Betting Odds: Kansas City Chiefs (-1) at Atlanta Falcons
- Kansas City Chiefs Moneyline: -120
- Atlanta Falcons Moneyline: +100
- Over/Under: 39.5
- Kickoff: Aug. 17, 2018 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Kansas City Chiefs
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the starting offense will play the entire first half on Friday night. This news seems to be at least partially responsible for moving the line from +3 to -1, as our live NFL odds page indicates 62% of tickets and 87% of money are currently on the Chiefs. It’s hard to understate just how explosive this offense was in 2017.
- Kareem Hunt led all running backs with 19 runs of at least 15 yards.
- Tyreek Hill led all receivers with nine receptions of at least 40 yards.
- Travis Kelce led all tight ends with nine receptions of at least 20 yards.
The offseason addition of wide receiver Sammy Watkins should only further solidify the supporting cast for the Chiefs’ rocket-armed second-year quarterback.
The Falcons’ decision to spend a fourth-round pick on Southern Mississippi running back Ito Smith could indicate the team’s willingness to let Tevin Coleman walk in free agency after this season. Smith’s preseason debut (along with the rest of the offense) left much to be desired, but he’s the only college player with at least 4,400 yards rushing and 1,400 yards receiving since at least 2000. Both backs should benefit from the expected absence of Eric Berry (heel, doubtful) and the Chiefs’ futile road defense.
- Chiefs defense per game at home (2015-2017): 16.2 points, 223.8 passing yards, 116.3 rushing yards, 27+ points allowed in 8% of games.
- Away (2015-2017): 22.9 points, 259.8 passing yards, 108.6 rushing yards, 27+ points allowed in 39% of games.
While the Chiefs are putting their first-team offense to work for the entire first half, the Falcons are expected to give only a few snaps to difference-makers Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman.