What’s more motivating than defending a Super Bowl title? How about avenging a Super Bowl loss? The Kansas City Chiefs suffered only three defeats in 2020, unfortunately, one of those Ls was served up by Tampa Bay on Super Sunday.
We’ve seen Big Game losers go bust in the following season, but Kansas City has plenty of Pedialyte and greasy breakfasts – in the form of elite talent and top-notch coaching – to avoid the Super Bowl hangover. That’s evidenced by the mountain of points KC is dishing out to foes almost every week.
Here’s our 2021 Kansas City Chiefs NFL betting preview.
Kansas City Chiefs futures odds
|To Win Conference
|To Win Division
|To Make Playoffs
|Yes -900 / No +600
|Season Win Total O/U
|12.5 (Over -110)
Best futures bet: Win AFC Championship +250
A third straight AFC title in is the work for Kansas City. Outside of the Bills and Ravens, no one really comes close to the Chiefs in the conference and all the other serious Super Bowl contenders are in the NFC. On top of that, the road to the Super Bowl likely goes through Arrowhead in late January.
If you’re looking for a little more bang for your futures buck, look to the Super Bowl matchups odds. I’m high on Kansas City and the L.A. Rams, which would pay +2,600 if they clashed inside SoFi Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs betting overview
What will win bets: Offense
The reason why the Chiefs are massive chalk in most games is also your best shot of covering those piles of points. It’s madness to think Patrick Mahomes is only entering Year 4 as the starter and Canton is already getting his measurements for a gold jacket.
Around Mahomes is an embarrassing amount of game-breaking talent, including sophomore Swiss Army Knife Clyde Edwards-Helaire. And the one glaring weakness from 2020 – the offensive line – has been retooled and is now projected to be one of the best in the league.
What will lose bets: Complacency
After two straight Super Bowl appearances, the regular season is starting to feel like a formality to the Chiefs, who are the biggest division favorites in the AFC. We’ve seen this group go on extended cold streaks for bettors, most notably at the end of the year when spreads inflate to match the public appeal and the mind starts to drift to the postseason. Kansas City is 7-12-2 ATS from Week 10 onward over the past three campaigns, including a 1-7 ATS mark to close out 2020. As good as KC is, there’s a tipping point with those lofty spreads.
Kansas City Chiefs game-by-game odds
The Chiefs are point spread favorites in 15 of 17 games right now, with a pick’em at Baltimore in Week 2 and the Week 9 showdown with the Packers off the board (it’s likely KC will be slight chalk in that one). Their 2021 slate ranks T-11 in terms of strength of schedule.
Kansas City faces an average spread of -6.75 and if you drop the -3 at Denver in Week 18 (obviously padding against the Chiefs resting starters ahead of the playoffs), that average climbs to a cool touchdown. But as good as the Chiefs are, they’re just 9-12-1 ATS as favorites of a TD or more – something that occurs nine times in 2021.
|vs L.A. Chargers
|vs N.Y. Giants
|vs Green Bay
|@ Las Vegas
|vs Las Vegas
|@ L.A. Chargers
Early season forecast
The Chiefs have three solid matchups right out of the gate, which should help tell us if Mahomes & Co. are on a revenge tour or still stinging from that Super Bowl spanking.
Week 1 is a rewind of the AFC Divisional Round, hosting the Browns as 6.5-point favorites after this spread jumped as much as a full point from -5.5. Cleveland lost 22-17 to Kansas City last January, after clawing back from a 19-3 hole, to the dismay of Chiefs bettors who laid 7.5 points. The Chiefs have won and covered in four straight home openers going back to 2017 but Super Bowl losers are just 9-12 SU and 5-16 ATS in Week 1 of the following season. Hmmmmm...
One of the most anticipated games of the entire 2021 schedule holds court in Week 2 when Kansas City visits Baltimore. The Chiefs went into M&T Bank Stadium and dished out a 34-20 ransack of the Ravens last September as 3.5-point road underdogs. This line is calling for a close contest, currently sitting pick’em, which could make KC backers nervous if it moves toward the visitors. The Chiefs were 9-0 SU but just 1-8 ATS in one-score games last year.
The Chiefs kickoff divisional play back home versus the L.A. Chargers in Week 3, giving the touchdown with a nasty half-point hook in a potential letdown spot after that clash with Baltimore. The Bolts are always live road dogs and Kansas City is 4-2 SU but just 2-3-1 ATS versus Los Angeles since Mahomes got the starting job.
Week 13: vs Denver (-9.5)
Betting Andy Reid off the bye week has lost a little steam but this process still holds a 19-3 SU record and 14-8 ATS count since Reid took over the head coaching role in Philadelphia back in 1999. The Chiefs have a bye in Week 12 which has Andy backers laying the lumber against the Broncos in Week 13. Books have KC pegged as 9.5-point home chalk to Denver for this 1 p.m. ET start. This game is part of a four-week span that sees the Chiefs stay in Arrowhead for three straight games.
The 2021 lookahead lines see 13 of the Chiefs’ games with totals of 50 points or more (likely 14 when that Green Bay line comes back out). The highest among them is a 55-point peak versus Dallas in Week 11 – currently the tallest Over/Under for the entire 2021 season.
Kansas City went 8-8 O/U in 2020 and is 30-25-1 O/U since 2018. You would think with all those big spreads, a Chiefs-Over same-game parlay would be a popular pick. And if you fell into that most public of public plays, you’d be doing your bookie a favor. Kansas City is 4-9 Over/Under when pegged as a double-digit favorite while going 5-7-1 ATS in those outings since 2018.
Star power props: Patrick Mahomes QB
|Odds to win
|Passing yards total
|5,100.5 yards (Over -120)
|Passing TD total
|39.5 (Under -130)
Best prop: Over 39.5 passing TDs (Over -110)
Besides the ample home run hitters at Mahomes’ disposal, the most vital part to this prop going Over is the new offensive line. Last season, Mahomes was hurried 64 times (sixth-most), sacked 22 times, and was forced to scramble on 40 snaps designed as a pass (also sixth). He finished the season with 38 touchdown passes in 15 games. This is Andy Reid’s offense so the pass attempts are coming and Mahomes should have plenty of time and clean air to find those playmakers downfield.
Trend to know
We called out the Chiefs for slowing down in the back end of the schedule, however, this team does get off to strong starts each season. Kansas City is 12-2 ATS in its last 14 games in September, making the most of those spreads before the public pumps them up later on.
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