Kansas City Chiefs (12-1 6-7 ATS) at New Orleans Saints (10-3 7-6 ATS)
The Chiefs head to the Big Easy to face the Saints in what many are predicting is a Super Bowl preview. The Chiefs are a 3-point road favorite in this non-conference game with a total at 51.5.
The total has slightly gone up since opening while the spread has remained the same.
The Chiefs have won eight in a row and they have the best record in the NFL. They have the front-runner for the MVP in Patrick Mahomes and while the team only has one loss they have failed to cover the spread in their last five games.
The Saints had their nine-game win streak snapped in their last game with a 24-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. They are tied with the Green Bay Packers for the top-spot in the NFC but the Packers hold the tiebreaker since they beat New Orleans early in the season.
Saints QB Drew Brees has missed some games with a rib injury and while he has been cleared to practice head coach Sean Payton said, “He’s got a ways to go still.” Taysom Hill will likely get the start in this big game.
The Saints had not had an opposing player rush for 100 yards in 55 straight games and in their loss to the Eagles, they allowed two 100-yard rushers. Still, the pass D facing Mahomes may be the more important aspect for them on defense.
The Saints had covered in five straight games before failing to do so in the last game.
In their last game, the Chiefs beat the Miami Dolphins 33-27 where they clinched the AFC West.
In the win over the Dolphins, Mahomes threw two early picks and three overall but still passed for nearly 400 yards with two TD.
Travis Kelse and Tyreek Hill may be the best TE/WR duo in the league and they combined for 215 receiving yards in the win over the Dolphins.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire leads the Chiefs in rushing yards but has struggled as of late and he has not rushed for over 37 yards in his last two games.
The New Orleans pass rush has to pressure Mahomes in this game and Cameron Jordan and trey Hendrickson have combined for 17 sacks this season.
Can’t Stop the Run
In the Saints’ 24-21 loss to the Eagles, they simply could not stop the run giving up 246 rushing yards.
In the Philly loss, the team rushed for 96 yards and Hill was 28-38 for 293 yards with two TD and a pick. Hill was sacked five times in the game and in the four games taking Brees place he has four TD and two INT.
Alvin Kamara leads the Saints in rushing yards and receiving yards and he has to play well out of the backfield. He will be facing a Chiefs’ run defense that is giving up an average of 128.4 rushing yards per game but did only give up 80 in the Miami win.
While you would expect a high scoring game between these two solid offenses in the last four games between the two teams the total has gone Under every time.
I do not see the Saints keeping up with the Chiefs without Brees under center. Their defense will not be able to contain Mahomes and company and Hill does not have what it takes to win in a shootout. Kansas City will win this game and for the first time in their last five games will also cover the spread.
PICK: Chiefs -3