- The Chiefs have only covered the spread in one of their past six games
The Chiefs have clinched the division and sit with two more wins than anybody else in the conference. They’re the best team in football and they are short price favorites to win a second successive Super Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in February.
The Falcons meanwhile are in a very different place. It’s a team caught between trying to win now with their big names, or the possibility of starting fresh and building a young core. In the few remaining games of the season they’re going to need to solidify an idea of what they want to do going forward into the offseason.
After a terrible start to the season we’ve seen Atlanta rally. They have a point differential of +2, having scored just 2 more points than they’ve conceded all year. That gives an indication what they are as a team. They’re capable of high scoring, and hanging with any team, but they also give away far too many easy scores to the opposition.
That’s a bad habit especially when you’re heading to Arrowhead, hence the 10.5 point spread, but I’m confident in Atlanta here. This isn’t a great matchup for Calvin Ridley, with the Chiefs surprisingly adept in the secondary, and with the Falcons missing Julio Jones, he’ll be the number one threat, if he wasn’t already. The Falcons will need to rely on Ito Smith and Brian Hill to do damage in the ground game if they’re to stand a chance. Todd Gurley has been poor since the bye in week 10, combining for under 100 yards and no touchdowns in 4 games played. Instead Brian Hill and Ito Smith have overtaken him on the depth chart, and they’ll likely have some success against a defense which is poor against the run.
Interestingly this season, for all of the Chiefs brilliance, they’ve rarely trampled on teams, with scores often being closer than you’d expect. Having won by less than a score in each of their past 6 outings. The Falcons too, have been close in many games, with their last 3 games, to the Bucs, Chargers and Saints, all losses within one score.
Given that recent record, and the fact that the Chiefs can relax somewhat here, I’m taking the Falcons to cover the spread.
NFL Expert Picks
1u – Falcons +10.5 @ -105
NFL Free Picks
It's a festive week and we have plenty of football to get stuck into. There's no Thursday Night Football this week but we have the Vikings travel to New Orleans to face the Saints on Christmas Day. Saturday gives us a triple threat of football to wager on. The Bucs can secure playoffs if they beat the Lions. Elsewhere the Dolphins face the Raiders and the 49ers play the Cardinals.
Sunday sees a number of matches with playoff implications, the Rams @ Seahawks being the most important. We'll also see the Jets and Jaguars play, with fans of the New Yorkers praying that Jacksonville wins and puts them back in the hotseat for Trevor Lawrence. The Titans face the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. Monday's game is a dead rubber in all reality, as the Bills travel to play the Patriots, with New England officially out of playoff contention.
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