NFL Betting Picks: Patriots vs. Chiefs AFC Divisional Round ATS Preview

Posted by Joe Solari on January 11, 2016 in

The Kansas City Chiefs, the hottest team in the NFL betting lines right now, will put their 11-game winning streak on the line this Saturday, January 16, 2016 (at 4:35 p.m. ET on CBS), when they take on the injury-laden-but-ever-dangerous New England Patriots at the Gillette Stadium, Foxboro. Stay with us, as we take you through an ATS NFL odds preview of this enticing clash, which has the Patriots favored at home by 5 points.

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Why Bet on the Chiefs at +5

The story of the Kansas City Chiefs (12-5, 9-8 ATS) is one that would definitely turn even the biggest of Kansas City doubters to believers. After a pathetic 1-5 start to the season that featured a five-game losing streak, the Chiefs collected a franchise-best 10 winning streak en route to a Wild Card spot in the AFC playoffs. And then, to prove that none of that was fluke, the Chiefs recorded the most dominant performance of the Wild Card round, blanking out the Texans 30-0 on Saturday, a victory that looks even more impressive if you consider that the game was played in Houston’s backyard and the Chiefs had to finish the game without their leading receiver Jeremy Maclin.

Even more notably, in their 11-game winning SU streak, the Chiefs have splendidly gone 8-3 ATS, including a 5-0 SU/ATS record in their last 5 road games. As if that isn’t impressive enough, the Chiefs are decently 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games when playing New England. This includes the 41-14 beatdown handed to the Patriots when the two teams met last year, a game where K-City’ starting QB Alex Smith threw for two 3 TDs with zero picks while New England’s Tom Brady had just one TD with two interceptions.

With Brady set to operate on Saturday with a banged-up unit, and the Patriots coming off a dismaying end to the season (2 straight losses to Miami and Buffalo, a concerning 2-4 SU record in their last 6 games and a discouraging 2-5-1 ATS mark in their last 8 games); the Chiefs obviously look like the trendy ATS NFL pick here, and rightfully so.

Why Bet on the Patriots at -5

Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots.
Brady and Belichick are known to play their best football in the playoffs.

Though the Chiefs aren’t as banged up as the Patriots (12-4, 7-6-3 ATS), the absence of Maclin, who was the Chiefs’ leader this season in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns, will definitely have an effect in Kansas City’s passing game. And as far as New England’s injuries are concerned, Brady won’t be too limited, as is exaggerated by many NFL betting pundits. For one, WR Julian Edelman has been cleared to play against the Chiefs. Meanwhile, the dependable duo of Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are all fit, rested and ready to play, so New England’s passing game should still be on song.

As for playing in Foxboro, New England is impressively 23-2 SU in its last 25 games at home. In addition, the Patriots are solidly 5-0 SU in their last five games against Kansas City played at the Gillette Stadium.

With such home dominance, and an experienced squad that is hungry to repeat as Super Bowl champs after tasting its juiciness last year, the Patriots are highly likely to find their usual playoff sturdiness, kind of in the same way the Packers found theirs against Washington after struggling down the stretch of the regular season.

Final Remarks and my NFL ATS Pick

Favoring the Pats by five points is somewhat suspicious, given the way Kansas City has been playing in recent times. But then again, Brady and Belichick are known to play their best football in the playoffs, so winning by five points should be within the realms of strong possibility. Still, the Kansas City defensive trio of Dontari Poe, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali has been eating up quarterbacks all season, which should allow them to terrorize a challenged Patriots O-line and force Brady and his weapons into mistakes. Not to mention, Kansas City’s offense is good enough to get a couple of TDs against the Patriots defense, especially if the running game joins Smith in the attacking party. With that, I fancy the Chiefs hanging close to at least cover the spread, if not deliver an upset win altogether.

My ATS NFL Pick: Kansas City (+5)