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NFL kickoff: Chiefs at Patriots betting breakdown


Super Bowl champion New England Patriots welcome the Kansas City Chiefs

NFL kickoff: Chiefs at Patriots betting breakdown | News Article by

The NFL season kicks off Thursday night when the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots welcome the Kansas City Chiefs to Gillette Stadium. We take an inside look at this matchup and the NFL betting lines for the 2017 opener.

Week 1 odds came out quickly following the release of the 2017 schedule in the spring and have been taking action ever since. Oddsmakers initially installed New England as a touchdown favorite and early action on the Pats tacked an additional point on the spread, moving it to -8.

The Patriots were pointspread gold in 2016, tying a NFL betting record with a 16-3 ATS record through the regular season and playoffs, including their incredible comeback in Super Bowl LI in which they won 34-28 in overtime and covered as 3-point favorites.

Kansas City finished the regular season with a 9-7 ATS mark and was dispensed by Pittsburgh in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, losing 18-16 as 2.5-point home chalk. The Chiefs did, however, pick up the bulk of those ATS wins on the road where they finished 6-2 against the spread.

While this spread has been bet into throughout the summer, 95 percent of the action will be coming Wednesday and Thursday. And the bulk of that action will be on the Patriots. This spread has already jumped off the key number of a touchdown and books are more apt to move quickly from 8.5 to 10, knowing everything else in between is a “dead number”.

Football bettors looking to grab New England may want to do so at -8, because this spread will only go up by kick off. If you’re thinking of backing the Chiefs, you may want to wait this one out until Thursday night and grab the biggest spread you can find. Sharp action may hit KC if those wiseguys are also holding a ticket on New England -7, in an attempt to middle this game.

The total opened 50 and dropped to 48 since the spring, with money on the Under. For as good as the Patriots offense is, the defense is also pretty damn solid. They ranked No. 8 in yards allowed and tops in points against, giving up only 16.4 points per game. Kansas City wasn’t too far off that pass on defense, giving up only 19.4 points per outing. The Chiefs do lack in the pass rush department, which is a key in slowing down Tom Brady.

The Patriots offense took a hit with the loss of slot receiver Julian Edelman in the preseason, but have plenty of options for Brady downfield. Perhaps the most dynamic addition – and one that could really open up the New England playbook for big strikes – is WR Brandin Cooks. Cooks cut his teeth catching deep balls from Drew Brees in New Orleans and ranked fifth in big plays (passing plays of 25 yards or more) in the NFL last season.

The Chiefs are also down a key contributor in running back Spencer Ware, who is out for the season due to a knee injury. That has Kansas City playing musical chairs in the backfield, leaning on rookie Kareem Hunt, Charcandrick West and C.J. Spiller. Kansas City will need a solid effort on the ground to chew up the clock and keep the ball out of Brady’s hands.

Those handicappers who love their trends will find a doozy in this game. Since 2000, Super Bowl champs are 14-3 SU and 11-5-1 ATS in their Week 1 opener. Last season, Denver edged Carolina 21-20 as a 3-point home underdog in the Thursday opener. The Patriots are also 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games with the Chiefs including a 4-1 ATS mark in their last five meetings at Gillette Stadium.

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