Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (-3.5)
Sun. 10/14, 8:20 p.m. ET
Three things you need to know before betting on Kansas City-New England:
1. The Chiefs improved to 5-0 (both straight up and against the spread) last Sunday when they forced five turnovers in a 30-14 rout of Jacksonville. The Patriots, meanwhile, are coming off back-to-back blowout home wins over Miami and Indianapolis by a combined score of 76 to 31. One of the keys to New England’s success the past couple of weeks has been its ability to dominate opponents on the ground, as the Pats have out-rushed their opponents 272 yards to 140. New England will be playing its third home game in as many weeks, as the team attempts to improve upon its 17-6 ATS record in Foxboro since the start of the 2016 season. (The Patriots have gone 10-1 straight up and 9-2 against the spread over their past 11 games at Gillette Stadium.) New England is 30-12 against the spread as a favorite since the start of 2016, which includes a 9-1 ATS mark as a home favorite of a touchdown or less. In those 10 games, New England has outscored opponents by an average score of 27 to 14.
2. While Kansas City remains the lone unbeaten team in the AFC, the Chiefs were in a similar position last year when they started 5-0 before losing six of their next seven games, both straight up and against the spread. Since the start of the 2009 season, NFL road teams have gone 5-33 straight up and 7-29-2 against the spread in games where they haven’t been favored and are coming off three consecutive wins against the spread over the first half the season. That includes a 3-14 ATS mark for such underdogs since the start of 2014 and an 0-2 ATS record so far this season.
3. Although the Chiefs have averaged 297 passing yards per game, the Patriots under head coach Bill Belichick have consistently shut down opponents that have the ability to move the ball through the air. New England is 37-12 against the spread since Belichick took over prior to the 2000 season when facing an opponent that’s averaging at least 260 passing yards per game. The Patriots are 33-22 over that same time frame against teams with a win percentage of at least .750. Having three more days to prepare for this game after not having played since last Thursday would also seem to give New England a bit of an advantage in this spot. Before Kansas City won last year’s season opener at Gillette Stadium, the Chiefs had lost six straight trips to Foxboro.
Pick: New England -3.5
Confidence Level: Moderate (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)
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