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Suddenly Desperate Chiefs in Must-Win Spot vs the Prime-Time Proven Seahawks

The word “desperate” isn’t usually used to describe an 11-3 team at this point of the season, but thanks to being upset at home by the Chargers in Week 15, the Chiefs are in serious danger of losing their grasp on a first-round playoff bye, which would have been unimaginable a few weeks ago.

Despite the letdown, they’ll come into Seattle as a -2.5 favorite vs a Seahawks team that’s on an unreal run in night games, posting a 24-6-4 ATS record. Lots of points are expected as the game has one of the larger totals of the week at 53.5.

Shark Bites
  • Seattle is 18-5 ATS as a home underdog since December 2008.
  • Kansas City has the best first-half spread record in the NFL — 11-3 ATS.
  • Seattle is 24-6-4 ATS in its last 34 night games.

Chiefs vs Seahawks Game Center

Spread Analysis

Fading the Seahawks as a home dog in recent years has been a horrendous investment strategy as they’ve covered eight consecutive spreads in that spot and, going back to December 2008, they’ve posted an 18-5 ATS record when getting points at home. They covered in their lone game as a home dog this season vs the Rams and as an underdog overall in 2018 they’re an impressive 4-1-1 ATS.

Inconveniently for us bettors, recent trends also favor the Chiefs in this spot as they’ve been fantastic on the road, going 4-1-1 ATS this season and 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 road games.

Given Seattle’s reputation for having one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL, I think this is a fair spread. However, I think Kansas City would be closer to -3.5 had it not been for the loss to the Chargers last week, which was a bit of a fluke. According to ESPN Stats & Info, teams were 0-88 SU this season when trailing by 14 or more points in the final five minutes of a game. It sucked being on the wrong end of that one.

How to Bet the Total

In recent weeks, we’ve seen some of the league’s top offenses — the Saints, Rams and Patriots — put up some low point totals, but the Chiefs, who lead the league with 35.6 points per game, haven’t scored fewer than 26 points in a game yet.

With the total on the high side at 53.5, I’d still lean toward the OVER. Chiefs road games this season have averaged 73.43 points, while Seattle has proven to have a bit of firepower of its own by either reaching or exceeding 30 points on four occasions this season. As always with totals betting, keep your eye on the weather, but if it’s dry with clear skies, I can see both teams putting up lots of points.

Cause for Concern or False Alarm in KC?

After a 9-1 start, the Chiefs are 2-2 in their last four games with their two wins in that span coming over the Raiders and Ravens by a combined 10 points. Clearly, they’re no longer lighting the world on fire, but are they still elite? Yes, they’re still elite and one of the top Super Bowl contenders in the NFL. Their three losses this season have come by a grand total of seven points, against three pretty good teams, so pump the brakes if you want to argue that they’re in decline.

There is, however, a significant red flag that was on full display in their loss to the Chargers. That issue is that their play declines as games go on. Here’s their point differential by quarter:

  • Q1: +5.79
  • Q2: +1.07
  • Q3: +2.29
  • Q4: -0.86

Coming out on fire and taking their foot off the gas late in the game is what has gotten them into trouble in their three losses. The main culprit for the second-half drop-off is undoubtedly their defense that’s allowing an average of 15 points in the second half, which is bad enough for fourth-worst in the NFL. Specific to road games, they’re allowing 17.7 second-half points.

The Biggest Prime-Time Player in the Game

If you follow our NFL betting coverage here at OddsShark, you know that whenever the Seahawks play at night, we go out of our way to gush over how great they’ve been in prime time. This is a practice that I’ll continue.

Here’s a breakdown of Seattle in night games in a few specific situations:

  • Night games at home: 15-3-3 ATS
  • Night games as an underdog: 10-2 ATS
  • Night games as a home underdog: 5-1 ATS
  • Night games after a loss in their most recent game: 8-2-3 ATS
  • Night games in December: 9-0 ATS
  • Night games vs teams with winning records: 11-3 ATS

In my bold opinion, the Seattle Seahawks are good in night games.

My Best Bet 

I’m on the Chiefs -0.5 first-half spread.

I’ve had a fair amount of success with first-half bets this season. With so many conflicting trends and KC’s inability to finish as well as it starts, I think this is the way to go, especially when you consider how bad Seattle has looked the past two weeks in a sluggish home win vs the Vikings and a disappointing upset loss vs the 49ers.

Kansas City is actually the best first-half bet in the NFL at 11-3 ATS. The Chiefs have the second-best first-half point differential at +6.86 while Seattle is further down the list at +1.79. There’s no way to quantify this, but I think the shocking loss to the Chargers may have been a wake-up call for the Chiefs and they’ll come out on fire Sunday night.