In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds
Chiefs vs. Patriots Prediction
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough
Table of Contents
- Introduction & Team Review
- The Running Game
- The Passing Game
- Final Outlook & Prediction
- Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com
- Insiders' Best Bets
Last Updated: Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 10:59am EST
It’s a battle of AFC division leaders and a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game up in the New England area. The Kansas City Chiefs are on the road as they travel to face the New England Patriots Sunday afternoon. Kansas City comes in off a 40-9 demolition of Oakland on the road last Sunday in their previous contest. New England was dumped 28-22 on the road by Houston on Sunday Night Football last week in their previous game. The Chiefs own an 18-14-3 edge in the all-time regular season series: the Patriots won the last meeting 43-40 on October 14, 2018. New England won the AFC Championship Game 37-31 in overtime on the road on January 20, 2019.
Kansas City Chiefs Review
Kansas City started the season where they left off last year but hit a speed bump of late. The Chiefs opened the season with four straight victories, rolling over the Jaguars (40-26) and Raiders (28-10) before winning a pair of close games over Baltimore (33-28) at home and Detroit (34-30) on the road. Kansas City has battled through injuries to skill position players but they’ve been held in check for long stretches in the last couple of games. The Chiefs were neutralized by the Colts in a 19-13 home loss in week five before falling to Houston at home in week six. That set the stage for an AFC West tilt with the Broncos in week seven, where the Chiefs prevailed 30-6 despite losing Patrick Mahomes to a dislocated knee. With Matt Moore under center in week eight, Kansas City fell 31-24 at home to Green Bay before edging the Vikings 26-23 at home. The Chiefs were beaten on the road by the Titans (35-32) before knocking off the Chargers (24-17) heading into their bye.
Coming out of the bye, Kansas City faced an Oakland team intent on bumping them from the AFC West penthouse. Instead, the Chiefs delivered a blow that put them in the driver’s seat for the division crown. Kansas City led 7-0 after the opening quarter, 21-0 at the half and 31-0 after three quarters. The Chiefs kept the Raiders off the scoreboard until the first play of the fourth quarter and out of the end zone until only 39 seconds remained in the contest. Kansas City was outgained 332-259 and lost the time of possession 31:41 to 28:19 in the contest. The Chiefs held a 22-19 edge in first downs and forced three turnovers while not committing one in the game. Kansas City added a defensive two-point conversion on a blocked extra point return.
New England Patriots Review
New England keeps rolling along with Tom Brady under center. The Patriots own a two-game lead in the AFC East and lead the Ravens by one game for the top seed in the AFC playoffs though Baltimore owns the tie-breaker. New England opened their season with a 33-3 home demolition of Pittsburgh and followed that up with one-sided wins over Miami (43-0) on the road and the Jets (30-14) at home. The Patriots then slugged their way to a tough win (16-10) at Buffalo before whipping Washington (33-7) on the road and the Giants (35-14) at home. New England then hammered the Jets on a Monday night (33-0) on the road and forced turnovers on three straight plays en route to a home win (27-13) over Cleveland. The Patriots suffered their first loss of the season with a road loss (37-20) to Baltimore before rebounding with a 17-10 road win over Philadelphia and a 13-9 home win over Dallas. That set the stage for their Sunday night game against the Texans.
Against Houston, New England couldn’t get their offensive attack going with any regularity when the game was hanging in the balance. The Patriots scored on their opening drive of the game to take a 3-0 lead but they struggled to do much over the first three quarters. New England was in a 21-3 hole late in the third quarter before scoring their first touchdown with 12 seconds to play in the stanza. After giving up a touchdown to trail 28-9 with under 10 minutes to play, the Patriots finally got going but it was against a soft prevent defense by the Texans. New England scored two touchdowns in the final 3:42 but ended up falling short. The Patriots rolled up a 448-276 edge in total offense, 29 first downs to Houston’s 16 and controlled the clock by a 34:35 to 25:25 margin yet none of it mattered. New England did commit the game’s lone turnover and couldn’t get things going until things were out of reach. The loss, coupled with Baltimore’s win, pushed the Patriots out of the top spot in the AFC playoff picture.
The Running Game
Kansas City Chiefs Running Offense
New England Patriots Running Defense
Kansas City Chiefs Running Offense
The rushing attack was a secondary option for Kansas City last season and things aren't all that different so far in 2019 either. The Chiefs are intent on trying to do damage through the air and making the run game only relevant when it comes to trying to bleed the clock or to set up something else. Kansas City was relatively effective early in the season, running for at least 100 yards in three of their first four games on the year. Since then, the Chiefs have mustered just two 100-yard games on the ground. In the last month, Kansas City has been more consistent with attempting to move the ball on the ground. They have more than 90 yards in each of the last four weeks with a pair of 100-yard games. Last week against Oakland, they ran the ball 29 times for 96 yards.
LeSean McCoy, in his first season with the team after the Bills let him go, leads the team with 84 carries for 410 yards plus four scores on the year. Damien Williams has 83 carries but has totaled only 309 yards plus a score. He's missed a couple of games already this season with a knee injury. Darwin Thompson (16 carries, 52 yards, TD) and Darrel Williams (41 carries, 141 yards, three TD) are further down the pecking order in the run game. Darrel Williams was placed on injured reserve this week so the team added Spencer Ware to the mix in the backfield for depth purposes. Kansas City has nine running plays that have covered at least 20 yards this season. McCoy leads the team with four such plays while Mahomes (25 carries, 166 yards, TD) adds three. Damien Wiliams and Darrel Williams have the others. The Chiefs have moved the chains 68 times via the ground game this season.
Update (12/7): Damien Williams will miss the game due to a ribs injury. That means more time for McCoy along with Spencer Ware and rookie Darwin Thompson. Ware led the Chiefs in rushing in 2016 and was just signed this week.
New England Patriots Run Defense
The Patriots have been pretty solid at stopping the run this season. New England has allowed just five opponents to run for at least 100 yards in their 12 games this season. They have had their struggles of late however. That includes a game against the Redskins where nearly half (65 of 145) of the yards came on an end-around against Washington. In the last five games, the Patriots have given up a trio of 100-yard games, including a season-worst 210 yards against the Ravens in week nine. Two weeks against the Cowboys, New England gave up 26 carries for 109 yards on the ground. Last week against Houston, the Patriots held the Texans to 23 carries for just 52 yards.
Jamie Collins Sr. leads the team with 61 tackles (45 solo) along with three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery this season from his linebacker position. Lawrence Guy (47 tackles, two fumble recoveries), Danny Shelton (43 tackles, forced fumble), Jonathan Jones (43 tackles, two forced fumbles) and Dont’a Hightower (53 tackles, fumble recovery, TD) are among the top tacklers on the team so far this season. Collins leads the team with 11 tackles for loss while Kyle Van Noy (40 tackles, three forced fumbles, two fumble recovers, TD) and Hightower each contributes eight. Adam Butler (16 tackles) adds 7.5 tackles for loss on the year. As a squad, the Patriots have rolled up 63 tackles for loss and forced 13 fumbles while recovering nine, including two fumble returns for scores, this season.
- 28th in run play percentage (36.7 percent)
- 26th in rushing attempts per game (22.4)
- 24th in rushing yards per game (94.5)
- 20th in yards per carry (4.2)
- Tied for 17th in rushing TD (12)
- 1st in longest rush (91 yards)
- 5th in percentage of run plays against (37.32 percent)
- 2nd in run plays per game against (21.6)
- 5th in rushing yards allowed per game (94.5)
- 19th in opposing yards per carry (4.4)
- Tied for 2nd in rushing TD allowed (five)
- Tied for 21st in longest rush allowed (65 yards)
Who has the Edge?
There's not a lot here to excite you about the Chiefs' run game. While the Patriots have had some problems against the run, their worst games were against teams that actually commit to running the ball. That isn't something you can say about Kansas City. Factor in that the Chiefs are going to be rather thinned out at the running back position to the point that they had to bring Ware in off the street and there's not anything jumping out to support them here. New England is going to focus on the pass but the Chiefs don't run it enough to keep them honest.
Advantage: New England Patriots
New England Patriots Running Offense
Kansas City Chiefs Running Defense
New England Patriots Running Offense
New England has been the epitome of the three yards and a cloud of dust sort of run game that was prevalent in the 1970s. The Patriots aren't gashing teams for big plays on the ground but they are patient and determined. New England has averaged 3.5 yards per carry or less in eight of their 12 games this season. The Patriots have run for more than 100 yards five times this season in their 12 games. New England hasn’t been held below 68 yards on the ground in a game this season, so there is at least some consistency due to the commitment to the ground game. The Patriots have gone over the century mark in the last two weeks, running for 101 yards against Dallas and following that up with 145 yards against Houston in week 13.
Sony Michel has been the lead back for the Patriots this season but yards have been hard to come by so far. He has 184 carries for 645 yards and six touchdowns on the year. Rex Burkhead has carried the ball 41 times for 166 yards plus a score while James White is next in line with 53 carries for 208 yards and a touchdown this season. As a team, the Patriots have only four run plays that have covered at least 20 yards on the year. Michel has two of them while White and Brandon Bolden (14 carries, 58 yards, two TD) have the others. New England has racked up 76 first downs via the ground game.
Kansas City Chiefs Run Defense
The Chiefs have had their problems stopping opposing on the ground this season, much as they did in 2018. Kansas City suffers at stopping opposing teams as their bend but don't break strategy led to some quick strikes by the opposition. The Chiefs have had their struggles so far this season as they've given up more than four yards per carry in 10 of their 12 contests. Kansas City has allowed more than 100 yards on the ground in eight of their 12 games with two other games where they’ve allowed at least 93 yards. Last week against the Raiders in a blowout win, they still allowed 122 yards and 4.9 yards per carry on the ground.
Linebacker Damien Wilson (forced fumble) leads the team with 67 tackles on the year. Anthony Hitchens (66 tackles, forced fumble), Charvarius Ward (57 tackles, forced fumble), Juan Thornhill (46 tackles) and Tyrann Mathieu (51 tackles) are among the team's leaders in tackles. Frank Clark (28 tackles, three forced fumbles, fumble recovery) leads the team with nine tackles for loss. Emmanuel Ogbah (32 tackles, forced fumble) has eight tackles for loss while Tanoh Kpassagnon (24 tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery) is right behind with 7.5 on the year. As a team, the Chiefs have racked up 59 tackles for loss while forcing 13 fumbles and recovering seven so far this season. Kansas City has returned two fumbles for scores this season.
- 18th in run play percentage (39.17 percent)
- 8th in rushing attempts per game (27.6)
- 21st in rushing yards per game (96.3)
- 29th in yards per carry (3.5)
- Tied for 4th in rushing TD (13)
- Tied for 29th in longest rush (26 yards)
- 21st in percentage of run plays against (41.97 percent)
- 27th in run plays per game against (29.1)
- 30th in rushing yards allowed per game (141.3)
- 30th in opposing yards per carry (5.1)
- Tied for 26th in rushing TD allowed (12)
- 15th in longest rush allowed (51 yards)
Who has the Edge?
This one could go a long way to determining how this game pans out. New England has been committed to the run though it hasn't been all that effective this season. Kansas City has been gashed when teams do run the ball against them, even in one-sided wins. One need look no further than last week for an example of that as the Raiders ran for over 100 yards despite being blown out. If the Patriots commit to the run with their stable of backs that they can shuffle in and out, they would have a slight advantage here.
Advantage: New England Patriots
The Passing Game
Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense
vs. New England Patriots Passing Defense
Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense
One thing that we saw last season was that the Chiefs were aggressive with their aerial assault. The fact that Patrick Mahomes won the league MVP last season by lighting up opposing defenses is something that isn’t overlooked but is hard to stop nonetheless. Even with opposing teams knowing that the passing attack is the key of Kansas City's offense, it's something that has worked again this season. The Chiefs threw for at least 300 yards in each of the first five games of the season but have reached that mark only once in the last seven games. Mahomes missed time with a dislocated knee that cost him a couple of games. In the last two weeks, Kansas City threw for only 182 yards against the Chargers and 175 against the Raiders.
Mahomes has hit on 227 of 352 passes for 2,983 yards with 20 touchdowns and two interceptions on the season to date. He's been sacked 12 times for a loss of 95 yards. Matt Moore is 59 of 91 for 659 yards and four scores: he has been sacked eight times for a loss of 65 yards. Sammy Watkins is second on the team with 42 receptions for 538 yards plus three scores: he’s been hampered by an ankle injury the last few weeks. Tight end Travis Kelce (team-high 68 grabs, 923 yards, four TD) is his usual self while Damien Williams has 23 grabs out of the backfield for 156 yards and a score. Demarcus Robinson (27 catches, 379 yards, three TD), rookie Mecole Hardman (23 catches, 450 yards, five TD) and Byron Pringle (11 receptions, 156 yards, TD) all stepped up while Tyreek Hill (38 catches, 598 yards, five TD) and Watkins have missed time. The Chiefs have 48 pass plays of at least 20 yards on the season. Kelce has 11 to lead the team while Hill has eight. Hardman and Watkins are next in line as each has seven.
New England Patriots Passing Defense
New England has been excellent at making life difficult for opposing quarterbacks this season. The Patriots didn’t allow a touchdown pass until week six against the Giants and have allowed more than one scoring pass in a game just once all year. New England has held seven opponents under 200 yards through the air and haven’t given up more than 280 yards in a game this season. The Patriots had held five straight opponents under 200 yards through the air in weeks five through nine. New England had arguably their worst game against the pass last season, giving up 240 yards and four scores through the air. That TD pass total matched what they had allowed in the first 11 games of the season.
Van Noy leads the team with 6.5 sacks while Collins is right behind with six. Chase Winovich (17 tackles) and Butler each have 5.5 sacks on the year. Stephon Gilmore (29 tackles) leads the team with 13 pass defenses while Jones adds eight on the year. Devin McCourty (38 tackles, half-tackle for loss, forced fumble, fumble recovery) has seven while Jason McCourty (40 tackles) contributes six. Devin McCourty paces the team with five interceptions while Gilmore (TD) has four and Collins Sr. (TD) adds three. J.C. Jackson (13 tackles, four pass defenses) and Duron Harmon (14 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, four pass defenses) each have two picks while Terrence Brooks (17 tackles, three pass defenses), John Simon (26 tackles, three sacks, four pass defenses, forced fumble), Jason McCourty and Lawrence Guy (40 tackles, sack, three tackles for loss, pass defense, two fumble recoveries) each have one. As a team, New England has 40 sacks, 69 pass defenses and 20 interceptions with two of those being returned for scores.
- 5th in pass play percentage (63.3 percent)
- 14th in completion percentage (64.4)
- 3rd in passing yards per game (290.2)
- Tied for 2nd in TD passes (24)
- Tied for 1st in INT thrown (two)
- 3rd in net yards per pass attempt (7.8)
- Tied for 4th in longest pass play (83 yards)
- 3rd in passer rating (106.1)
- 28th in pass play percentage against (62.68 percent)
- 2nd in net passing yards per game allowed (163.5)
- 1st in completion percentage allowed (55.2)
- 1st in TD passes allowed (eight)
- 1st in INT (20)
- 3rd in sacks (40)
- 1st in passer rating allowed (49.2)
- 2nd in net yards per pass attempt (five)
Who has the Edge?
Normally when these two units take the field, the arrow points firmly in their direction. The Chiefs are an explosive pass offense led by the reigning MVP and a bunch of targets that can turn in a big play at a moment's notice. New England's secondary has made life miserable for opposing passing games and their ability to force turnovers is second to none. The Patriots have missed Jason McCourty lately and that's been a factor. New England gave up four passing scores last week so one has to wonder if that was something Houston managed to exploit or if it's the first crack in the dam. Call this one a wash.
New England Patriots Passing Offense
Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense
New England Patriots Passing Offense
New England may not be the same weapons in their arsenal in the passing game as in years past but they still have plenty of weapons to work with in that department. The Patriots have a talented receiver group featuring Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu Sr. and Phillip Dorsett that makes them that much more dangerous. Throw in Burkhead and White as pass catching backs and there are a ton of guys to try and cover. The Patriots have five 300-yard games on the season though just one has come in the last six weeks. New England had that 300-yard game last week against Houston though most of them were empty yards as the team looked to make up a multiple-score deficit. The Patriots finished the game against the Texans with 326 yards through the air.
Tom Brady has completed 297 of 476 passes for 3,268 yards with 18 touchdowns and six interceptions. He's been sacked 21 times for a loss of 149 yards. Jarrett Stidham is two of four for 14 yards with an interception while Edelman, who played quarterback in college, hit both his pass attempts for 47 yards and a score: he also leads the team with 82 receptions for 915 yards plus five scores. White (57 receptions, 512 yards, three TD), Dorsett (28 catches, 347 yards, five TD), Burkhead (20 grabs, 190 yards), Jakobi Meyers (22 receptions, 299 yards) and Mohamed Sanu Sr. (17 catches, 122 yards, TD) are all dangerous options in the passing game. New England has reeled in 52 passes of at least 20 yards this season. Edelman leads the team with 11 while Meyers adds eight and White seven on the season.
Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense
Kansas City's big thing defensively last season came via their pass rush as the team was pounding opposing quarterbacks into the dirt on a regular basis. The Chiefs haven't had that success as much this season and it's proven to be a bit of an issue. Kansas City has allowed only three 300-yard games but their pass rush hasn’t been nearly as effective as last season. The Chiefs have recorded at least four sacks in a game four times but they’ve been held without a sack twice while recording just one sack on two other occasions. That inconsistency could be a problem come playoff time.
The Chiefs have to get a better pass rush going and that's something that has yet to come to fruition after trading Dee Ford and seeing Justin Houston leave via free agency. Chris Jones (27 tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery) leads the team with six sacks on the season. Ogbah (5.5 sacks) and Clark (five) are right behind in that category. Ward leads the team with nine pass defenses on the year. Mathieu is second on the team with seven pass defenses while Bashaud Breeland (37 tackles, two fumble recoveries, TD) has five of his own this season. Mathieu leads the team with three picks while Ward and Thornhill (TD) each have two. Clark, Breeland, Daniel Sorenson (43 tackles, two tackles for loss, three pass defenses), Derrick Nnadi (41 tackles, sack, three tackles for loss, pass defense, forced fumble) and Rashad Fenton (15 tackles, three pass defenses, forced fumble) each have one. As a team, the Chiefs have totaled 34 sacks, 51 pass defenses and 12 interceptions, including one pick-six, on the year.
- 15th in pass play percentage (60.83 percent)
- 26th in completion percentage (61.2)
- 8th in net passing yards per game (264.4)
- Tied for 18th in TD passes (19)
- Tied for 10th in INT thrown (seven)
- 20th in net yards per pass attempt (6.4)
- 20th in longest pass play (59 yards)
- 16th in passer rating (88.2)
- 12th in pass play percentage against (58.03 percent)
- 16th in passing yards per game allowed (230.8)
- 11th in completion percentage allowed (62.4)
- Tied for 18th in TD passes allowed (18)
- Tied for 15th in INT (12)
- 7th in sacks (34)
- 16th in passer rating allowed (90.5)
- 11th in net yards per pass attempt (6.5)
Who has the Edge?
Brady has been banged up with toe, elbow and knee injuries this season. His wide receiving corps has been in flux all season. Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown, two guys that were expected to be factors at the start of the year, are gone. The offensive line has been banged up and given up pressure more often than in recent years. Kansas City's defense isn't the Steel Curtain or the Purple People Eaters of the 1970s but they have generated turnovers and they can harass Brady enough to make life difficult. This one goes to the Chiefs after seeing the way New England has sputtered offensively most of the year.
Advantage: Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs continue to be an offensive juggernaut this season as they are third in the league with 29 points per contest. Kansas City stands 4th in the league in total offense as they average 384.7 yards per contest while ranking second in yards per play as they pick up 6.3 yards per snap. The Chiefs are currently 16th in the league in scoring defense by allowing 22.1 points per contest. Kansas City is 25th in the league in total defense by allowing 372.1 yards per game and 21st in yards per play by allowing 5.6 yards per snap. In giveaway/takeaway, the Chiefs are tied for 6th with a +8 ratio this season.
The Chiefs have struggled punching the ball into the end zone once they drive into the red zone as they are ranked 19th in the league by converting only 53.85 percent of their chances. Defensively, Kansas City has been decent so far this season, ranking 12th in red zone defense by allowing 53.19 percent of drives to reach the red zone to end in touchdowns. The Chiefs are near the top of the pack in third-down conversions, ranking 3rd by converting 46.76 percent of their third-down situations so far this season. Kansas City’s defense is 14th in those situations as they hold the opposition to 36.91 percent success on their third downs. The Chiefs are 24th in the league in time of possession by holding the ball 48.04 percent of the time this season.
Harrison Butker is 37 of 39 on extra-point tries and has hit 25 of 29 field goals with a long of 54. Dustin Colquitt has averaged 44.1 yards on his 39 punts with a 41.5-yard net average per kick. He does have 18 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line but also has two touchbacks. Hardman has averaged 23 yards on his 19 kick returns with a long of 34. He has averaged 14.8 yards on eight punt returns with a long of 36.
New England Patriots
The Patriots are very good on the offensive side of the ball this season as they are 6th in the league with 26.8 points per contest. New England is 14th in total offense as they average 360.8 yards per contest while ranking 23rd in yards per play as they pick up 5.1 yards per snap. The Patriots are solid defensively, ranking 1st in the league in scoring defense by allowing a paltry 12.1 points per contest. New England is 2nd in the league in total defense by allowing 258 yards per game and 2nd in yards per play by allowing only 4.5 yards per snap. In giveaway/takeaway, the Patriots are 1st with a +18 ratio this season.
The Patriots have sputtered a bit in the red zone so far as they are 24th in the league in scoring touchdowns in the red zone as they convert only 48.98 percent of their chances. Defensively, New England has been sharp as they are eighth in red zone defense by allowing only 50 percent of drives to reach the red zone to end in touchdowns. The Patriots are in the middle of the pack in third down conversions, ranking 16th by converting 38.76 percent of their third down situations on the year. New England’s defense is currently 1st in those situations as they held the opposition to a meager 21.68 percent success rate on their third downs. The Patriots are 2nd in the league in time of possession by holding the ball 54.09 percent of the time this season.
Stephen Gostkowski was 11 of 15 on extra points and seven of eight on field goal tries this season with a long of 41 this season. He was placed on injured reserve prior to the week 5 game against Washington and underwent hip surgery that knocked him out for the year. The team signed Mike Nugent to take over the kicking duties: he was 15 of 16 on extra points and five of eight on field goals with a long of 37. Nick Folk hit three of three on extra points and seven of nine on field goals with a long of 44 but was released after an appendectomy. Kai Forbath took over the job for the Houston game and went one of two on extra points while hitting a 23-yard field goal. He, too, was cut loose and the team tried to claim Chase McLaughlin off waivers only to see the Colts get him. As of this writing, the Patriots have no kicker on the roster.
Jake Bailey has averaged 44.9 yards on 65 punts with a 41.5-yard net average. He has dropped 31 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line with five touchbacks. Brandon Bolden averages 21.8 yards on 13 kickoff returns while Gunner Olszewski averages 8.9 yards on 20 punt returns with a long of 22 this season. J.C. Jackson blocked a punt against Buffalo: Bolden blocked a punt against the Giants and Matthew Slater blocked one against Dallas in week 12.
Who has the Edge?
Kansas City is an excellent offensive team with a middle of the road type of defense. On the other side of the coin, the Patriots are a mediocre offensive attack while their defense has carried them all season long. Both teams have had their problems in the red zone this season, which is surprising given the guys leading the offense. Kansas City is going to have to avoid third down and long situations because the Patriots shut down teams on third down to get off the field. The Chiefs have the edge in the kicking game while New England is still scrambling to find a kicker at this point. However, when it comes to coaching, you can't argue with The Hoodie. Belichick has gone 7-2 against Reid in his career, 3-0 in the playoffs, including last season's AFC title game. That is something that can't be overlooked in this one.
Advantage: New England Patriots
We saw these teams lock up in two barnburners a season ago. The Patriots won the regular season matchup 43-40 and then followed that up with the scintillating overtime win on the road in the AFC Championship Game. Reid tends to have his offense show up in those games as they scored 71 points in the two contests. The defense struggled, allowing 80 points in the two games. This New England team is more committed to defense and it's made life extremely tough on the opposition this season. Kansas City still will move the ball and score, seemingly at will. The problem for the Chiefs will be trying to have that success against a New England defense that will be aggressive in going after Mahomes.
According to Covers.com, the Patriots are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a home favorite of 0.5-3.0 points, 22-6 ATS in their last 28 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game. Kansas City has gone 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games on fieldturf. This is one of those games that the Chiefs hang around in but the experience factor plus home field advantage helps the Patriots pull it out late.
Prediction: New England Patriots -3Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com
Additional Insiders' Best Bets
Full-game Total Bet
We know that these teams can pile up the points. One need look no further than the two matchups last season (83 and 68 points, respectively) for an example of that. Kansas City continues to pile up points this season as they have gone over the 30-point mark six times and have been held below the 24-point mark only once this season. New England scored at least 30 points in six of their first seven games but they've put up 20 or fewer points in three of their last five. The Patriots have leaned on their defense, allowing 14 points or less in 10 of their 12 games. New England lost the two games where they allowed more than 14 points: can they change that trend here?
The over is 4-0 in the Chiefs' last four on fieldturf, 6-1-1 in their last 8 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game, 5-1 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record and 12-3-1 in their last 16 games as a road underdog. New England has seen the over go 5-0 in the last five meetings between the teams: this one likely follows suit as it's tough to slow down the Kansas City offense without a committed, successful run game.