Tennessee Titans (7-6 SU, 5-8 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3 SU, 7-6 ATS)
NFL Week 15
Date/Time: Sunday, December 18th, 2016 at 1:00PM EST
Where: Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, MO
by Bob, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TEN +5.5 / KC -5.5
Over/Under Total: 42
This Sunday at 1:00pm we have an AFC showdown with teams that are both on the verge of making the playoffs. The Tennessee Titans will bring their 7-6 record into Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs who sit at 10-3. The season is winding down and the playoff races are heating up in both the AFC and NFC. Tennessee sits at 7-6 which is not overly impressive yet they are tied with the Houston Texans for first place in the AFC South division. Winning the division with even a .500 record would secure a playoff spot and at least one home playoff game. On the other hand, Kansas City is sitting pretty at 10-3. They are tied with the Raiders in the AFC West but they have a tie break which allows them to be the 2nd seed in the AFC if the season were to end today. Tennessee needs a win to just stay in the hunt but Kansas City certainly wants an opportunity to be a top two seed in the post season for home field purposes. Point is, both teams have a lot to play for this Sunday.
The line on this game has the Chiefs as a 5.5 point favorite over the Titans at home. The total points are set at 42 combined. Much of the action has been on the Chiefs early on. 69% of the action as of late Tuesday night has the Chiefs getting the home cover. As for the total points, it is pretty much even with 53% liking this game to remain under the 42 points.
Kansas City has quietly become one of the top seeds in the NFL. They sit at 2nd in the AFC only behind New England with just three weeks to go. The Chiefs have won three straight coming into this game and it was three games against legit opponents in Denver, Oakland, and Atlanta. This team is good, real good, and I could see them finally making the jump this season and actually competing for an AFC Title.
Much of the Kansas City success in 2016 can be attributed to their top ten defense. The Chiefs defense is allowing just 19.6 points per game and a couple of weeks ago against Atlanta, the defense single handedly won the game with a Pick Six and a Pick Two late in the game…both by Eric Berry. On offense though, the Chiefs have also been pretty good. Quarterback Alex Smith is a great game manager who does not make many mistakes. Kansas City scores almost 24 a game and with a defense allowing less than 20, that equals wins, and has. The key this weekend for KC is to keep doing what they have done all season. Play their style and control the tempo of the game.
Tennessee can run the ball well. This is what has kept them on the better side of .500 over the last few weeks. The Titans average 144 yards per game on the ground and they are ranked 11th in the NFL in scoring. The defense however could be what some consider the weak link allowing almost 24 per game. If the Chiefs can stop the run and force Tennessee into long third downs putting pressure on Marcus Mariota, this could be an easy home game for the Chiefs.
What do the Titans need to do? First off, keep the run game effective. Do not let the Chiefs dictate the tempo of this one. If Tennessee can control the ball and NOT TURN IT OVER, then I could see this being a pretty competitive game. Both teams have a lot to play for and a loss by the Titans would be much more devastating to them than Kansas City. Could Tennessee be the desperate team here? Maybe so.
Deep down I just do not like spreads in the NFL over three points, never have. I just cannot seem to find any reason to think that the Titans can go into Arrowhead Stadium and get this win on Sunday. Of course we are not looking at the win or loss but the 5.5 spread. I still do not like it. I think Kansas City imposes their will and controls the game from start to finish. Am I saying a blowout? No, not at all but I like Kansas City to win this game something like 27-19 improving to 11-3 and getting the cover at home in the process.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -5.5 OVER THE TITANS
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