New Orleans Saints (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS)
NFL Week 7
Date/Time: Sunday, October 23, 2016, 1:00 PM EST
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
TV: Fox, DirecTV 711
by Badger, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NO +7/KC -7
Over/Under Total: 50.5
The New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs are on opposite extremes in how they try and win NFL football games, one with an explosive offense and the other with a strong defense, and both will be on display inside Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday when the Saints travel to Missouri to take on the Chiefs in an NFC-AFC week seven clash on Fox.
The Saints put their high-powered offense on display last weekend when they hung on to edge the Carolina Panthers, 41-38. Drew Brees threw for 465 yards and four scores and it proved to be just enough to hang on as the Saints defense gave up 21 points to Carolina in the fourth quarter to narrowly defeat the defending NFC Champs.
Likewise, the Chiefs defense put the clamps on the Oakland Raiders and their young quarterback Derek Carr, holding the Raiders scoreless in the second half of a, 26-10, victory on the road in a crucial AFC West matchup on the West Coast. Kansas City used a balanced offense to keep the defense fresh, and the Chiefs unit responded by limiting the Raiders offense to just 286 total yards and 10 points, the lowest point total the Raiders have scored all season thus far.
They old adage says that “defense wins championships,” and the saying applies to this game as well, since oddsmakers seem to favor the defensive-minded Chiefs setting the opening point spread with Kansas City as 6.5-point favorites at home. However, bettors always seem to like the high scoring offense in these matchups, and with a majority of the money coming in on this game on the side of the Saints there are already several sportsbooks that have moved the betting line up to Chiefs by a full touchdown minus -7 points currently.
The over/under total opened at 50 and has only moved up the hook to 50.5 at a few sportsbooks looking to take the push out of play on Sunday.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Brees and the Saints feature the league’s top passing offense (335 ypg) and the league’s second-best mark in total yards (413 ypg) and scoring at 31 points per contest. While the Chiefs defense sits just outside the top-10 in most defensive categories in the NFL (12th vs. the pass (237 ypg); 14th overall (353 ypg)), they are ranked 10th in the most important defensive stat … points allowed, with a 20.4 ppg average through five games.
But as everyone and their brother knows, the Saints longtime weakness always has been their defense and it continues to be the weak link in 2016. Ranked dead-last in points allowed (33.6 ppg), and 31st in yards allowed (419 ypg), the Saints unit will have their work cut out for them trying to stop Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense on Sunday. The key for the Chiefs will be establishing the running game on Sunday, which should open up plenty of passing lanes for Smith against a Saints defense currently allowing over 300 yards a game in the air.
Playing against each other every four years, the “series” between these two has been even 5-5 SU throughout the years. However, the Saints do seem to find a way to play well on the road at Arrowhead Stadium, winning three of the last four visits there including their last visit to Kansas City in 2008, 30-20.
The betting trends also point to a slight advantage for the Saints on the road this week, with New Orleans going 4-0 ATS in their last four road games, while the Chiefs are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games at Arrowhead. The most surprising betting trend for this game is the under. The under is 4-1 in the Chiefs last five home games, not unusual at all, but the under is also 4-1 in the Saints last 5 road games as well. With their porous defense and with Brees chucking the ball around, anytime the Saints fall under the total is a surprise to most bettors.
Badger's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I like the Chiefs at home to win this game, but I do think the full touchdown 7 point spread is a little bit of a stretch. So unless you’d like to pay the extra juice to take the Chiefs on the moneyline, I’d suggest a safer play on the under of 50.5 I don’t think the Saints will be able to hit the 30 point mark against the Chiefs defense, and the Chiefs like to run the ball a lot which is about the only phase of the game the Saints defense seems to have luck stopping on a consistent basis (25th – 118 ypg). I’m taking the under of 50.5 in this game.
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