this weeks matchup follows the same direction. Kansas City showed they have done nothing to improve their defense.

They beat the Los Angeles Chargers by 10 points, but they gave up over 500 yards passing to Philip Rivers. I went back to watch the Kansas City Los Angeles game over again and was blown away about the number of tackles Kansas City missed, especially against running backs. Gordon and Ekeler did anything they wanted, and the Chargers averaged over 7 yards per play.

The return of Strong safety Eric Berry can not come fast enough for a porous Chiefs Defense.

The Steelers have the perfect combo back in James Conner to attack this defense. They also have two elite receivers that are a step up from Allen/Williams in Los Angeles. The Chiefs pass rush is non-existent and when Roethlisberger has time and receivers can run their full routes, he can do anything he wishes passing the football.

Kansas City will be able to do their fair share of scoring too.

The Pittsburgh Steelers weakness on defense is playing sideline to sideline and defending speed. Opponents have big success running stretch plays to the left and right. The prominent feature of the Kansas City offense is speed and misdirection.

Andy Reid has held nothing back and implemented a full college offense. This is going to take the league a lot of time to adjust. Mike Tomlin is certainly not going to lead the game planning charge to counteract it.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger had a shocker in Cleveland last weekend but his home starts have often propelled him to some outstanding performances.

Every other play Kansas City ran against Los Angeles, there was a receiver in motion faking – or taking – a misdirection play from Mahomes. This resulted in big success and will create frequent big-play potential against the Steelers.

While the side in this game has fully adjusted, the total remains low.

Bettors in the market were underwhelmed with the Steelers performance on the road in Cleveland, but few are considering the harsh conditions which hampered the offense. I anticipate both teams taking advantage of significant matchup advantages on offense and running up the score well into the 60’s on Sunday. Any total of 52 or less is a must bet.

Chiefs v Steelers betting

How about them Skins

The Washington Redskins were the biggest surprise to me in the opening week (aside from my beloved Jets).

Low expectations had Washington priced at the bottom of the NFC East entering the season. I did not anticipate the confidence level their offense would enter the season with – nor did I foresee a world class tight end, Jordan Reed, being the third best weapon.

Chris Thompson is playing at another gear, and Adrian Peterson is running like he is 25. The running back duo complements the conservative playing style of Alex Smith so well, and the new QB looks like he is poised to keep winning ball games.

Redskins running back Chris Thompson (25) was dominant in Phoenix last Sunday.

The Colts struggled mightily to contain Joe Mixon in the season opener at home against Cincinnati. With the depth at running back, Washington will have a Joe Mixon like back available every down of the game and arguably a better option in Thompson.

This is another excellent spot to fade the porous Colts defense and back the home Redskins to run the score up.

Colts v Redskins betting

Adam’s Week 2 Bets

  • Kansas City Pittsburgh Over 51.5 (1.84) risking 1.75x
  • Washington Redskins -5 (1.87) risking 1.15x

Click here for Matchbook’s latest NFL markets