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City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots Pick.
New England Patriots (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS)
NFL Week 4
Date and Time: Monday, September 29, 2014, 8:30 pm EST
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
TV: ESPN, DirecTV 206
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NE -3.5/KC +3.5
Over/Under Total: 45
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Two of last years AFC playoff teams, both struggling to find their mojo on some levels already this season, will try and get things squared away in primetime on Monday Night Football when the Kansas City Chiefs host the New England Patriots in Arrowhead Stadium on ESPN.
New England has two wins, but the offense and quarterback Tom Brady have struggled enough through three weeks that some sports talk channels are actually taking about whether or not Brady is still an elite NFL QB. The fact the Patriots struggled to beat the Oakland Raiders at home last weekend, 16-9, and their two said wins have come against the juggernauts Minnesota and the Raiders is helping to fuel the paranoia sweeping the New England area these days.
Kansas City finally got in the win column last week with an impressive win on the road in Miami, 34-15, against the same team in the same venue the Patriots lost in their season opener. Kansas City pulled away in the second half and for the first time in 2014 resembled the Chiefs team that Andy Reid took into the playoff in his first season last year.
The Patriots struggle last week was lost on the oddsmakers in regards to setting the opening point spread, as sportsbooks everywhere opened at New England minus -4 on the road. Bettors have been all over that home underdog opening line since then, causing almost all of the books to lower the number to Patriots minus -3.5, where it currently is sitting at most books still above the key number of three.
The over/under total opened at 45 and has sat there like a bump on a log since it opened late last Sunday night.
So far in 2014, its been the New England defense that has overshadowed the play of Brady and the offense, with the No. 1-ranked unit against the pass (169 ypg), 3rd overall (272 ypg) and 4th in points allowed at 16.3 points per game. Remember, this has come against an Adrian- Peterson-less Vikings, the Dolphins and the Raiders, so lets pump the brakes on the Pats defense bandwagon a little should we?
However, with Brady only throwing for 196 yards per game (27th in NFL), and the Chiefs secondary (11th 223 ypg) a solid unit still, Kansas City should be able to impose their running game (125 ypg 13th) against the heralded Patriots defense. The Chiefs pounded away on the Dolphins last week with 41 rushing attempts, so if Brady and the Pats cant get a big early lead and force Kansas City to throw, it could be a long night for the defenses on Monday.
New England, as you would expect, has controlled the series with the Chiefs over the past few years, winning big in their last meeting (34-3 in 2011) and also winning five of the last six meetings overall (5-1 SU in L6). However, the Pats only loss during the last decade came to the Chiefs, 26-16, in 2005 at Arrowhead as 3-point favorites, so you can call all of that a coincidence or perfect storm or whatever youd like to call it.
The strongest betting trend lurking in this game is the under, especially considering the fact that the under is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these two, and its also 5-0 in Kansas Citys last five appearances on Monday Night Football.
New England is 5-1 ATS on Monday night recently, but their 2-7 ATS on the road and 0-7 ATS record on grass fields almost negates any trends for the Pats. The Chiefs have just literally been a lousy bet at home (0-6 ATS in Arrowhead in last six), which is likely the reason most books are still listing the number above the key number 3 on their boards.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I know the numbers may tell me Im a sucker, I love to play on home underdogs. Dawgs above 3-points, and Im in ever more. Ill take the Chiefs plus the +3.5-points.