AFC Championship Game Look-Ahead
#2-seed New England (12-5) at #1-seed Kansas City Chiefs (13-4)
Date: Sunday, January 20, 2019
Time: 6:40 pm EST/ 3:40 pm PST
Location: Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, Missouri
Spread: CHIEFS – 3
Moneyline: PATRIOTS +135 | CHIEFS -155
Public (Spread) Betting Percentages: PATRIOTS (47%) CHIEFS (53%)
The 2019 AFC Championship features the two best teams that nearly everyone envisioned would meet in the title game midway through the season, the battle-tested Patriots (10-7 ATS) & the young Chiefs (10-6-1 ATS). These two teams faced off in Foxborough back in Week #6 in a game that treated fans to 83 points combined and came down to the final possession. The Patriots jumped out to a commanding 24-9 lead at halftime easily cashing for Pats backers who laid -2.5 for the first 30 minutes. The contest got much closer in the second half though as Mahomes & Co lit up the scoreboard to the tune of 31 points and helping ‘Over’ (59) bettors easily get there with virtually no sweat equity. The Chiefs who went off at +3.5 road ‘dogs in the contest and rewarded their backers with a welcomed back door cover when they gave up a last second field goal and only lost 43-40. The books here in Vegas wont be so generous to Chiefs backers this for the rematch as KC currently stands at -3 point favorites both locally here in Vegas and at global shops around the world. The forecast of frigid cold temperatures and expected high winds has played havoc with the total which opened at 58 and dropped as low as 55 here around town before ticking back up to its 56.
The Patriots shut up all doubters last week who thought they were ripe for the taking as they went old school in dismantling the LA Chargers with a dominant running game and a blitzing suffocating defense. Tom Brady has experience on his side in this game and will be playing in his eighth straight AFC Conference title game. Yes, you read that right this will be his ninth appearance in the AFC Title Game. If there is one thing bettors should have learned last week was–don’t be so quick to discount the ageless 41-year-old quarterback especially when he has Belichick as his coach. Brady’s quick release and short precision passing to all-purpose back James White (15 recs/97 yds) and WR Julian Edelman (9 recs/151 yds) kept Joey Bosa & the Chargers defense a ‘day late and a dollar short’ all game long as Brady would have been good in a game of flag football. Back in October the first time around vs Kansas City–Brady looked his vintage self shredding the Chiefs defense to the tune of 340 yards passing and RB Sony Michel went for one of his three 100-yard plus rushing efforts on the season and his only regular season game with multiple scores (2) on the ground before last weeks three touchdown outburst. However, the one player who had a big game that day that has since disappeared for Brady & the Pats is star TE Rob Gronkowski who has gone for two or fewer receptions and less than 25 yards receiving in his last four games overall.
Tom Brady has experience on his side in this game and will be playing in his eighth straight AFC Conference title game. Yes, you read that right this will be his ninth appearance in the AFC Title Game.
Prohibitive favorite MVP Patrick Mahomes showed no jitters in his first career playoff game last week versus the Colts outplaying the likely comeback player of the year–Andrew Luck from the opening kickoff. Mahomes looked calm and efficient in leading the Chiefs to a comfortable early 14-0 first quarter lead and never looked back versus an over matched Indianapolis squad. In fact, Mahomes led the Chiefs to 24 points before the Colts even managed a single first down just minutes before halftime. Yes, you read that right–24 points before a single first down allowed. Mahomes outplayed Brady back in Week #6 passing for 352 yards and four touchdowns hooking up with WR Tyreke Hill (7 recs/142 yds) for three of those scores. The Chiefs running game has not missed a beat since replacing released RB Kareem Hunt with Damien Williams (129 rush yds) who scored last week versus the Colts and has found the endzone six times in his last five games. Mahomes & the Chiefs also have arguably the best tight end in the NFL on their side–Travis Kelce who has developed an innate connection–especially when plays in the pocket begin to break down. The X factors in the game may come down to KC DE’s Dee Ford & Justin Houston who will need to get to Brady if the Chiefs are to earn their first Super Bowl berth in 25 years. In a game expected to played in single digit temperatures & high winds this game is going to come down to the team who can make the biggest ‘stops’ when the five-time Super Bowl Champion and the young gun-slinging MVP are under center.
Mahomes led the Chiefs to 24 points before the Colts even managed a single first down just minutes before halftime. Yes, you read that right–24 points before a single first down allowed.
Patriots-Chiefs Betting Trends
- The UNDER is 11-3 in the Chiefs last 14 home games.
- The Patriots have played to the UNDER in eight our of their last ten games overall.
- The Patriots are 2-5 ATS in their last seven meetings with KC.
- The OVER is 4-0 in the last six match ups between the teams.
- The OVER has cashed in six out of the last seven Patriots playoff games.
DB E. Berry DOUBTFUL CALF
RB S. Ware QUES HAMSTRING
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