Patriots vs. Chiefs Total Prediction
While it’s not expected to be as cold at Arrowhead Stadium as some of the earlier reports indicated, will the weather still impact the total for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs? Is there still value in taking the under with the total sitting at 56.5?
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
Tom Brady completed 34-of-44 passes for 343 yards and a touchdown while losing a yard on two carries Sunday in New England’s Divisional Round win over the Chargers. Both rushing attempts were kneel-downs. After a surprisingly mortal regular season, Touchdown Tom transformed into a playoff God against the Chargers, burying the Bolts with a steady diet of short passes, most of them to Julian Edelman (9-151-0) and James White (15-97-0). New England scored on each of its first four drives and went to the break with a commanding 35-7 lead. With Brady dropping dimes left and right, the Patriots finished the first half with as many touchdowns (five) as the Chargers (five) had first downs. Brady threw his lone touchdown in the second quarter, capping a surgical, eight-play drive with a 15-yard strike to a wide-open Phillip Dorsett. The 41-year-old has shown a few cracks in the armor this year but with a clean pocket and time to throw, he's still money. The Patriots will make their eighth straight AFC title game appearance next week at Kansas City. The Pats won their previous matchup with KC, though New England has been a different team away from Foxboro.
Kansas City Chiefs
Eric Berry (heel) wasn't listed on the Chiefs' final injury report for Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Patriots. This was the expected outcome for Berry, who practiced fully all week. Heel issues have limited Berry to only three games this year. He'll be tasked with shutting down Rob Gronkowski, who went for 97 yards when these teams met in Week 6.
NFL Betting Trends
The over is 6-1 in the Patriots’ last seven playoff games.
The over is 5-0 in the Chiefs’ last five games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
I took the under last week in the Colts-Chiefs game and while the first half resulted in a relatively high-scoring two quarters, a zero-point third quarter allowed the under to cash. Just like in that matchup, I believe the total has been set too high in tonight’s AFC title game.
The Patriots will need to take a similar game plan into today as they had a week ago: Get the running backs involved early in the passing game and then pound the ball with Sony Michel. Teams can move the ball on the ground versus Kansas City and if the Pats go ball-control, they can also keep Patrick Mahomes and that dynamic Chiefs offense on the sidelines for long stretches. New England excels at quick, short passes that eat clock and keep the ball in Brady’s hand. That plays into the under, as does the fact that the Pats only averaged 21 points per game on the road this year, which was the lowest of Brady’s career.
The under is 4-1 in the Chiefs’ last five playoff games, is 4-0 in their last four home playoff games and is 50-22-1 in their last 73 games played at Arrowhead Stadium. The under is also 8-2 in the Patriots’ last 10 games overall and has cashed in four of their last five road games.
AFC Championship Game Predictions: Patriots/Chiefs under 56.5