NE Patriots at KC Chiefs – AFC Conference Championship Preview
Sunday 1/20 6:40 PM (ET),
Tom Brady will be an underdog for the first time since 2015, as his Patriots travel to Arrowhead to face off with the Chiefs in possible sub-zero temperatures.
“The Patriots are done, Brady is washed up, this is Belichick’s worst team of all time, Blah, Blah, Blah.” The Pats shut up their doubters and put the football world on notice once again with a dominant performance vs. the Chargers in the divisional rounds a week ago. Brady completed nearly 80% of his passes, Sony Michel chipped in with a hat trick worth of touchdowns, and the defense was stout all afternoon.
Kansas City’s defense showed up for what seemed like the first time all season in last week’s demolition of the Indianapolis Colts. KC held Andrew Luck and company to just 266 total yards. Offensively, Damien Williams continues to erase Kareem Hunt from Kansas City fans’ memories, gashing the Colts’ defense for 154 total yards on 30 touches.
The weather will be harsh, but shouldn’t have any ill effects on the northeastern-based Patriots. Mahomes will certainly have more success than Rivers did against New England’s secondary. Yet don’t forget, New England was able to confuse the 1st year starter on multiple occasions in their earlier matchup this season, picking Mahomes off twice.
The storyline of the Chiefs defense as the 3rd best unit in football when playing at home is extremely skewed. Six of their seven victories at home this season came against teams that finished the season ranked in the bottom half in total offense. The Pats defense is one of the best in football in terms of keeping opponents out of the endzone. Even if they don’t shut down Mahomes and company, they will disrupt the offense enough for Brady to then outscore.
Score prediction: Patriots win 28-27
Betting sites odds peg the Patriots as the underdogs. New England is 7-1 SU/ATS in their last eight games as an underdog. They’ve also gone 8-4 SU in AFC Championship games. Brady is coming off possibly his best game of the season, and is accompanied by a thriving run game to back him up.
You would expect fireworks in this one, similar to what we saw in their matchup earlier in the season. However, the playoffs are a different animal. Belichick knows that in order to beat the Chiefs, he has to keep the ball out of Mahomes’ hands. To do that, the Patriots will feature Sony Michel and the run game, and drain the clock. Both teams have been strong UNDER bets throughout the final half of the NFL season.
Head to Head
The Patriots defeated Kansas City in a 43-40 thriller back in October of this NFL season. New England holds a 7-3 lead over the Chiefs in their last ten meetings.
- New England is 11-3 SU in their last 14 games.
- New England is 5-3 SU as underdogs in playoff games under Bill Belichick.
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of New England’s last 10 games.
- Kansas City is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 home games.
- Kansas City is 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Kansas City’s last 14 home games.