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City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots Pick.
Kansas City Chiefs (4-5 SU, 5-4 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS), 8:30 p.m. EST, Week 11 NFL, Monday, November 21, 2011, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass., TV: ESPN
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: KC +14.5/NE -14.5
Over/Under Total: 46.5
Bet the Chiefs/Pats game at a sportsbook that offers -105 sides, -105 totals, 20 point teasers and the biggest parlays on the net: 5Dimes.
The Kansas City Chiefs will try and stop their 2011 season from slipping downhill, but it wont be easy this week when they travel to Foxborough to take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium on Monday Night Football.
After winning four straight games in October the Chiefs had climbed their way back into the thick of the race in the AFC West, but back-to-back losses the past two weeks against two of the weaker teams in the NFL (Miami and Denver) has many in Kansas City thinking the end is near.
Making matter worse, the Chiefs task will be so much tougher from here on out because they lost starting quarterback Matt Cassel to a right hand injury in their, 17-10, loss to Denver last weekend. Cassel had surgery on Tuesday and hasnt been put on the injured reserve list just yet, but it certainly doesnt bode well for the Chiefs in their drive to get back to the top of the AFC West standings.
In steps backup Tyler Palko for the Chiefs, who was good (5-of-6, 47 yards) in relief of Cassel on Sunday, but for a team that struggled to move the ball (28th in NFL in total yards) and score points (27th in scoring) to begin with the switch to Palko and his 13 career NFL pass attempts doesnt exactly instill confidence that the Chiefs can get the job done.
The task is also tougher because they have to go into Gillette Stadium and face the Patriots in primetime on national television. New England got back on the winning track last week with a crucial, 37-16, victory over the rival New York Jets last weekend on Sunday Night Football.
Brady threw for 329 yards and three scores as the Pats pulled away from the Jets in the second half, but more importantly the much-maligned New England defense took a huge step forward by holding the Jets to 16 points and forcing three turnovers.
With just a one game lead on the Jets and the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East standings, dont expect Brady and coach Bill Bilichick to feel sorry for the Chiefs anytime soon, as the Patriots will need to keep the pedal down Monday Night to try and put distance in between them in the chase pack for seeding and homefield advantage in the AFC playoffs.
As you would expect the oddsmakers in Las Vegas are not giving the Chiefs much of a chance on Monday Night, setting the opening point spread for the game with the Patriots as 14.5-point favorites at home. The early action at the betting window shows the public and the sharps are in agreement too, as the number has gone up at a few sportsbooks to minus -15 as nobody seems willing to take the Chiefs despite spotting them two touchdowns.
The over/under total opened at 46.5 and hasnt seen much line movement either, although there are a few offshore sportsbooks that have dropped the hook to make the total 46. There are even a few books in Las Vegas (Mirage and The Orleans) that have dropped the hook and moved the number up to 47, so you can move the total a full point up or down if you shop around.
The wild card in Mondays primetime tilt is that we dont really know what well get from the lefty Palko and the Chiefs offense. As I mentioned earlier, its not like the Chiefs were a juggernaut on offense to begin with, so with a QB with little or no NFL experience its even harder to handicap this game.
The good news for Palko is that the Patriots pass defense is the worst in the NFL, allowing over 300 yards a game (309 ypg). The Pats secondary also lost starting corner Devin McCourty last week to a shoulder injury, so the unit that is already without starter Patrick Chung (questionable knee) will be forced to play backups again this week.
On paper the New England offense might have a little trouble throwing the ball against the Chiefs secondary this week. New England and Brady are the top-ranked passing unit in the NFL (326 ypg), and part of the key to last weeks big win was their no-huddle approach to keep the Jets from bringing in extra defensive backs in nickel and dime situations. But the Chiefs have two very good corners in Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr, so the Pats will likely have to focus over the middle of the field attacking safeties Jon McGraw and Kendrick Lewis with tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
Plus, the Chiefs dont have much of a pass rush (9 sacks 32nd in NFL), so any advantage they may have outside with their corners will likely be negated by letting Brady stand tall and pick them apart down the seams.
The last time these two teams played in 2008 had some very similar circumstances. If you recall, that was the famous game where Tom Brady was sacked and he blew out his knee for the season and then backup Matt Cassel stepped in and led the Pats to a narrow, 17-10 victory. The Pats, as huge 16-point favorites, did not cover the high expectations or the high point spread.
All told though, the Pats have won four of the last five games against the Chiefs (back to 2000) and they are a perfect 4-0 SU at home in Gillette Stadium going back through the 1998 season.
Kansas City does play the Patriots tough though, covering the spread in two straight and three of the last four. The Chiefs are also 5-0 ATS in their last five games as the underdog, and 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games as a 10.5-point road dog or higher. Kansas City is a solid 5-2 ATS in the last seven appearances on Monday Night Football too, so if you want to bet with the betting trends youll have to ignore the current situation going on with the backup and struggling offense, etc.
The betting trends on the over/under are mixed depending on which team you follow, since the Chiefs are all about the under (4-1 on MNF, 4-1 as dog, 9-2 in week 11 games) while the Patriots are all about the over (5-1-1 on MNF, 8-2 as home favorite, 17-5 vs. AFC).
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Even with a two-touchdown head start, I dont know how you can back the Chiefs in this game. I hate laying double-digits, so Ill likely pass on this game as far as wagering on a side. Im going to go on a limb and expect the Chiefs defense to play a good game, and when I say good game I mean hold the Pats to under 35 points. So Im going to take the under in hopes the Pats call off the dogs early and the Chiefs struggle to get much of anything going on offense. Im taking the under of 46.5.
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