Tennessee Titans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (0-0 SU,
College Football Week 1
Date and Time: Sunday, September 7, 1:00pm
Where: Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, MO
by Bob, Pro Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TEN +4/KC -4
Over/Under Total: 43
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This Sunday, the Tennessee Titans will travel to the midwest to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in a week one AFC showdown. Kansas City is coming off of an 11-5 season in which they started 9-0, only to finish 2-5 in the regular season, then suffered a heartbreaking 45-44 loss in the playoffs to the Colts. Kansas City comes into this game favored by 4 points, while the over under on the points is set at 43. Last season, these two teams met, and the Chiefs came away with a 26-17 win in Nashville. There are many question marks surrounding both teams, and I can see this game going either way. Time for a quick breakdown.
The Tennessee Titans are coming into this game as road dogs. The Titans have not had much success over the last few years, and they are entering this season with high hopes after finishing the 2013 campaign with a 7-9 record. Statistically speaking, the Titans were not all that bad last season. They ranked in the top 15 in both rushing yards, and opponent passing yards. The addition of Bishop Sankey should help that rushing offense be even better this season. Not only have the Titans added a solid piece with him, Jake Locker looked pretty solid in the preseason and should be just good enough to make defenses respect the Titans passing game. Tennessee has made some strong moves in the offseason beefing up the offensive line as well. This Titans team could be a surprise this year…especially since they play in a division with no true, solid, lock to win it. The key to this game for Tennessee will be to expose the injuries of the Chiefs. Kansas City is missing their go to stud receive, Dwayne Bowe due to suspension, and there is also some injury that has taken place on the offensive line. If the Titan defense can pressure Alex Smith, we could be in for a great game in Arrowhead stadium.
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Andy Reid and Alex Smith made Kansas City a contender overnight in 2013. The Chiefs started the season 9-0 but stumbled down the stretch a little. The biggest disappointment was their playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Kansas City led the Colts 38-10 nearing the midway point of the 3rd quarter then all of a sudden the wheels came off. The Colts, led by Andrew Luck, stormed all the way back to win the game 45-44. That was not the way the Chiefs wanted the season to end, but they made it known all season, that they are an AFC contender. The real anomaly of the Chiefs 2013 season was the fact that they did not rank very high statistically…in any of the major categories. KC did finish 10th in the NFL in rushing, due mostly to Jamaal Charles and his 1,287 rushing yards. Other than that, the Chiefs did not rank in the top 19 of any major statistical area. They had the 24th rank passing attack, 25th ranked pass defense, and the 22nd ranked rush defense. Not very impressive. If Kansas City is going to compete and get themselves back into the playoffs, they are going to have to improve in many of these areas. The passing game must get better. If the Chiefs are no threat to throw the ball, defenses will be able to bring more men in the box and stuff Jamaal Charles. If Charles does not rush for at least 90-100 yards a game, things could get very bad, very fast for the Chiefs. The key to this game is for the Chiefs to protect Alex Smith. Due to injuries and suspensions, the Chiefs will not be at full strength. Home field may help them somewhat, but it will take more than a rowdy crowd to win this game and cover a 4 point spread.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This spread is tough. Kansas City plays well at home, but just as I pointed out, they really were not as good as their record showed. I see Kansas City this season finishing in the 8-9 win range and on the cusp of making the playoffs. It comes down to games like this that could either get them in or out of the picture. Now, after saying that, I believe this Tennessee team has even more question marks than the Chiefs do. Will Bishop Sankey add some fire to the offense? Will Locker be a winner? I don’t know. I try to make most of my picks based on my knowledge of the teams, but in this case, I will look at the numbers in Vegas. As of right now, over 75% of the money is being laid on the Kansas City Chiefs. Therefore, we fade the general public and we take the road underdog. I like KC to win this game, don’t get me wrong, but I see a 20-17 type ending. Tennessee will cover the 4, and if you play your cards right, you may even get this game at a 4.5 or 5 point spread. PICK THE TENNESSEE TITANS!!!!