Kansas City Chiefs (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date/Time: Sunday, September 23rd, 2012/1:00 p.m. EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: K.C. +9/N.O. -9
Over/Under Total: 54
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Two teams looking to stop their free fall down to the bottom of the standings
will try and notch their first win of the season this Sunday when the Kansas
City Chiefs travel to Louisiana to take on the New Orleans
Saints in the Superdome on CBS.
Not too many people expected the Saints to be winless at this point, but with all of the players and coaches coming and going and suspended and not suspended, New Orleans has become a drifting ship. After looking unprepared in an opening week upset to Washington, last Sunday the Saints lost steam quickly in their loss at Carolina, 35-27.
Everyones fear that the Saints defense was going to be their Achilles heel all season long appears to be coming true. After allowing an average of nearly 38 points per game in the first two weeks, now the Saints have one of the deepest holes ever to try and climb out of the rest of the way starting with the Chiefs at home on Sunday.
Kansas City fans can sympathize with the lack of defense, because the Chiefs defensive unit has absolutely stunk the first two weeks of the season. What was expected to be one of the leagues top young units had 40 dropped on them by Atlanta in the opener, then the Chiefs were pushed around pretty easily last Sunday by the Buffalo Bills in another lopsided loss, 35-17.
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It doesnt help that Kansas Citys offense still doesnt look like its brought into new OC Brian Dabolls scheme, and since Dabolls last season in Miami was exactly high-powered, you have to wonder whats in store for team if they struggle again this week against the Saints in the Superdome.
It looks like the oddsmakers have already written off the Chiefs, considering that they set the opening point spread with the struggling Saints as 9-point favorites, the highest spread for the Saints so far this year. Keep in mind the initial number has to account for all of the people fading the Chiefs now after their early performance, which is why a few online sportsbooks are already up to minus -9.5 and climbing.
The over/under total opened at 53 and has gone up the hook at most books to 53.5. A few offshore books and a couple of the Las Vegas properties are already up the full point to 54, so it looks like the early money is going over.
The main focus in handicapping this game has already been mentioned defense, or more accurately the lack there of so far this season. Both teams have been run on easily (Saints gave up 5.3 per carry last week), and both have been torched by the pass trying to stop the run. Neither the Chiefs or the Saints defenses has created a turnover yet this season, and the Chiefs have only one sack compared to the Saints two, so who knows when either team is going to decide to show up this season.
On paper it looks like the Saints offense is the only one capable of capitalizing on the weak defenses in this game. Brees has been shaky (4 pick already), but the weapons are still there and the Saints are still averaging 30 points a game, so Im not worried about them.
In Daboll and Kansas Citys defense, theyve been trailing by multiple scores so fast in both games that theyve been playing catch up nearly all season. So the sample may be skewed, okay, but the sample still stinks. The Chiefs are built to run the ball and control the clock, and against the Saints you would think they could do it, but Peyton Hillis has had fumble issues and Jamaal Charles repaired knee is already creaky, so its still a huge question mark.
These two have met in an AFC-NFC duel only six times since the 1985 season, and the series is an even spilt 3-3 SU and 3-3 ATS. New Orleans won the last game, a 30-20 victory in Arrowhead back in 2008. For what its worth though, the Chiefs are 2-1 SU and 2-1 ATS in the Superdome, but those wins were in 1985 and 1994, so it really is history.
Its no secret the Saints have played well in the Superdome lately (12-2 ATS L14), but the rest of the betting trend numbers are pretty wishy-washy.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Saints will finally get their first win here and it’ll come in blowout fashion. The Chiefs might be the worst team in the NFL right now. I’m betting the Saints in a game where I estimate the final score to be 45-14!
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