The Chiefs shocked everyone last season with a nine-game winning streak to start the season. Once they did lose their first game reality settled in, but they did get into the playoffs with an 11-5 record.
In the postseason they jumped out to a huge lead versus the Colts only to squander a 28-point cushion and get bounced in the Sportsbook round. The Chiefs have something to prove after their mediocre second half and embarrassing exit from the playoffs.
Kansas City Chiefs Odds to Win AFC West: +600 at Sportsbook
Kansas City Chiefs Odds to Win Super Bowl: 50/1 at Sportsbook
Kansas City Chiefs Regular Season Win Total: 8 at Sportsbook
Kansas City Chiefs Betting Props: Jamaal Charles to Win NFL MVP 50/1 at Sportsbook
Starting the season 9-0 again may be impossible with the early schedule facing the Chiefs. Four of their first six games are against playoff teams, including stops in Denver, San Francisco and San Diego.
Alex Smith had a solid season in his Kansas City debut, passing for a career-best 3313 yards with 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The biggest obstacle to him repeating those numbers may be the Chiefs' offensive line. Three of the Chiefs' linemen left via free agency, leaving them with a few holes to fill with some less experienced personnel.
The O-Line depth could also hinder Jamaal Charles, who’s entering his prime after rushing for 1287 yards and 12 touchdowns a year ago. The receiving corps is also a question mark for Kansas City with Dwayne Bowe still trying to live up to his big numbers from two years ago and no real depth beyond Donnie Avery following the departure of the versatile Dexter McCluster.
The Kansas City defense’s numbers may have fooled some people last year. Sure, they were the fifth-ranked scoring defense, but they were ranked 24th in yards allowed. Which one of those sounds more sustainable? It will be up to veterans like Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston to keep the Chiefs' defense from regressing this season. The Chiefs did use their two draft picks to nab defensive end Dee Ford and cornerback Phillip Gaines and they’ll need the help at corner right away after parting with Pro Bowler Brandon Flowers.
The Chiefs' winning record didn’t translate into big profits for bettors as they were only 9-8 ATS last season. They were especially disappointing at home, where the posted a 2-6 ATS record.
AFC West Odds at Sportsbook as of August 5
Denver Broncos -300
San Diego Chargers +500
Kansas City Chiefs +600
Oakland Raiders +1800
Many believed that Kansas City would rebound from their 7-9 season in 2011 with the return of Eric Berry and Jamaal Charles from injury in 2012. But while those two went on to have Pro Bowl seasons, a pitiful passing game doomed the Chiefs to a 2-14 SU and 5-11 ATS campaign.
Odds to Win AFC West: +600 at Sportsbook
Regular Season Win Total: 7.5 at Sportsbook
Betting Props: Jamaal Charles to win NFL MVP (66/1) at Sportsbook
The Matt Cassel experiment is officially over in Kansas City. Cassel was awful for the Chiefs in 2012, passing for just 1,796 yards and six touchdowns with 12 interceptions over nine games. Brady Quinn was given the chance to take over the job, but threw just two touchdowns and eight interceptions in his stint under center. Kansas City finished dead last in scoring with just 13.2 points per game.
One of new head coach Andy Reid’s first orders of business was bringing in an effective quarterback, and the Chiefs get that in Alex Smith, who has a 30/10 touchdown-to-interception ratio over the last two seasons. Jamaal Charles rushed for 1509 yards last season, and with a quarterback that can actually keep defenses honest, he should have a great season in 2013.
Statistically, the defense was a mixed bag in 2012, finishing 12th in passing defense allowing just 220.8 yards per game, but 27th against the run allowing 135.7 yards per game. Part of the problem was simply time on the field, as the Chiefs offense suffered so many three-and-outs. With a more effective passing game, the defense should also show signs of improvement.
Kansas City made for a great fade last season, and was also a reliable bet on the UNDER down the stretch, with the UNDER going 1-6-1 over the last eight games. But 2013 could be a redemption year for the Chiefs and Andy Reid, who lost his job with the Philadelphia Eagles after 14 years. The team doesn’t figure to be good enough to compete with the Denver Broncos for the AFC West title, but there is enough talent here to get back to .500.
AFC West Odds at Sportsbook as of July 31
Denver Broncos -400
Kansas City Chiefs +600
San Diego Chargers +650
Oakland Raiders +2000