Statschecker: AFC Championship Game: 5 Things To Consider
If you correctly predicted Tennessee’s berth in this game at the beginning of the 2019 NFL regular season then you should already have made enough money to retire on via sports betting. If like the rest of us, you are surprised at the Titans miraculous run to the AFC Title game, it’s time to make some money on their trip to Kansas City.
Oddsmakers are starting to buy into the idea that Mike Vrabel’s team has the ability to make a run all the way to the Super Bowl. Even so, the Chiefs still come into this game as healthy 7-point favorites. Kansas City overcame a horrendous start last week against the Texans to make it this far. Assuming they’ll play that poorly again this week is a dangerous bet.
Hopefully you’ve been visiting our exclusive Statschecker Site all season long, but if you haven’t, it’s time for you to add it to your required weekly reading. It’s the best one-stop shot on the internet to learn everything you need to bet Sunday’s games. I’ll give you five interesting facts about the game in this piece, but it’s up to you to visit the site and learn the rest for yourself.
1. Derrick Henry is a dangerous man
Anyone who’s watched a postseason snap of the Titans over the last few weeks has to have noticed just how well Henry is running the football. If the Chiefs want to win this game they cannot afford to be dominated at the point of attack. Tennessee would love nothing better than to grind the Chiefs into submission with their punishing ground attack.
Henry has scored two or more touchdowns in three of his team’s last four road games on a Sunday. This weekend’s trip to Kansas City fits that definition. Look for Henry to be a major determinant in which of these two teams moves on to the Super Bowl.
2. That doesn’t mean you can forget about AJ Brown
If the Chiefs continually rotate their safeties into the box to stop Henry, then Tennessee will be forced to throw the ball downfield to win the game. Luckily for Ryan Tannehill, Brown is a wideout who can make big plays on the big stage.
The former Ole Miss standout has scored at least one touchdown in each of his team’s last four day games. Day or night, Brown will be asked to hit a few big plays to keep the defense honest on Sunday. The Chiefs need to make him a focus for their secondary.
3. The Chiefs love Arrowhead in the sunshine
Speaking of day games, you should know that Kansas City has won 14 of their last 15 Sunday day games at Arrowhead. The atmosphere will be absolutely electric in favor of the home team when this game kicks off.
The Titans have to get off to a good start if they want to avoid the avalanche that is the Kansas City offense. The Chiefs can overturn a deficit in this game if required. Tennessee cannot afford to fall behind early.
4. Kansas City is great against the spread
The Chiefs haven’t been the most consistent team in the NFL this season, but it’s hard to argue with their final results. Their 12-5 mark against the spread this season is the best record in the league.
The explosive nature of Andy Reid’s offense should minimize the impact of the 7.5-point spread in your mind. It’s going to play a lot more like 3.5 points. If you like the Chiefs, don’t get caught up in the challenge of winning by two scores.
5. 4.5 points is the spread to remember
Everyone knows that Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense are one of the most dynamic units in the NFL. That’s why they are averaging 29.5 points per game this season.
What you might not realize is that Tennessee’s offense is putting up 25 points per game. That’s only 4.5 points behind their opponents on Sunday. Don’t sleep on just how good the Titans’ offense has been under Tannehill.
The fairy tale is over for Tennessee
The Titans deserve a ton of credit for making it this far. Henry’s rampage through the playoffs has been amazing to watch. He’ll have another productive day against a Kansas City defense that will struggle to deal with his physicality.
Unfortunately, the Titans defense is going to cost them any chance to win this game. Mahomes and company are going to march up and down the field in this one. Bet on the Chiefs to cover late in this one.