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SNF - Chiefs at Patriots
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NFL Week 6 SNF Betting Preview
Kansas City Chiefs vs New England Patriots

Last week, I was wrong in expecting the shootout on the scoreboard that SNF TV producers have been anxiously awaiting for weeks, as the Dallas/Houston game was plagued by missed opportunities in the red zone and subsequently never threatened going 'over' the total.

However, regardless of whether or not this week's SNF game cashes an 'over' ticket or not, those SNF TV producers should be getting all those points they want to see from this Kansas City/New England matchup we've got this week.

With a total now currently approaching 60 – an extreme rarity for the NFL as it's only happened once before (2004) – there will be plenty of points scored in this game, but where should your money be? Odds: New England (-3.5); Total set at 59.5

Oddsmakers really had no choice but to open up this total as high as possible given how well the KC offense has produced points on a weekly basis this season (35 points per game), and that it's Tom Brady and New England on the other sideline. This is the juiciest game of the week in the eyes of many NFL fans simply for the scoring potential it has, as even with the extremely high total, it's still got a lot of 'over' money already.

However, as much as seemingly everything lines up for an 'over' play, I want no part of trying to sweat out a NFL game getting to 60 points. Kansas City's offense should find plenty of room to make plays against this Patriots defense if they like they have all year long, but you know Bill Belichick will have something special for Patrick Mahomes at least once, and you fall too far behind pace on this total and eventually you'll run out of time. I've got no problem sitting back on the sidelines and watching to see if this total does end up getting surpassed, but from a betting standpoint, it's all about the side here.

It can be tricky to handicap a game when you've got an upstart undefeated squad against a past champion that never seems to go away. How much to this year's numbers/stats outweigh what your eyeballs have seen from a team like New England for years, if at all, and how willing are you to potentially step in front of a hot, undefeated ATS bet like Kansas City? These are the type of questions to ask yourself at the beginning stage of handicapping any game, and when the matchup is as anticipated as this one is – for a variety of reasons – you can see arguments and action coming in for both sides. Yet, for me this is all about one specific unit on one side of the ball and it's the Kansas City defense.

A big part of why this total is approaching historic levels is because of this Kansas City defense that's basically been Swiss cheese all year long. Eventually a defense that is 3rd worst in the entire league in yards allowed per play (6.5) is going to get burned both SU and ATS. It probably should have happened already for the Chiefs in their last primetime game against the Broncos a few weeks back, but once again Patrick Mahomes and the offense were able to catch fire for just long enough to take the lead and leave minimal time on the clock for their Swiss cheese defense to hold on.

So how has Kansas City managed to go 5-0 SU and ATS with such a bad defense overall? Well, that would be a highly unsustainable 3rd down defense for KC that only allows opponents to convert on 29% of their 3rd downs. Getting off the field on 3rd down has meant everything to Kansas City's success defensively this year, and the more possessions that offense gets, the better KC has to like their chances. That's how it's played out for them through five weeks, but things should be plenty different against New England.

To start, Brady and company have had extra time to prepare a gameplan that not only takes advantages of this KC defense on each play, but one where they can have long, sustained drives where they are often left with short 3rd down tries if needed. Obviously it sounds easier said then done, but with the short dump off game Brady likes to play with his RB's, and the potential for big chunk plays off those looks, Belichick and Brady should have minimal issues picking apart this highly suspect defense. KC's 3rd down conversion percentage can only really go up from here on out, and unless that yards per play number drops significantly – highly unlikely against New England – this KC defense is a spark away from getting torched for 60 minutes.

And on the other side of the ball, New England has been known for it's bend but don't break defense in suspected shootouts and that's got to be the mentality for any team going up against the Chiefs. Denver had it working for about three quarters against KC with just 1 TD and 2 FG's allowed, and I do think New England is capable of carrying that type of play out for the full 60 minutes. Like I said earlier, Belichick will have a few tricks up his sleeve for the young Mahomes too, so look for this Patriots defense to possibly have some surprising success this week.

All in all, it adds up to a play on the home side here for a variety of reasons. For one, I don't believe that if this game were played on a neutral field that the line would be basically at a pick'em as this number suggests. New England based on their history alone is always going to be at least -2 there, and if that's the case it means we've actually got quite a bit of value on the Pats at home at just -3.5. Yes, that nasty hook at -3.5 is a deterrent for those that lean New England, especially since the Chiefs are 5-0 ATS, but offense eventually dries up in this league, and with the defense the Chiefs have, their undefeated record SU and ATS looks to me like nothing more than a house of cards that's bound to crash soon.

I'm betting that KC crash comes this week against a Patriots team that has so many things working in their favor for this spot (more rest, home field, getting healthier/finding rhythm). New England is on a 20-7 ATS run after covering the number in their last outing, and a 16-6 ATS run in their last 22 against a team with a winning record serves as a reminder that they've put down these upstart contenders many times before. I don't think that hook on the -3.5 will matter either as New England comes out and makes a statement here with a double-digit victory.

Odds per -

Best Bet: New England -3.5

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