Chiefs vs. Patriots Spread Prediction
The Patriots will play in their eighth consecutive AFC Championship when they visit the Chiefs at 6:40 p.m. ET on Sunday. Will they punch their ticket to Atlanta with a small upset of the Chiefs or will Andy Reid finally get the Bill Belichick monkey off his back?
313 New England Patriots at 314 Kansas City Chiefs
6:40 p.m. ET, Sunday, January 20, 2019
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Chiefs are 3-point favorites to beat the Patriots. The total, meanwhile, sits at 56.5 points. As of this writing, 56% of the public betting tickets are on the Chiefs to cover the point spread.
New England Patriots
Rob Gronkowski converted his lone target for a 25-yard gain Sunday in the Patriots’ Divisional Round win over the Chargers. Gronk was mostly relegated to a blocking role, which has been the norm for him this year. He was exceptional in that regard, continually opening up holes in the run game while also providing stellar pass-protection. Gronkowski drew pass interference against Casey Hayward in the first quarter, which set up a one-yard rushing touchdown by Sony Michel on the very next play. He was only targeted once but made the most of it, breaking multiple tackles on his way to a 25-yard gain early in the third quarter. With retirement rumors swirling, Sunday may have been the 29-year-old’s final game at Gillette Stadium. New England will travel to Kansas City to face the top-seeded Chiefs in next week’s AFC title game.
Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (leg) was upgraded to "full" in Thursday's practice. It's a strong sign Duvernay-Tardif will be active for the AFC Championship Game after coming off injured reserve on Tuesday. It's unclear if he will immediately be ready to reclaim starting duties from Andrew Wylie, a second-year UDFA who has been earning higher marks from Pro Football Focus of late.
NFL Betting Trends
The Patriots have covered the spread in 17 of their last 25 road games and are 8-3 against the number in their last 11 playoff games.
The Chiefs are just 2-9 against the number in their last 11 playoff games and are 2-5-1 at the betting window in their last eight games overall, although did cover the spread last week against the Colts in the Divisional round.
Reid, as well as the Chiefs, have a long history of playoff failures but those postseason misfortunes all came with someone other than Patrick Mahomes under center. Mahomes won his first playoff game a week ago versus the Colts in the Divisional round, he should be a lock to win the regular season MVP and he’s going to be a handful for the mastermind Belichick. Reid is one of the most innovative offensive minds in football and it’s not just Mahomes that is at his disposal: Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins gives the Chiefs an edge over most opponents.
The Patriots looked like their dominant selves a week ago in their win over the Chargers but they had some built-in advantages. For starters, New England is now 9-0 at home this season. The off week also greatly helped Tom Brady, who looked fatigued in December. The Chargers had also been traveling a lot since December and their seven-man defensive back alignment cost them when the Patriots were able to run the ball down their throats for four quarters (on top of mixing in plenty of screens to James White).
This time around, the Patriots are the ones traveling and they went just 3-5 on the road this season. Brady also didn’t benefit from an off week and despite their issues defensively this season, Kansas City played much better on that side of the ball at home than it did on the road.
This is why the Chiefs traded up for Mahomes two years ago: To win this game. Alex Smith had plenty of regular season success under Reid the last three years but Mahomes is a different best. It’s Reid and the Chiefs’ time.
AFC Championship Game Predictions: Kansas City Chiefs -3