HERE’S THE MIDWEEK UPDATE:
GETTING BEYOND THE UGLY
POINTSPREAD NUMBERS WITH THE KC CHIEFS …
COLLEGE FOOTBALL GOODIES –
WE’RE HALFWAY THRU THIS ’21 SEASONAND (STILL) NOBODY’S TALKIN’ ABOUT
THE REAL “BARGAINS” OUT THERE
Here’s a burning question that we pose to the two-time defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs … and to those of you folks that like wagering on them:
Is this so-called “post-Super Bowl hangover” gonna last all year long?
Geez, the Chiefs exited last Sunday Night’s never-really-in-doubt 38-20 home loss to the 2.5-point underdog Buffalo Bills with a sad-sack 1-4 ATS (against the spread) record so far in this 2021 NFL campaign and the up-to-the-minute Las Vegas prices has ‘em laying nearly a full TD in this Sunday’s road bash at the Washington Football Team.
Okay, so maybe this pointspread mess with the Chiefs isn’t merely “hangover” stuff – after all, Andy Reid’s team finished off the 2020 season on an infamous 1-9-1 ATS skid and so add ‘em up and KayCee enters Week 6 play an ugly 2-13-1 versus Mr. Vig (folks, that’s a putrid .133 winning rate against the numbers) since the middle of last year and handicappers ‘round the land are left to wonder if this slide is gonna keep on keepin’ on … or will the Chiefs get their act together (and that means you too QB Patrick Mahomes who threw for a pedestrian 272 yards against the Bills)?
Keep in mind the Chiefs are 2-11-1 against the odds as betting favorites since mid-2020 and they are just 2-9-1 ATS when playing non-AFC West opponents. Check out the sked and you’ll see KC’s next four games are all against non-divisional foes (see at WFT, at Tennessee, New York Giants and Green Bay).
To put a wrap on the negative numbers: The Chiefs are 1-8 spreadwise as hosts during this 16-game span and they’re 1-5-1 ATS away and, yes, that includes last year’s embarrassing 31-9 loss in Super Bowl 55 against host Tampa Bay.
Okay, so Mahomes – who sports a QB Rating of 106.1 with 16 TDs passing and 6 INTs – is hardly the problem when you review this last season-plus but, then again, what did everyone expect with a completely retooled offensive line and a defensive front that has hardly been “super” so far in 2021.
Folks, just to prove we’re not “picking” on these Chiefs, note the following:
The embattled New York Giants and New York Jets are a combined 3-7 against the odds this year and did you realize these New York-area teams are each 19-50 SU (straight-up) since the start of the 2017 campaign … egads.
And you can count the aforementioned KC Chiefs, the just-mentioned J-E-T-S, San Francisco and Washington as the four teams league-wide with just one spread win apiece.
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Hey, let’s switch over to those college kids who are offering up another great group of games this mid-October weekend – how does it sound to be #1, Georgia Bulldogs! – but let’s keep our attention here focused on three clubs that have proven to be real “bargains” at the midway point:
IOWA – Wait a moment, how can the nation’s #2-ranked team be a “bargain”? Well, consider Kirk Ferentz’s squad enters this Saturday’s game at 11.5-point road underdog Purdue sporting a delicious 5-1 ATS mark that includes the early-season outright upset win at 4-point favorite Iowa State (that does seem like a long time ago, right?) and last weekend’s riveting 23-20 come-from-behind home win against 2.5-point pup Penn State.
Sure, Iowa received a major boost when Nittany Lions’ QB Sean Clifford went down with a first-half injury and never did return to the field but the Hawkeyes were “underpriced” as 3.5- and 3-point betting favorites in blowout wins against Indiana and Maryland (by 28 and 37 points, respectively) and still may be lacking super-power respect from oddsmakers. P.S., Iowa QB Spencer Petras has thrown only two picks this year; conversely, the ‘Eye defense already has snagged 16 interceptions.
LIBERTY – We know you’ll cut us a break, but wouldn’t it be great if folks wagered the “old-fashioned” way and called their man: “Gimme Liberty … “ is truly classic material. Agree?
Okay, but let’s get serious here with the here-and-now Flames who have rock-n-rolled their way to a 5-1 ATS mark thus far but we’re warning you that Hugh Freeze’s crew is a bloated 32-point road fav this weekend at lowly UL-Monroe. In any event, Liberty’s 3-and-oh spreadwise as betting favorites of 20-or-more points but we’re giving you a heads-up that this Independent squad could be “live” in an early November game at Ole Miss. Got it?
SYRACUSE – Did you know that Liberty’s one-and-only pointspread loss this year came against this Orange bunch? In short, the ‘Cuse has been piling up the “W’s” vig-wise while going 5-1 ATS overall (and just 3-3 straight-up) and Dino Baber’s club has indeed been “bargains” with dog covers against the likes of Ohio, Liberty, Florida State and Wake Forest.
Maybe the fact that Syracuse – a two-TD underdog for Friday’s home ACC tilt against Clemson – sports a better-than-you-think ground game that ranks 23rd nationally (we’re watching you, RB Sean Tucker and your 791 yards rushing with a 5.9 yards-per-tote average) has been an underrated advantage that this upstate New York team boasts in most games. Therefore, a good dog more often than not.