New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Date and Time: Sunday, January 20, 2019, 6:40 p.m. ET
Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Opening NFL Odds: Kansas City -3, 57
Patriots vs. Chiefs TV Coverage: CBS
Surgeon-like. That’s the best way to describe how New England went about its business picking apart the Chargers defense last week en route to punching yet another ticket to the AFC title game. Tom Brady ended up throwing for 343 yards and 1 TD, but it was the play of rookie running back Sony Michel that stole the show. He gouged LA’s defense for 129 rushing yards and 3 TD en route to leading the Pats to the carefree 41-28 win and cover as 3.5 point favorites per the closing NFL odds. Mimic that output in this one against the Chiefs and it will be very tough for Kansas City to keep up. That said, New England has been a much different team on the road ( 3-5, 3-5 ATS ) than at home ( 9-0, 7-2 ATS ).
After shockingly falling to the Titans at home in the Wild Card Round last season, there was no way the 2018-19 Chiefs were going to be stopped at home last week against the Colts in the Division Round. KC wasted no time letting Indianapolis it wasn’t screwing around by taking the opening kickoff 80-plus yards to pay dirt to get out to a quick 7-0 lead. The Colts didn’t hit the board until 9+ minutes expired in the second quarter on a blocked punt. If not for that special teams gaffe, it’s certainly within the realm of possibility KC’s defense would’ve pitched a shutout as great it played. When the dust cleared, Patrick Mahomes threw for nearly 300 yards with all four touchdowns scored coming on the ground. It was a dominant effort all-around and one that should have the chiefs ready for this week’s grudge match with the defending AFC champs.
2 – This was the number of interceptions Mahomes threw in the Chiefs 43-40 loss to the Patriots back in Week 6. After throwing his first two picks of the season the previous week at home against Jacksonville, his interception throwing ways got the best of him the following week as well. Some would argue that the miscues allowed for New England to win the game since they immediately led to touchdowns on both occasions. As experienced and confident New England is, Mahomes can’t offer up any charity to the Patriots if indeed the Chiefs are to defend their home turf in this spot. The second-year gunslinger has been mindful of his offense’s possessions of late in only throwing a total of 2 interceptions over the last six games. If able to take care of the pigskin, you can’t help but think he’ll be in line for another big showing against a New England pass defense he gouged for 352 yards and 4 TD in the first go round.
Matchup To Watch
While the Chiefs defense has gotten better at the tail end of the season, it’s success is predicated upon keeping opposing offenses behind the sticks with tons of real estate to gain on third down to move the chains. That plan of attack worked excellently against both Oakland and Indianapolis in its last two games with the Raiders going for 127 scoreless yards on the ground and the Colts being forced to abandon the run after gaining a grand total of 87 yards. That wasn’t the case in its most recent loss to Seattle after Chris Carson racked up 116 yards and 2 TD on 27 overall totes of the pigskin.
Michel played out of his mind last week against a Chargers run defense that entered the game off shutting the Ravens potent rushing attack down the previous week. He also had success against Kansas City earlier this season when he ran for 106 yards and 2 TD on 24 overall carries. If the Chiefs give up nearly 4.5 yards per rush in the rematch, the defense is going to have an incredibly tough time keeping the Brady Bunch off the field. If you plan on live betting this matchup, make it a point to see how KC’s defense is handling the Patriots ground attack. If routinely getting ripped for big gainers, it won’t bode well for those backing them at the best sportsbooks.
Bet the Patriots at Chiefs at BookMaker.eu
Mahomes looked like a 10-year veteran with the way he went about his business at the outset of last week’s game against the Colts. I’m expecting another solid outing from the soon to be named MVP of the league. I’m not buying much into the Pats all-out destruction of the Chargers last week. They’ve been an entirely different team within Gillette Stadium than away from it all season long, and I once again expect that to be the case on Sunday as well. As attractive it looks to take the field goal with New England, their road showings against the Jaguars, Lions, Titans, Dolphins and Steelers keep preventing me from taking the points linemakers are offering up. Kansas City just looks to be destined to make it first Super Bowl appearance in nearly 50 years! Not even Mother Nature will prevent that from happening late Sunday night!
NFL ATS Betting Pick: Kansas City -3 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Chiefs 31 – Patriots 23