In what has to be one of the biggest mismatches of the season, the injury-riddled Kansas City Chiefs travel to Foxboro to take on the high-flying Tom Brady and his New England Patriots. As a fan you hate seeing games almost assured to be blowouts under the primetime spotlight that is Monday Night Football, but with the spread and total to bet on, it most certainly can make the mundane, quite intriguing.
The Chiefs have been a wildly streaky team entering this Week 11 contest. After dropping their first three contests, and losing key players Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry in the process, they rebounded to win their next four games, but are currently sitting on a two-game losing streak. Adding to their woes will be the fact that they`ll be forced to be without key quarterback Matt Cassel, who is reportedly out for the remainder of the season. Replacing the former Patriot quarterback, will be the untested, and unproven Tyler Palko. Entering the Foxboro atmosphere under the Monday Night Lights surely isn`t an ideal scenario to make your first-ever NFL start, but against a vulnerable Patriots secondary anything could be possible.
On the other side of the football, the Patriots are rolling after a huge divisional victory against the hated Jets last Sunday night. Surprisingly, the difference in last week`s contest was New England`s ability to limit big passing plays against their defense. Whether that has more to do with the fact that they were hardly tested, or actually improved, we`ll have to find out Monday night. They enter this game firing on all cylinders on offense, but will be forced to endure key losses to their already porous secondary. Cornerback Devin McCourty will miss this one, and safety Patrick Chung is highly questionable with a foot injury. The Patriots do not possess a lot of depth on defense, and losing two key starters makes this secondary look awful on paper.
Chiefs vs. Patriots Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Kansas City Chiefs +16.5 (-110) @
New England Patriots -16.5 (-110)
Over 46.5 (-110)
Under 46.5 (-110)
Chiefs vs. Patriots Pick:
It`s tough to definitely say what the unknown Tyler Palko will do for Kansas City. Sure he`s put up promising pre-season statistics at times, and played well in college, but nothing can replicate the situation he will enter Monday evening.
I don`t expect this game to be all that competitive from a score-line standpoint. However, laying up to as much as three scores with one team is hard to do in the NFL, so instead the total set in this one offers decent value.
New England`s offense is simply prolific at the moment, scoring at will and whenever they want to. Against the Jets this team scored 37 points, and opposing a weak Chiefs squad, they can pretty much put up whatever number they wish. The key however will be how the Chiefs move the ball when they`re in possession. Palko may be raw, but he is surrounded with talented game-breakers in Dwayne Bowe and Dexter McCluster. Against a porous defense that has been known to huge lapses and giving up the big play, if Palko can distribute the ball adequately enough to both Bowe and McCluster, it could result in points for this potentially anaemic attack.
Look for the Patriots to easily hit the mid-30`s range. They`re entirely healthy on offense, and absolutely clicking right now. Moreover, with the veteran presence on that squad, focus will not be an issue. They realize they are still in a dogfight for their AFC East division crown and will not take their foot off the pedal. New England also isn`t the biggest users of a rushing attack so even if they do get up a few scores, look for Brady to keep throwing and distributing to his wealth of talented playmakers.
I also expect Palko to experience moderate success on offense. The Patriots secondary still cannot be trusted and Palko is well-aware this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for him. Look for Kansas City to not roll over and put up a couple of scores on New England, easily hitting the over set of 46.5 points.
The Patriots have gone over in 8 of their past 10 home games, and under the Monday Night spotlight both teams will be anxious to light up the scoreboard in Foxboro.