On Sunday evening, the New England Patriots hit the road to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game. This is the Patriots 8th straight Conference Championship game appearance, but the first for the Chiefs since 1993. New England comes in as the underdog, but have all of the confidence and experience to win this game.
Can the Chiefs use their home field to their advantage or will New England go to the Super Bowl for the third straight year? Kickoff inside Arrowhead Stadium is at 6:40 PM ET.
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The following odds are courtesy of live odds feed:
|Betting Data||New England Patriots||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Current S/U record||12-5||13-4|
|2018 ATS Home||7-2||5-4|
|2018 ATS Away||3-5||5-2-1|
|2018 O/U Home||3-6||3-6|
|2018 O/U Away||3-5||7-1|
The Patriots and the Chiefs have played against each other 36 times and Kansas City has the overall advantage with a record of 18-15-3. They have played against each other once in the playoffs and New England won that game 27 to 20 back in 2016. New England defeated KC during the regular season 43 to 40 and have gone 8-4 against the Chiefs in their last 12 head-to-head meetings.
The Patriots (12-5) look to extend their dynasty another year by defeating the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium and heading back to the Super Bowl.
New England dominated the Chargers at home during the Divisional Round of the playoffs and aim to duplicate that offensive output against the Chiefs this weekend. The Patriots are 35-20 all-time in the post season and 10-4 in conference championship games.
Kansas City (13-4) easily dispatched of the Colts last weekend and look to keep their defensive momentum going against the dangerous Patriots offense.
Kansas City held the Colts to just 13 points and had their best defensive performance of the year. KC also exercised their postseason demons with the win over Indy, improving their playoff record to 10-18. They are 2-1 in Conference Championship games and look to secure a Super Bowl appearance for the first time since 1969.
With most online betting sites, the Chiefs opened as a 3 point favorite. The spread hasn’t changed since then. And, I highly doubt it moves much over the rest of the week. The Over/Under opened at 57.5 points with most internet sportsbooks, but it has come down slightly to 57 total points since then.
In their Week 6 matchup, the two teams combined for 83 points and played one of their best games of the season.
New England won that game 43 to 40 on a last second field goal. Brady threw for 340 yards and Mahomes threw for 352 yards, while the two teams combined for 946 total yards and 30 points in the 4th quarter. The Chiefs had two turnovers to the Patriots one turnover, and that extra possession ended up being the difference.
For this game, we could very well have a similar outcome: high scoring, passing duel, and last second game winning score. However, I believe the result will be different as the Chiefs will come away the victor.
The Chiefs are the most dangerous team that New England has faced all year, and this time it will be at Arrowhead Stadium where KC went 8-1 this year. Even more alarming, the Patriots went 3-5 on the road this season. KC was 11-2 SU as a favorite this year, 11-2 SU against the AFC, and 1-0 SU as a favorite of 3 points or less at home.
New England is 3-5 SU on the road, 0-3 SU in road games where the total is 49.5 points or more, 1-4 SU in grass games, and 1-5 SU in road games at Kansas City.
Neither team inspires confidence with their defense, so that means this game will be all about the offense. And, if that holds true, then the Chiefs have the advantage. For the regular season, the Chiefs were 1st in total yards (425.6 ypg) and the Patriots were 5th (393.4 ypg).
KC also led the NFL in scoring at 35.3 ppg, while the Patriots were 4th at 27.2 ppg. KC came in at 3rd for passing yards with 309.7 ypg and the Patriots were 8th at 266.2 ypg. The one area that the Patriots did finish higher than KC in was running the ball as New England was 5th overall with 127.3 ypg and the Chiefs were 16th at 115.9 ypg.
For the Patriots to have any shot at winning this game, they will need to rely on their running game as it will set up the play action, open up the passing game, and keep the Chiefs offense on the sidelines. However, that’s easier said than done.
Even if the Chiefs don’t have the ball as long as the Patriots, they still can score quickly. In their Week 6 meeting, New England had the ball for 36 minutes and the Chiefs had it for just under 24 minutes. However, the Chiefs scored 40 points despite having the ball for 12 less minutes. It’s proof that even if New England controls the clock in this game, KC can still put up a lot of points.
Another big factor in this game will be the Chiefs pass rush that dominated the Colts last weekend. KC’s defensive line has improved dramatically since first playing the Patriots in the regular season, and they could easily put a lot of pressure on Brady this weekend.
Running back Damien Williams has given the Chiefs an explosive option in the backfield, which only makes the offense even more dangerous. But, for KC to win, it all comes down to Patrick Mahomes. The young QB has all of the confidence in the world and is an even more impressive QB at home.
I believe he will outduel Brady in this game. I’m confident in the Chiefs winning, but that FG spread might be a push or slightly hard for KC to cover. This should be a close game with KC winning it in the end. Take the KC moneyline at -152 and watch as Mahomes takes the proverbial torch from Brady.
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