Detroit Lions (1-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (2-5) in London
Typically, the better team covers in London. This wasn’t true last week, when Jacksonville was able to beat Buffalo (favored by 4.5) in a close one, but favorites have covered in 8 of the last 11 London games (8-5 ATS all-time). It’s a small sample size, but it makes sense, as favorites also tend to be more organized teams capable of playing this type of weird game. The odds makers say the Chiefs are the better of these two teams here and I agree, as the Chiefs rank 25th in rate of moving the chains differential, while the Lions rank 28th.
However, I do think this line is too high at 3.5. I have this line calculated around 1.5 and it was at 2.5 a week ago, before shifting a point, following Kansas City’s second win of the season last week and Detroit losing at home against Minnesota, falling to 1-6, and firing their offensive coordinator. It might not seem like a big shift, but 15.6% of games are decided by exactly a field goal, so it matters. These two teams are very evenly matched so it could definitely come down to a field goal, so the+3.5 is appealing to me.
The Chiefs are also pretty banged up, missing guard Ben Grubbs, defensive end Mike DeVito, and going into only their 3rd game without stud feature back Jamaal Charles. The Lions are missing outside linebacker DeAndre Levy, but he has only played 17 snaps all season (part of why they’ve been so bad) so they’re used to it. The Lions seem like the right side, but I can’t put money on a 1-6 team who is travelling across the ocean and who has just fired their offensive coordinator, especially since the public is on the underdog here.
Kansas City Chiefs 23 Detroit Lions 20
Pick against the spread: Detroit +3.5