SNF Pick: Chiefs vs. Packers – Week 13 Predictions
Kansas City Chiefs (8-3 SU, 7-4 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (5-6 SU, 6-5 ATS)
Date/Time: Sunday, December 3, 8:20 PM EST
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wi
Point Spread: KC -6.5 /GB +6.5
Moneyline: Chiefs -280 /Pack +230
Over/Under Total: 42
Andy Reid takes his defending champion Chiefs to Title Town to take on the Packers on Sunday Night. BOVADA.LV (Home of the biggest wagering menu on the planet!) is making the Chiefs 6½ point road favorites and setting the game total at 42. Let’s take the Packers as home dogs to cover the number. Here is the handicap.
Green Bay Is Hot
Jordan Love came into the year as a big question mark – how much of Aaron Rodgers’s shoes would he be able to fill? His performance for the year won’t be confused for a hall of fame level, but in November, he has led the Pack to 3 good wins. On Thanksgiving Day, Love lit up the Lions for 268 passing yards and three touchdowns. Christian Watson was the primary target, going for 93 yards and a score, but Love has also been utilizing Jayden Reed and Romeo Doubs. Love has been well protected by his offensive line, only being sacked twice per game, and wasn’t taken down by the Lions last Thursday. The running game took a blow in that game when Aaron Jones left with an MCL sprain and likely won’t suit up against the Chiefs. AJ Dillon will be called on to carry the load. He has filled in for the oft-injured Jones this year and looked slow but has improved his production in the last few weeks. Meanwhile, Love has just completed the two best games of his career, tossing five touchdowns against 0 picks while completing 68% of his attempts. It could be the Packers’ brain trust refined their offense to fit Love’s strengths and figured out how best to use the wide receivers skill set. Love and the Packer offense should continue to get better this week, so we will have to see how the KC defense can slow them down.
The Chiefs bring in the 3rd ranked defense in points allowed, so the Packers will have their work cut out for them. DC Steve Spagnuolo will attempt to confuse Love and then bring pressure from all angles. KC has the 4th most sacks in the league, led by All-Pro tackle Chris Jones, who has been playing the best football of his career. The biggest surprise on the defensive side of the ball for the Chiefs has been the secondary, with corners L’Jarius Sneed and Trent McDuffie both playing at a high level. Sunday Night will be the toughest challenge of the year for Love and the Packer offense, but I think they will have some success. KC has not given up over 24 points yet this year, but I think the Packers can get close to that number.
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KC’s Offense Is Still Sputtering
Patrick Mahomes is still the best QB in the league, but his receivers are killing him. Every team is selling out to contain Travis Kelce, which puts pressure on the receiver corps. Skyy Moore and Kedarius Toney have been total busts, Marquez Valdes-Scantling is 50-50 to catch any ball, and Justin Watson can’t get any separation. Only rookie Rashee Rice has shown any promise to ride Mahomes’ coattails and become a top-shelf receiver. Fortunately for Mahomes, Reid saw fit to have Rice on the field for the majority of the snaps Sunday, and he responded by bringing in 8 of 10 targets for 107 yards and a touchdown. The high-powered offense topped the 30-point mark for only the 3rd time this year, but that was against 1 of the league’s worst defenses. Reid has become more dependent on the run than at any time in his KC tenure, with Isaiah Pacheco making the most of the opportunity, averaging 60 yards per game and crossing the goal line 5 times. Even after the strong performance last week, we can’t expect a repeat showing this week against a fairly stout Packer D in Lambeau.
The Packer defense is in the top 10 in the league in points allowed while being more middling in yards per play and takeaways. But they have created four takeaways in the last two weeks against two good offenses – the Chargers and the Lions. As their offense has played better, it has allowed the Green Bay defense to focus on putting pressure on quarterbacks to create turnovers. Mahomes has been intercepted nine times this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see 1 or 2 more on Sunday Night. Green Bay will copy every other team, take out Travis Kelce, and force the other Chief receivers to beat them. It may not be enough to stop the Chiefs, but it will keep them from running away.
The Chiefs Don’t Cover Big Numbers
KC and Mahomes have cashed tickets for their backers seven times this season, but they aren’t particularly good when the number is six or more. Mahomes is only 13-19 ATS as a big favorite in his career. KC often gets out to big leads, then takes their foot off the gas and allows back door covers, but this year, they only average 23 points per game, so the defense has little room for error to cover the number and allow the opponent to get in the back door. If Green Bay only has to get to 16 to cover the number this week, I think they have multiple ways to get there. With Mahomes turning the ball over on a regular basis this year, the Pack should get a short field at some point during the game and be able to keep the score tight.
Play The Pack At Home
Take the points with the Packers at home on Sunday Night Football.