The AFC Championship Game is set and it is a doozy: Chiefs vs. Patriots is a monster any way you slice it, thanks to the fireworks we saw when the two teams met up in the regular season. That game was a shootout, . Despite the loss, the Chiefs ultimately secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, forcing New England to travel for the AFC Championship Game.
Kansas City needs it. The Patriots are terrifying. But the home-field advantage, coupled with how the Chiefs played on Saturday afternoon in a throttling of the Colts, has made them favorites against the Patriots in this game, which you can watch on CBS (6:40 p.m. ET next Sunday) or on CBS All Access or fuboTV, try it for free.
All lines via the Westgate.
Patriots at Chiefs (-3), O/U 55.5
Yes, that's right. The Patriots are underdogs. Despite Tom Brady get to deliver the "no one believed in us" card one more time, with Vegas giving them three points on the road in the AFC Championship Game., Bill Belichick and
This is just the seventh time ever the Patriots have been a full, outright underdog in the playoffs with Brady and Belichick.
|Year||Matchup||Final Spread||Score (Result)||Covered?|
@ KC (AFC CG)
@ DEN (AFC CG)
@ IND (AFC CG)
@ SD (Div.)
@ DEN (Div.)
STL (Super Bowl)
@ PIT (AFC CG)
As you can see, the Patriots have been pretty good as an underdog in the NFL playoffs under Belichick. They're just 3-3 straight up and against the spread but the wins were some massive ones. But it's also worth noting they are really only 1-3 as a 'dog in the playoffs since their initial Super Bowl win, when they were huge underdogs.
In those games, the have only won once on the road as a 'dog, when they beat the Chargers (surprise!) on a game they easily could have lost, had the Chargers just not fumbled an interception from Tom Brady.
Who wins Patriots vs. Chiefs? And which side of the spread cashes in nearly 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Chiefs vs. Patriots spread you need to jump on Sunday, all from the computer model that has returned nearly $4,000 to $100 bettors over the past two seasons.
For the Chiefs, you do NOT like the fact that Brady and Belichick and the Patriots are hearing no one believes they can win.
The Patriots, winners of FIVE SUPER BOWLS, are being given the "no one believes in us" treatment. It's pretty wild. But the Chiefs played them tough on the road in the regular season and Andy Reid has a history of giving the Patriots everything they can handle from a defensive perspective.
It's hard to imagine Reid and Bob Sutton being out-coached the way that Anthony Lynn and Gus Bradley and Ken Whisenhunt were against Belichick and Josh McDaniels. The Chiefs defense also showed a LOT of life against the Colts, although clearly Brady and the Patriots present a bigger challenge.
New England got physical down the stretch of the regular season in terms of trying to establish the run game. And it showed on Sunday against Los Angeles, as the Patriots dominated Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram and Co. The Chiefs are absolutely vulnerable against the run and have been all year long.
This is a fascinating matchup between two great coaches and two exciting teams. Expect some fireworks.
From a movement perspective, it's worth noting the juice is already at (EV) for the Chiefs, while the Patriots are -120 (you have to bet $120 to win $100 on New England +3). The initial over/under we listed here (59) was a bit high: the Westgate actually dropped it at 57, but it that over/under has already creeped up a half point, moving to 57.5.
And now, thanks to severe, the total has dropped even more. It's at 55.5 at the Westgate and has fallen to 55 in many places offshore.
There's the expectation of temperatures at 10 degrees or less once kickoff gets here, which would make it problematic to move the football. We've seen a cold weather matchup with the Patriots in an AFC Championship Game before, with New England beating the Steelers 41-27 (over/under 36.5) in late January 2005 when the temperature was 11 degrees.
It's the snow and the wind that would affect scoring in this game, and it's a little too early to tell how that's going to roll in, but certainly Vegas is worried about people peppering the under and therefore is protecting itself as such.
The Rams dominated the Cowboys on Saturday night in the divisional round and the Saints were able to escape playoff zombie Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite the Saints looking sloppy, they were actually made a slightly bigger favorite than your average home-field advantage, with New Orleans being installed as a 3.5-point favorite over the Rams.
That's about right. The Saints looked pretty terrible early on against Philadelphia, giving up a pair of early touchdown drives to Foles and Philly, but settled down and didn't let them score again, eventually winning 20-14.
Who wins Rams vs. Saints? And which side of the spread cashes well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Saints vs. Rams spread you need to jump on Sunday, all from the computer model that has returned nearly $4,000 to $100 bettors over the past two seasons.
One big concern if you're backing the Saints? Drew Brees looked a little shaky. That's not questioning Drew Brees. I wouldn't do that. It's bad for business. Just saying the Saints quarterback missed on two easy deep touchdown balls and had some wobbly throws come out. Michael Thomas is a monster, but the Saints have cornerbacks. Thomas vs. Aqib Talib could be spicy.
The over/under is a big number, especially after seeing the Saints only lob up 20 on an Eagles defense that isn't great. But Jim Schwartz called a good game and, again, Brees missed some serious opportunities. He could easily have gone up top on the Eagles early on, but threw one pick and then later came back and missed Taysom Hill down the field. On the next play, Hill hit Alvin Kamara, but the play was called back for holding. The Saints also had some super clunky, 11-minute (!) drive to open the third quarter that basically killed any chance of the over hitting.
One would expect a more streamlined game this time around -- these two teams met in the regular season and the final score was 45-35 Saints in a victory at the Superdome that locked up the first seed for the Saints and allowed them to secure the top seed in the NFC.
This is a game that could also produce some fireworks and should be an excellent matchup.