New York Jets (1-7) at Kansas City Chiefs (4-3)
This game has had the biggest line movement from last week to this week, as the Chiefs were just 5 point favorites in the early line last week, as opposed to 10 point favorites now. The reason for that is obvious as the Jets were just blown out at home 43-23 by the Bills, a game in which Geno Smith completed 2 passes, threw 3 interceptions, and was benched for Michael Vick. I usually like fading significant line movements as there’s really no reason for a line to move that much with the exception of injury to a strong starting quarterback.
Easily the biggest reason for the loss was the Jets -6 turnover margin, but turnover margins tend to be very inconsistent on a week to week basis. Teams that have a turnover margin of -4 on average have a turnover margin of +0.1 the following week. Even crazier, teams with a turnover margin of -6 or more have an average turnover margin of +0.3 the following week. As a result, those teams are 28-21 ATS the following week and that doesn’t even tell the whole story. Those 28 teams that cover the spread do so by an average of 15.39 points per game, as opposed to 7.71 points per game for the 21 teams that fail to cover the spread. Underdogs who previously lost the turnover margin by 6 or more are 20-13 ATS and 16-18 straight up, despite by underdogs. The Jets actually won the chain game, moving the chains at a 67.57% rate, as opposed to 65.38% for the Bills. The Bills were way too reliant on turnovers.
That being said, I still think we’re getting line value with the Chiefs, as they’re an underrated team. The fact that they were just 5 point favorites over the Jets last week is absurd and even with the significant line movement, they should still be the right side. The Chiefs rank 2nd in rate of moving the chains differential, moving them at a 77.63% rate, as opposed to 70.35% for their opponents, a differential of 7.27%. That might sound absurd considering they’re just 4-3, but they have a +48 point differential. They went into San Diego and won. They blew out a decent Miami team in Miami (34-15). They blew out a Patriots team that has looked fantastic since (41-14). Last week they blew out the Rams (31-7). Meanwhile, their three losses came by a combined 19 points and two of them came in Denver and San Francisco.
The Jets, meanwhile, rank just 25th in rate of moving the chains, despite winning the chain game last week. They move the chains at a 68.29% rate, as opposed to 71.74% for their opponents, a differential of -3.45%. The public does know how bad they are, but they haven’t really caught on to how good the Chiefs are, so we’re getting value with them. They’re also in a good spot as they have another easy game on deck, going to Buffalo next week. Teams are 79-51 ATS since 2008 as non-divisional home favorites before being non-divisional road favorites, as those teams have no real distractions on deck.
Meanwhile, the Jets host Pittsburgh next week, a game in which they will almost definitely be 3+ point home underdogs. Teams are 53-81 ATS before being 3+ point home underdogs since 2012, including 26-56 ATS before being 4+ point home underdogs. That’s because when you have a game coming up like that it generally means one of two things. One, you have a very tough game coming up that serves as a distraction. Two, you really aren’t that good of a football team. I think it’s both in this situation.
I’m not that confident in Kansas City as I hate going with significant line movement, especially when doing so means being on the same side as the public. The Jets are also in a good spot on a 7 game losing streak as underdogs are 51-32 ATS since 2002 on a 7+ game losing streak, which makes sense as teams tend to be embarrassed, undervalued, and overlooked in that situation. The Jets aren’t undervalued, but they could definitely be embarrassed and/or overlooked. However, the Chiefs should still be the right side.
Kansas City Chiefs 27 New York Jets 13
Pick against the spread: Kansas City -10