I don’t know who’s going to have a tougher time: the New York Jets trying to cover against the Kansas City Chiefs or me, trying not to overkill on the Taylor Swift references in this NFL odds preview.
Oddsmakers are expecting an uphill climb for Gang Green on Sunday Night Football, with New York flirting with being a double-digit underdog at home to the reigning Super Bowl champs. And speaking of flirting…
Stay on target.
The Chiefs have earned this lofty spread in the Week 4 odds, putting a Week 1 speedbump in the rearview with back-to-back wins, including a 41-10 blowout over the Bears in Week 3 — a game attended by Travis Kelce’s new gal pal, who celebrated his touchdown catch along with Momma Kelce and the rest of Chiefs Kingdom.
This primetime pairing was a must-watch game for NFL bettors before Aaron Rodgers went down with an Achilles tear. Now, it’s must-watch TV for legions of “Swifties” with Taylor planning to be in attendance, bringing a lot of new eyeballs to the league this past week.
Chiefs vs Jets odds
Chiefs vs Jets predictions
The Travis Kelce-Taylor Swift media circus is amazing.
As a Cowboys fan who sat through the Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson/Carrie Underwood sagas, maybe I’m numb to the pop culture collision with sports. And whenever you can get Bill Belichick to crack a funny joke, we’re trending in the right direction.
Good luck you crazy kids.
That said, I’m fading Taylor’s boy in Week 4.
This has nothing to do with “distractions” or whatever shit the media wants to throw at the wall, and more to do with Week 4 player models calling for a less-than-stellar day from the Kansas City Chiefs tight end.
As of Thursday afternoon, Kelce’s receiving yards total has climbed from 71.5 yards to as high as 73.5 Over/Under across the prop markets.
The sportsbooks are leaning into this Swift skid hard, with custom-named prop bets on the board for Kelce’s Sunday night output. And after Patrick Mahomes said he felt pressure to hit Kelce for a touchdown with Swift in attendance last week, I’m sure this yardage number will continue to climb into the weekend.
There are some projections sitting around and past this yardage total in Week 4, with a ceiling of 77 yards. However, two of the more trusted models I use to work out my number have Kelce pegged for much less, with forecasts between 62.3 and 65.8 yards. If you stirred them all up in a bowl, the consensus total is just north of 70 yards.
Kelce sat out Week 1 with a knee injury and returned in Week 2 for 43 snaps, catching four of nine targets for 26 yards against Jacksonville. Against the Bears last weekend, Kelce played 47 snaps with seven receptions on eight targets for 69 yards and that aforementioned TD before taking a seat in the fourth quarter.
The New York Jets have given up gains to rival tight ends already this year, most recently a 58-yard touchdown catch to Patriots TE Pharaoh Brown last Sunday. That solo home run play bumps the Jets to fifth most in terms of yards allowed to the position, but take that one play off the board and Gang Green is giving up only 111 yards to tight ends — or 7.4 yards per reception.
Kelce’s reception prop sits at 6.5 with player models ranging from 5.29 to 6.67 catches. Should he snag six balls, given the Jets' allowance to the position, we’re talking only 44.4 yards. Kelce is, of course, not your ordinary TE. Even at his average of 8.6 yards per reception and pumping those catches to seven, we’re still just clearing 60 yards.
Then there’s the game script to consider. This spread is surging toward double digits with the Chiefs on track for another one-sided win. That means playing with the lead in the second half, slowing the offense down, handing off or more snaps, and potentially resting star players in garbage time like last week.
As long as the sportsbook operators and Sunday Night Football promotions are pumping up Kelce and Taylor in primetime, this yardage total will keep climbing, giving us even more headroom on the Under for his receiving output.
Those on the Traylor (Travis + Taylor) with “Bad Blood” for this bet may call me an “Anti-Hero” or say that “You Need To Calm Down”. But given the public hype and the player projections, “Look What You Made Me Do” oddsmakers!
We know “All Too Well” that smart handicapping never goes out of “Style”.
Alright, I’m spent.
My best bet: Travis Kelce Under 71.5 receiving yards (-114)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.
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Chiefs vs Jets same-game parlay
The Chiefs are the best two-way team in the AFC with this defense stealing the spotlight. Scary.
Kelce could have a big game and score one for Taylor, but he’s staying below this inflated receiving total.
Meanwhile, Zach Wilson has been playing from behind and passing a lot. The other Wilson is his top target and is projected for as many as 5.7 receptions.
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Chiefs vs Jets spread and Over/Under analysis
For shits and giggles, the offseason line for this Sunday night showdown was Kansas City -1.5, with this previously billed as a potential AFC Championship Game preview after New York added Aaron Rodgers. Now we can only see that matchup in our “Wildest Dreams”.
OK, last one. I swear.
With Zach Wilson cosplaying as the Jets starting quarterback, KC opened as a 9-point favorite and jumped to as high as -10 before the market settled in at -9.5. My power ratings have this game closer to Chiefs -13 and Covers Consensus is showing 73% of picks on the visitor, so most folks concur with that projection.
We all know what this Chiefs offense can do. After two slower starts to the season (scoring just 17 and 20 points), Patrick Mahomes & Co. got to stretch their legs against the hapless Chicago Bears defense in Week 3.
The Jets defense is a much tougher test than Chicago's, however. That’s not saying much, considering the state of the Bears. But you get my point.
New York ranks No. 6 in EPA allowed per play and has kept New York competitive with a “bend but don’t break approach”. The Jets are among the better red zone units, giving up touchdowns on 3 of 8 RZ stands, and are coming off holding the Patriots out of their 20-yard line in Week 3 (New England scored a 58-yard TD pass).
Perhaps the biggest issue for the Jets isn’t Kansas City’s scoring attack, but its defense. The Chiefs’ stop unit is known for starting slow and finding its form later in the schedule, but this group is playing at a very high level to start 2023. And that should worry every other NFL team.
Kansas City sits fourth in EPA allowed per play, is slamming the door in the red zone, showing the offense the sideline on third downs, and causing plenty of chaos at the line of scrimmage with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo dialing up the blitz and getting solid pressure on passers.
That stop unit will focus fire on their much-maligned QB, who’s about as popular as jock itch in the Jets locker room. Despite Wilson's abysmal efforts, head coach Robert Saleh is sticking with him — at least for one more week — and that’s reportedly drawing a line down the locker room.
New York hasn’t been able to move the chains much since defaulting to Wilson in the wake of Rodgers’ injury, with the Jets “off the charts” bad in just about every fancy advanced metric out there, as well as basic stats like points and yards.
The worst part is Wilson is unable to sustain the offense for any length of time, despite New York running one of the slowest tempos in terms of seconds per play. That’s led to the shortest average time of possession and has the Jets defense on the field for more than 35 minutes per game. At that rate, the stop unit will start breaking down in the second half — especially against a group like the Chiefs.
The Over/Under total for Sunday Night Football opened at 44 points and has taken early play on the Under, with two sound defenses on the field. This number has been trimmed to as low as 41 points at some books.
Chiefs vs Jets betting trend to know
The Chiefs are 1-0 straight up and against the spread when Taylor Swift is in attendance. Just kidding.
While I bet Kansas City -9 on Sunday night when the odds opened, it should be noted that the Chiefs haven’t been great as big favorites.
Since Mahomes took over under center in 2018, Kansas City is 37-3 SU but just 17-21-2 ATS as a favorite of a touchdown or more (-7 or higher). Put KC on the road as big chalk and it’s only 5-8 ATS when laying a TD or more as a visitor. Find more NFL betting trends for Chiefs vs. Jets.
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Chiefs vs Jets game info
|Location:||MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ|
|Date:||Sunday, October 1, 2023|
|Kickoff:||8:20 p.m. ET|
|Opening odds:||Jets +9, 44 O/U|
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