The Kansas City Chiefs are the lone remaining undefeated NFL team straight up and against the spread in 2017. Their perfect ATS mark would have been snapped in Week 4 if not for maybe the worst bad beat in pro football history.
The Chiefs entered the season at +3,000 to win the Super Bowl and are now the third overall favorites to lift the Lombardi Trophy at +600, behind only the New England Patriots (+450) and Green Bay Packers (+500) at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.
But sports betting isn’t about what have you done for me lately, it’s about what will you do for me now. And the gambling community is trying to figure out how to handle the 5-0 Chiefs over their final 11 games of the regular season.
Just last year, the Minnesota Vikings started out 5-0 straight up and against the spread but finished the season 8-8 SU (9-7 ATS) and were on the outside looking in of playoffs.
We looked back find all the other NFL teams that started a year at least 5-0 ATS and we checked to see how those squads fared once their ATS streak was snapped.
The first thing we learned is that covering the spread in the first five games of the season is no easy task. The Chiefs are only the 17th team to go 5-0 ATS to start a campaign since 1985 and seven of the previous 16 teams saw their run end in their sixth game of the season. Another seven of those 16 teams had their ATS streak snap in their seventh contest, while the remaining two – the 2008 Tennessee Titans and the 2007 New England Patriots – didn’t go further than Week 9.
Now here’s the real kicker: once the run ended, those 16 teams covered in a combined 38 percent (63-100-1 ATS) of their games the rest of the season. Only the 1999 miracle St. Louis Rams, who were 200/1 long shots to win the Super Bowl in the preseason, and the 2008 Tennessee Titans had winning ATS records after dropping their first cover.
The value doesn’t appear to be completely sucked out of betting the Chiefs yet. CG Technology set Kansas City as a 1.5-point favorite against Pittsburgh in Week 6 when the book released odds on every NFL game last spring. Sportsbooks opened the Chiefs as 3.5-point chalk this week and the line has been bet up to -4.5.
Just remember, history tells us the books will catch up with the Chiefs and the ATS losses will follow.