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Two AFC divisional leaders will meet on Sunday afternoon when the Kansas City Chiefs travel to New England to face the Patriots. New England is slated as a 3-point favorite and the game will take place at Gillette Stadium. Kansas City is 8-4 on the season, which is good for first place in the AFC West. New England is 10-2 this year, but the Patriots are coming off one of their worst performances of the season—a 28-22 loss to the Houston Texans.
Chiefs hoping to take advantage of Patriots' weaknessesKansas City enters Sunday afternoon’s showdown on a two-game winning streak. The Chiefs picked up a 24-17 win in Mexico City against the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 18. Then they had a bye week before blowing out the Oakland Raiders, 40-9, last week. Kansas City is currently sitting at 8-4 on the season, which puts them at the top of the AFC West. The Chiefs won their first four games of the year, but lost their next two contests. They went 2-2 over their next four games and have now won the previous two.
The Chiefs are led by superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who has thrown for 2,983 yards and 20 touchdowns this season. He has done an outstanding job of protecting the football, only throwing two interceptions. Mahomes has also rushed for 166 yards on 25 attempts, scoring one touchdown. His mobility has been limited due an injury this season. Veteran running back LeSean McCoy leads the team with 84 carries for 410 yards and four touchdowns. Damien Williams has added 83 attempts for 309 yards and three scores. Williams is questionable for Sunday’s game with a ribs injury. Tight end Travis Kelce has a team-high 68 catches for 923 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill has 38 receptions for 598 yards and five scores. Sammy Watkins has added 42 catches for 538 yards and three touchdowns.
New England looking for bounce back performanceNew England is coming off its worst game of the season—a 28-22 loss against the Houston Texans. The score is not indicative of how the game went, however, as the Patriots were trailing 28-9 late in the fourth quarter. New England is still sitting at 10-2 on the season, despite the loss to the Texans. Regardless, the Patriots offense has now failed to eclipse 22 points for each of the last four games. During New England’s eight-game winning streak to open the season, the Patriots scored at least 22 points in seven of the eight contests. Now, the offense is having trouble moving the ball. New England’s defense failed to force a turnover for the first game all season in the loss to Houston. Deshaun Watson threw three touchdown passes and caught a touchdown pass on a trick play.
The Patriots are still led by veteran quarterback Tom Brady, who has passed for 3,268 yards and 18 touchdowns this season. He has thrown six interceptions. Running back Sony Michel leads the team with 645 rushing yards on 184 carries, which is only 3.51 yards per attempt. He has reached the end zone six times. James White has added 53 rushes for 208 yards and one touchdown and Rex Burkhead has 41 attempts for 166 yards. Veteran wide receiver Julian Edelman has once again been Brady’s favorite weapon in the passing game, catching 82 passes for 915 yards and five touchdowns. White has 57 receptions for 512 yards and three scores out of the backfield. Phillip Dorsett has caught 28 passes for 347 yards and five touchdowns.
New England is:
- 7-1 ATS in its last eight games as a home underdog
- 23-9-2 ATS in its last 34 games as an underdog of 0.5-3.0
- 47-22 ATS in its last 69 games overall
Kansas City is:
- 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games in Week 14
- 1-4 ATS in its last five games following a straight up win
- 1-5 ATS in its last six games on turf
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
New England seems to bounce back every time the doubters come out of the woodwork. The Patriots are primed to do that again this week. Defensively, the oddsmakers are expecting Bill Belichick’s defense to struggle with Patrick Mahomes. However, I expect Belichick to come up with a scheme that will put an emphasis on Mahomes’ lack of mobility and make him one-dimensional. I also see Brady having a bounce-back performance this week and New England covering the spread. The Patriots have covered the number in 11 of their last 16 games, so don’t expect that to change just because of one bad performance on the road.
Prediction: New England -3
Full-Game Total Pick
This game should go under the number. New England is simply too good on the defensive side of the ball to come out flat for the second game in a row, especially with this week’s game being played at Gillette Stadium. These two teams met in last season’s AFC Championship game and flew over the total with 68 points. However, Kansas City has not been producing nearly as many points this season and the Patriots come into this game with a chip on their shoulder. The market has not adjusted for New England’s offense this season, with nine of the Patriots’ last 13 games going under the number. Cold weather has led to plenty of unders in New England games as well, with 10 of the Patriots’ last 13 December games going under.
Prediction: Under 48.5