Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)
The Chiefs have started the season 1-2, matching last season’s regular season loss total, but I am not too concerned about them going forward. They have faced a relatively tough schedule overall and both of their losses could have easily been wins, including a game last week against the Chargers in which they won the first down rate battle by 7.92%, but lost by six because of a -4 turnover margin, which is an relatively non-predictive metric and highly uncharacteristic for this team. Their offense still leads the league in first down rate, which is the most predictive offensive metric and offense is the more predictive side of the ball in general.
All of that being said, I still feel like the Chiefs are being overvalued. Now dating back to week 9 of last season, the Chiefs have failed to cover the spread in 11 straight regular season games and, including playoffs, they’ve covered just once in their past 14 games. This spread has the Chiefs favored by a touchdown, but their average margin of victory in their past 10 wins is just 5 points per game with just one win by more than 6 points. The odds makers know they can boost the spread on the Chiefs and still get bettors willing to take them and it doesn’t seem like that has stopped.
As good as Patrick Mahomes and his playmakers are, their new look offensive line hasn’t been as much of an upgrade as expected and their defense looks like a below average unit, so the Chiefs could easily continue playing a lot of close games. I’m not confident enough in the Eagles to bet on them, as they are missing their top edge rusher Brandon Graham and a trio of starting offensive linemen in left tackle Jordan Mailata, right guard Brandon Brooks, and left guard Isaac Seumalo with injury,, all of whom were badly missed in last week’s blowout loss to the Cowboys, but my calculated line has the Chiefs favored by just 6 points, so we’re at least getting some line value with the Eagles. This is a low confidence pick, but I would expect a relatively close game.
Update: The Eagles surprisingly will also be without right tackle Lane Johnson due to a personal matter, meaning they will be without four of their five week one starters on the offensive line. However, the Chiefs will be without top edge rusher Frank Clark and a pair of cornerbacks, Charvarius Ward and Rashad Fenton, so I am not changing anything on this pick.
Kansas City Chiefs 30 Philadelphia Eagles 24
Pick against the spread: Philadelphia +7