After Denver racked up 38 points at Houston in Week 14, the Chiefs defense held Drew Lock’s offense to three points over 60 minutes as the snow fell at Arrowhead. With the 23-3 victory, Kansas City improved to 10-4 straight up and 9-5 against the spread.
The Bears had a shot at the ultimate backdoor cover and potential upset win at Green Bay last Sunday but fell one lateral short. The 21-13 loss to the Packers dropped Chicago to 7-7 SU and 4-10 ATS.
Sportsbook Odds Analysis
Kansas City opened as a 4-point road favorite before the consensus spread rose to Chiefs -5. The Bears moneyline opened at +165 and the point total at 45. The total has gone UNDER in four consecutive Chiefs games and in eight of the Bears’ last 10 home games with an average combined score of 34.3.
The Chiefs have been a road favorite six times this season and are 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS. Chicago has been a home dog only once this season, upsetting the Cowboys 31-24 a couple of weeks ago as a 3-point underdog. Although the OVER 43 hit in that game at Soldier Field, the UNDER has hit in five of Chicago’s seven home games this season.
Kansas City News & Notes
Since losing 35-32 at Tennessee last month, the Chiefs are 4-0 SU and ATS. However, as pundits continue to wax poetic about Patrick Mahomes’ greatness, the K.C. defense deserves most of the credit. During the four-game win streak, the Chiefs have allowed just 11.25 points per game. Check out their most recent three-game splits when stacked up against their season-to-date defensive averages:
|Stat Category||Last 3 Games||Season to Date|
|Yards Allowed PG||287.0||356.7|
|Yards Allowed Per Play||4.9||5.5|
|Opp. Rush Yards PG||89.3||131.6|
|Opp. Pass Yards PG||197.7||225.1|
|Opp. 3rd Down Conversion Rate||28.57%||35.43%|
|Opp. Red Zone Conversion Rate (TD)||25%||50%|
|Sacks Per Game||2.3||2.8|
As you can see, a healthier Chiefs defense has vastly improved over the last month compared to the season-to-date resume. With all the positivity comes a piece of bad news. Kansas City thinks pass rusher Alex Okafor tore his pec in the win over the Broncos. If that’s true, he’d miss the rest of the season. But reinforcements may be on the way...
Other names on the Week 16 injury report and tagged questionable are cornerbacks Morris Claiborne (shoulder) and Rashad Fenton (hamstring) and running back Damien Williams, who is dealing with a rib injury. The running back is expected to return against the Bears, however.
Chicago News & Notes
Although the Bears are all but mathematically out of playoff contention at 7-7, head coach Matt Nagy made a lot of fantasy football owners happy when he said the plan is to play their starters the final two weeks of the season.
Before the loss to the Packers, Chicago had won three straight and four of its past five. However, that “hot” stretch comes with a Windy City-sized asterisk. The Bears beat the 3-10-1 Lions twice, the 3-11 Giants and the 7-7 Cowboys at Soldier Field. Plus, the two wins over Detroit by a combined 11 points came against the Lions’ second- and third-string quarterbacks, while New York made things interesting late in a 19-14 loss. In other words, yes, the Bears played better during that four-game stretch, but may have reminded us what they truly are in a 21-13 loss to the Packers, which is an above-average defense with a sub-optimal offense that lacks efficiency.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs are still in the mix for the AFC’s No. 1 seed.
On the injury front, the Bears added a defensive tackle but lost a linebacker last week. Akiem Hicks posted four tackles and two hits on the quarterback in his first game back. He should also contribute to clogging the run the next two weeks. Chicago did lose LB Roquan Smith for the season to a torn pec and Danny Trevathan is questionable with that gnarly elbow injury. Receiver Taylor Gabriel and tight end Ben Braunecker are questionable with concussions. Tackle Bobby Massie is “Q” with an ankle and defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris “Q” with a foot injury. It’s definitely Week 16, folks!
Betting Pick: Lean Chiefs -5, UNDER 45
With the Chiefs playing better defense and the Bears grinding out 13 points at Green Bay last weekend, I get the sense Chicago’s offense is regressing to its mean. I might update this pick later in the week but I’m leaning UNDER 45 as of now.