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Arizona Cardinals vs. Kansas City Chiefs Pick

by | Nov 8, 2018 | nfl

Arizona Cardinals (2-6 SU, 4-3-1 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (8-1 SU, 8-1 ATS)
NFL Week 10
Date/Time: Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 1PM EST
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
TV: Fox
By Loot Levinson, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: ARI +16.5/KC -16.5
Over/Under Total: 50

The Arizona Cardinals come to Arrowhead for a week 10 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s a tale of two teams with opposite trajectories, with the Cardinals in the dumps at 2-6, while the Chiefs are tied for having the best record in the league at 8-1. On Sunday, they beat the Browns on the road 37-21. It was also the eighth time they covered the spread in nine games this season. Arizona is coming off the bye, which followed a win over the 49ers. It was their second win over San Fran—the only team the Cardinals have beaten this season. The spread is humongous and I still think the Chiefs will cover the spread this week at Arrowhead.

Tailing Off? The Chiefs Might Be Getting Better

The Chiefs have gotten off to a great start. The perception of them is that of a team with a gifted offense. They just outscore opponents and the defense is more of an afterthought. But we see the defense getting its act together more since suffering their only loss of the season against the Patriots. In the three wins since then, they’ve given up a combined 54 points. We see them rushing the passer better and starting to get turnovers. And let’s face it—even if the KC defense isn’t that tight, what is Arizona prepared to do about it? Their offense is ranked last, led by a rookie QB in Josh Rosen. The line is most certainly not up-to-snuff. And RB David Johnson has been strangely impotent this season, almost bizarrely so. That makes life hard on a struggling rookie quarterback when he can’t lean on his line or some run-support.

The Chiefs’ defense can be exploited. We’ve seen that this season. But this is also a chance for them to shine. The Arrowhead faithful will be pumping. The Chiefs’ playmakers can zero-in on a mistake-prone QB in Rosen. He hasn’t been able to connect well with what is a thin cast of ball-catchers. And while the Chiefs’ run-defense has been dicey on occasion, Arizona has literally not been able to run the ball a lick this season thus far. In all pertinent offensive categories this season, the Cardinals are either last or second to last. For however bad the Chiefs’ defense may or may not be, it comes nowhere near the hopelessness the Cardinals have shown on the offensive side of the ball.

Will Versatility of Chiefs’ Offense Overwhelm Arizona?

Still, the Chiefs’ calling-card at the end of the day is their potent offense, led by electric newcomer Patrick Mahomes. He commandeers an offense that has a lot of options. They can run the heck out of the ball, which is a big concern for a Cardinals’ run-defense that ranks 31st in the league. RB Kareem Hunt is heating up and the defending rushing champion gets help from guys like Mahomes and Spencer Ware. The backs are also valued aerial targets in this offense. Arizona has a talented secondary, but they have to contain a lot of weapons. Travis Kelce is perhaps the most-talented ball-catcher in the conference at his position. Tyreek Hill is a breakaway talent at receiver, with other tools like Sammy Watkins (questionable).

Daylight for Arizona?

In a way, it helps to look at the other perspective. Arizona has won two of their last four games, which was followed by a bye-week. Maybe that time was put to good use and the coaching staff was able to find some answers, with players getting a chance to recharge their batteries, mentally and physically. Still, those two wins came against the Niners, who were in the dumps when they played. And while the Chiefs can afford to not be at a fever-pitch at 8-1 and against a soft opponent, it could make things a little closer than one would think. They don’t have a real connection to the Cardinals or any real axe to grind here. Still, with the Chargers hovering, they can’t afford to slip up and lose control of the division.

On offense, things could fall into place a little better for the Cardinals. You’d almost have to think David Johnson would show a flash of his former brilliance at some point. Rosen has also shown glimpses of promise on a more regular basis lately, though not enough. And the Arizona defense can still get after it a little bit. Guys like Chandler Jones can get after the quarterback. And while they haven’t shown it, this secondary has a playmaking component. Somewhat quietly, Patrick Mahomes has seen his mistakes increase with 7 picks in his last 5 games. Maybe the Cardinals’ defense can capitalize.

Lay the Points on the Home Favorite

Laying a big number in the NFL never gives one a comfortable feeling. But the Chiefs are not letting up. If anything, they’ve kicked it up a notch. Coming into town might be the worst team in the NFC, way out of their element at Arrowhead. Whatever deficiency you can cite on Kansas City’s part begs the question “What can Arizona do about it?” In a way, it seems almost too easy, with so many parts of the storyline falling so squarely into the Chiefs’ favor. But even if the Chiefs have the best offense with Arizona having the worst offense, it still doesn’t do justice to the huge gulf between the two units. I see this getting a bit ugly, with the Chiefs notching the big cover at home this week.

Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Kansas City Chiefs minus 16.5 points.

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Tailing Off? The Chiefs Might Be Getting Better

The Chiefs have gotten off to a great start. The perception of them is that of a team with a gifted offense. They just outscore opponents and the defense is more of an afterthought. But we see the defense getting its act together more since suffering their only loss of the season against the Patriots. In the three wins since then, they’ve given up a combined 54 points. We see them rushing the passer better and starting to get turnovers. And let’s face it—even if the KC defense isn’t that tight, what is Arizona prepared to do about it? Their offense is ranked last, led by a rookie QB in Josh Rosen. The line is most certainly not up-to-snuff. And RB David Johnson has been strangely impotent this season, almost bizarrely so. That makes life hard on a struggling rookie quarterback when he can’t lean on his line or some run-support.

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