Chicago Bears (1-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-3)
The Chiefs are only 1-3, but it’s hard to blame them considering their last 3 games have all come against undefeated teams (Denver, Green Bay, and Kansas City) and they have been pretty competitive in all 3 games. The only easy game they’ve had this year was in Houston, where they won by a touchdown. That doesn’t sound terribly impressive, but that game wasn’t close until garbage time and getting a convincing win on the road, no matter who the opponent is, is still an accomplishment.
This week they get a pretty easy opponent again, the Chicago Bears, who rank 29th in rate of moving the chains differential. That’s not too much worse than the Chiefs, who rank 23rd, but the Chiefs’ schedule has been a big factor in that. Besides, the Bears are incredibly banged up. They got Jay Cutler back from injury last week and he was a massive upgrade over the incompetent Jimmy Clausen, a big factor in them getting their first win of the season at home against the Raiders, but wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, wide receiver Eddie Royal, offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod, safety Antrel Rolle, and possibly outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (arguably their best player on either side of the ball) are all expected to miss this one. Kansas City, meanwhile, is basically at 100%, especially with top cornerback Sean Smith in his 2nd game back, after missing the start of the season with a suspension.
Despite that, this line isn’t that high at 9. In fact, the line has shifted from 12 to 9 from last week to this week and the public is still on Chicago, a rare instance of the public being on an underdog. I love fading huge week-to-week line movements because they’re typically an overreaction to a single week’s action, in this case, a Kansas City loss on the road against a good Cincinnati team and a last second Chicago home win over the mediocre Raiders. I also love fading the public whenever it makes sense, as they always lose money in the long run. In this case, I’ll happily fade the line movement and the public and take the Chiefs.
The Bears are also in a bad spot, with a trip to Detroit, where they are expected to be 6 point underdogs, on deck. Teams are 39-59 ATS since 2012 as 6+ point underdogs before being 6+ point underdogs, as it’s tough for an inferior team to concentrate with another tough game on deck. The Chiefs do also have a tough game next week, as they’re expected to be 3 point underdogs in Minnesota (though they don’t have the same kind of trend working against them), and Detroit, while better than their record, isn’t a great team by any stretch of the imagination so that line could move under 6. For that reason, I don’t think there’s enough here for me to feel confident putting money on Kansas City, but I do think they should be the right side and that they should win by a comfortable amount.
Kansas City Chiefs 26 Chicago Bears 13
Pick against the spread: Kansas City -9