Chiefs Are Just the 5th Team To Make Super Bowl With Losing ATS Record
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid
If the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl 55, they would become just the second team to do it after finishing the regular season with a losing record against the spread (ATS), joining the 2012 Baltimore Ravens as the only other team to pull that feat off.
While it’s never great to be in the company of Joe Flacco, Patrick Mahomes is no Flacco, so it’s hard to view this fact as anything more than the answer to a future trivia question. But it still begs the question: What happened?
The Chiefs’ Losing ATS Record
The Chiefs finished 14-2 for the most regular-season wins in franchise history and the most ever for Andy Reid. But after a Bill Belichick-ian against-the-spread run to start the season, something weird happened about halfway through: They stopped covering.
From Week 9 on, the Chiefs went 1-7 ATS despite going 7-1 outright, winning games by margins of two, four, three, six, six, three and three points before taking Week 17 off. The Chiefs finished the regular season 7-9 ATS for their first losing ATS record in eight seasons under Reid, who led them to a 65-44-3 (59.6%) ATS record from 2013-19.
The Chiefs failed to cover as 8-point favorites against the Browns in the Divisional Round, making it nine straight games without a cover. They finally broke that streak in the AFC Championship Game against the Bills, with a 38-24 victory as 3-point favorites.
There’s a saying that “good teams win, great teams cover.”
So, does that losing ATS record mean the Chiefs aren’t great? No, but in a nutshell, they struggled in many areas of situational football this season. It hasn’t cost them games (yet), but it has created enough of a swing in the final score to cost them covers.
Those areas of situational football they’ve struggled in include their red-zone defense, short situations and more that I covered in depth heading into their first game of this postseason.
ATS Records of Super Bowl Teams
Below are the ATS records of the past 20 Super Bowl winners, per our Action Labs database.