Chiefs-Rams Betting Preview & Pick: Kansas City a Live Dog on MNF?

Nov 19, 2018
Chiefs-Rams Betting Preview & Pick: Kansas City a Live Dog on MNF?

Week 11 Recap: After pushing on the Seahawks as a 3-point favorite over the Packers on Thursday night, I split my four plays on Sunday. The Cowboys (+3) won outright in Atlanta and the Colts (-1) smoked the Titans but the Chargers (-7) lost outright to the Broncos at home and kicker Kaimi Fairbairn submarined my Texans (-3) play by missing a field goal in the closing minutes of Houston’s 23-21 win in Washington. If you play enough games, you’re going to be as lucky as you are unlucky so there’s no use dwelling over the bad beats.

The 2-2 Sunday puts me at 36-17-2 against the spread this year in the NFL. That said, I need a win tonight to avoid finishing with a losing week for only the second time this season. So why don’t we go ahead and win tonight, shall we?

475 Kansas City Chiefs at 476 Los Angeles Rams

  • Spread: Rams -3
  • O/U: 63
  • Time: 8:15 p.m. ET

Line Movement

The Rams opened as 3-point favorites, but the line was bet up to 3.5, which is where it sat over the weekend. By Monday morning, the line was bet back down to the key number of 3 at most sportsbooks. As for the total, it opened at 59.5 but jumped to 63.

Public Betting

As of Monday morning, 73 percent of the betting tickets are on Kansas City to cover the spread, as is 75 percent of the money. Both the betting tickets (60 percent) and the money (64 percent) is also on the over.

Trends

The Chiefs are 6-0 against the spread in their last six games versus the Rams. Kansas City is also 12-3 against the number in its last 15 games overall and 20-7 ATS in its last 27 road games. On the other side, the Rams are 1-6 at the betting window in their last seven games and 2-6 ATS in their last eight appearances on “Monday Night Football.”

Key Injuries

The Rams lost slot receiver Cooper Kupp for the season after he tore his ACL in last week’s win over the Seahawks.

On the other side, the Chiefs will once again be without safety Eric Berry (heel) and could be without receiver Sammy Watkins, who is questionable with a foot injury. Center Mitch Morse (concussion) is out.

Prediction

The Rams own the 12th-rated scoring defense in the league, which is respectable, but they’ve had issues the past three weeks. They allowed 31 points at home last week to the Seahawks, 45 points in New Orleans the week prior, and 27 points in L.A. three weeks ago to the Packers.

The theme in those three games is that the Rams faced elite quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. It’s too early to crown Patrick Mahomes “elite” but he is in the MVP discussion and pilots the No. 2 scoring offense in the league. With no consistent outside pass-rush, the Rams will have problems containing Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt, not unlike every other team Kansas City has faced this year.

Let’s flip to the other side of the ball, where the Chiefs rank in the bottom half of the league in total yards allowed (30th), passing yards allowed (31st), rushing yards allowed (22nd) and scoring (17th). Anything I write that backs Kansas City’s defense will come off as ingenuine. The Rams are going to score. The Chiefs are going to score. So where’s the edge?

The edge is that I get a field goal to put in my back pocket for when this game inevitably comes down to the wire. As I’ve written in this space before, I like backing live dogs that I believe can win the game outright. The Chiefs won road games already this season versus the Chargers, Steelers and Broncos and almost won in New England. They’re 3-0 against the spread as an underdog and they actually traveled less this week than the Rams did because L.A. was in Colorado Springs practicing when the NFL moved this game back to California after originally having it slated for Mexico City.

I also happen to believe the Chiefs are the better team and the home-field advantage for the Rams is negligible. I’m taking Kansas City.

Pick: Chiefs +3

ATS Season Records

  • Week 1: 5-0
  • Week 2: 3-2
  • Week 3: 4-1
  • Week 4: 3-1-1
  • Week 5: 3-2
  • Week 6: 4-1
  • Week 7: 2-3
  • Week 8: 3-2
  • Week 9: 4-1
  • Week 10: 3-2
  • Week 11: 2-2-1
  • Overall: 36-17-2

Photo by David Eulitt/GettyImages.

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