Patriots vs Chiefs AFC Divisional Round NFL Betting Preview and Picks

Posted by Joe Solari on January 14, 2016 in

Are the good times about to come to an end for the streaking Kansas City Chiefs? It looks like most of the sharps and NFL betting public prefer the New England Patriots for Saturday’s Divisional Round matchup at the Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, with the kickoff slated for 4:35 p.m. ET on CBS. Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed in the NFL playoffs, not even for the best of teams, so this January 16th AFC showdown should be no different. After all, this is a Kansas City team that is enjoying the best run in the franchise history, having won 11 straight games. Still, with the Patriots owning one of the best records in the NFL odds over the recent years, it is obvious that upsetting the Patriots in their own backyard won’t be easy. For more on how to bet on this game, take a look at the online NFL lines preview prepared for you below.

How to Bet on Kansas City at New England AFC Divisional Round NFL Odds

Our early NFL lines have the Patriots favored by 5 points over the Chiefs in the point spread. The moneylines are paying Kansas City’s bettors on a value of +195 while the Patriots sport a value of -235. If you are interested in total betting, duly note that the OVER/UNDER number is set at 42.5.

Why Bet on the Chiefs at +5 Odds

Riding on a big game from TE Travis Kelce (8 of 10 targets for 128 yards vs. the Texans), the Chiefs proved to the world that they are capable of staying efficient in the offense without the presence of their leading receiver Jeremy Maclin, who got injured in the game against Houston. The biggest winner of the day was however not Kansas City’s offense that scored 30 points, but the defense that condemned the Texans to zero points.

With the Kansas City set to face a New England offense that welcomes back a good number of its starters that got injured down the stretch of the regular season, the Chiefs D will need to continue with its swelling performances, especially in regards to getting to QB Tom Brady and his receivers. Fortunately, the Chiefs arguably have the best pass rush unit in this year’s playoffs, which should help in throttling New England’s ability to make many big plays. All that remains is for Kansas City’s offense to get things going as early as possible, given that playing catch-up to the Patriots is never an easy thing, particularly when they are playing at home.

Why Bet on the Patriots at -5 Odds

Considering that Maclin is likely to miss or be half-healthy on Saturday, the onus will be on Kelce, (second in Kansas City in targets this season with 72 of 103 caught passes for 875 yards and five TDs) to lead the aerial game, along with support from the running backs. Unluckily for the Chiefs, the Patriots allowed just 584 yards (9.9 yards per catch) to tight ends, second fewest in the NFL this season, so Kelce’s production is likely to take a beating.

Of course, the Chiefs were equally good at covering tight ends (594 yards and three TDs on 60 receptions), something that is likely to give fits to New England’s star TE Rob Gronkowski–Brady’s favorite target and New England’s leading receiver in catches, yards and touchdowns this season. Nevertheless, unlike Kelce, Gronk has posted some big numbers and had big games against such defenses this season (and in his career), so it would be hard to write him off from exploding for another big game. And even if Gronk won’t be able to shine, the speedy and now-healthy WR tandem of Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola should prove to be a handful to Kansas City’s physical cornerbacks.

Defensively, the New England’s O-line is still depleted and the D-line is also missing some key pieces, but the extra rest from the first round bye is likely to see them play in a better way than they did down the stretch. Plus, the likes of LB Dont’a Hightower and S Patrick Chung are back in the team, giving the Patriots a healthier unit to work with.

The New England Patriots are looking like their old selves with Gronkowski and Edelman back this week

Expert Predictions and NFL Picks

With the Chiefs allowing a little over 11 PPG in their 11-game winning streak, there is no doubt that New England’s offense will have a tough time in moving the ball fluently. Nevertheless, the Patriots look more talented on the offense to be fully stopped, and the home advantage will be a big shot in the arm for them. Consequently, there is a bigger likelihood of New England emerging victorious, with the total going high, as has been the case in recent meetings between the two teams (the total as gone OVER in 4 of New England’s last 6 home games against K.C).

My Predictions—Final Score: New England 25, Kansas City 18. My Free NFL Picks: New England for SU and ATS, Total OVER.