Monday, September 29, 2014

Pats Look Like a Nice Pick in KC

With Week 4 almost in the books, we’re just about to the quarter pole of the NFL season. As we finally start to get some clarity on what’s already been a topsy-turvy season, Vegas will continue to adjust with more data points and insight. Tonight in Kansas City, we’ll see how another the lines shakes out, as the Patriots look to start 3-1 and move to the top of the AFC East - yet again.

There’s been surprisingly little movement in this line, even with the news that Jamaal Charles is likely to suit up for the Chiefs. At the beginning of the week, the line opened up with the Pats giving 4, but has only dipped to -2.5 with the injury updates. However, that’s still attractive enough to take the Patriots and not think twice about it. To the casual fan, it may not be a lock, but let’s take a look at some of the supporting ideas. The theme for both teams so far this season has been struggling offensive line play. Both clubs suffered some key losses in free agency and via trade in the trenches and haven’t quite adjusted to the new personnel just yet. You can guarantee that the respective defensive fronts were licking their chops when looking at the film in preparation for this matchup. Additionally, Bill Belichick and KC defensive coordinator, Bob Sutton, are two coaches who can gin up creative ways for their defense to be effective.

New England’s splash move in the offseason was, of course, signing free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis. The shutdown corner allows Belichick to ignore a side of the field and develop exotic blitz packages for his unit. Since their opening week embarrassment against the Dolphins, the Patriots have allowed just one touchdown in their last eight quarters, so the defense is humming. New England fans probably haven’t seen a defense this good since the title-winning teams of the early 2000s. 

With an alarming lack of talent on the offensive side of the ball, Andy Reid will have to be creative to find ways to get the ball to Charles and Knile Davis, his pair of dynamic running backs. On the other side, it’s Tom Brady who’s struggling for the Patriots. Is Tom finally starting to show signs of his age with some of the accuracy and mobility issues? Perhaps, but Tommy Terrific still has more than enough weapons to make it work. With Tamba Hali and Justin Houston terrorizing New England’s tackles on the edge tonight, the Pats should rely on the running game. Kansas City is allowing a sieve-like 130 yards on the ground per game, and that weakness won’t be lost on Belichick.

Need some more data to back up the Pats? Well, try this out for size. Kansas City is 3-7 against the spread against a team with a winning record over their last 10. Going deeper, the Chiefs are 0-6 ATS in their last six home games. Couple that with New England’s record against the spread (5-1) in their last six Monday Night games, and we have no qualms about taking the Pats giving the points on the road.

Join us for Monday Night football tonight at 8:30pm and make real-time predictions against your friends!

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