Chiefs-Rams Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite MNF Bets
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes, Todd Gurley
- It's the biggest game of the season featuring the highest NFL over/under in recorded history. Are you ready for it?
- Before you place your bets, let our experts help you find the best values in this Monday Night Football matchup with cases for both the Chiefs and Rams, plus props and more.
Kansas City Chiefs. Los Angeles Rams. Monday Night Football.
What more could we ask for?
It’s the biggest matchup of the season featuring the highest NFL over/under in recorded history on a prime-time stage.
Our experts have every betting angle covered below — against-the-spread and over/under picks, a few props worth your attention, and, yes, even a bet on whether Jared Goff will call a “Halle Berry” audible.
>> All odds as of Sunday evening. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Evan Abrams: Largest Lead Under 17.5 Points (-120)
With this spread hovering around a key number and both offenses capable of going back and forth with the other, there’s no need to overthink this one.
The Rams have only one double-digit win in their past seven games, while the Chiefs have won by double digits in four of their past six.
I think this game goes one of two ways:
1. Both teams try to establish the run and minimize total possessions.
2. Both teams go score-for-score in a shootout.
If this does turn into that score-for-score battle, I trust Patrick Mahomes to not let the Chiefs fall too far behind, especially with the Rams’ deep pass defense ranked 25th according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
Scott Miller: Chiefs Under 2.5 sacks (-140)
This comes down to four things for me:
1. The Rams have one of the best offensive lines in football, ranking second in run-blocking and seventh in pass-blocking, according to Football Outsiders.
2. The Chiefs not only have the worst run defense in the NFL; they’re nearly twice as bad as the 31st-ranked run defense per DVOA.
3. The Rams have the league’s best rushing attack and the game’s most dynamic talent at the position: Todd Gurley.
4. As our Ryan Collinsworth expertly analyzed, Sean McVay leans heavily on the run when he has such a big advantage in that area.
OK, so what does all of this talk about the run game have to do with sacks? Well you can’t get sacks when the opposing offense is running the ball — and I expect the Rams to run the ball a lot.
When Los Angeles does throw, McVay will utilize a quick-passing game plan to counter Kansas City’s improving pass-rush.
Goff’s jersey shouldn’t require too much stain remover after this one. I like the under at anything better than -175.
BlackJack Fletcher: Chiefs +3
The Chiefs are trending in the right direction. Their offense is world class, and the defense has been getting incrementally better as the season has wore on.
The Rams started the season looking unbeatable, but that defense has taken some steps back. It got torched by the Saints and let the Packers and Seahawks hang around all game. I think Andy Reid will have a plan to pick on former Chief Marcus Peters.
Shop around for the hook; it’d be nice to have that extra half-point in what should be a close game.
Travis Reed: Chiefs +148
I agree with a lot of BlackJack’s points above, but I would rather just take the Chiefs to win straight up.
With the total at 63, I think the value of getting points matters less, although it’s possible we do end up with a 43-40 game like we saw the Chiefs play in New England. I think the Rams’ home-field advantage is minimal, especially since they have to travel this week after practicing in Colorado, anyway.
I like this price for the Chiefs to get the outright win. — Travis Reed
Chad Millman: Chiefs +148
I’m with Travis. There are so many similarities between these two teams: High-powered offenses, MVP-caliber quarterbacks and young, handsome head coaches (just wanted to make sure you were reading).
To me the difference is in the defenses, which to some might not be saying much. But I think the Chiefs have the advantage in personnel or, more important, the Rams have the disadvantage in personnel.
While I believe Kansas City is better on the edges — both at defensive end and defensive back — the real challenge for Los Angeles is that Marcus Peters is not a No. 1 cornerback, and the Chiefs know this better than anyone considering they traded him away. Yet that’s exactly what Peters has been forced to become with Aqib Talib out. Reid will find ways to pick on Peters all day.
Matt LaMarca: Rams -3
The whole world is on the Chiefs right now, with 77% of the tickets and 76% of the money coming in on the underdog at the time of writing (see live data here).
It makes sense on the surface: These are two of the best teams in the league, so why not just grab the free field goal?
That said, Vegas is not in the business of giving out free money (or points), and I’ll gladly take the rare opportunity to back a team like the Rams in a contrarian spot.
Teams with a winning record late in the season that are receiving fewer than 25% of the tickets have unsurprisingly fared well since 2003 with a 20-13 record against the spread (per Bet Labs).
Home-field advantage could also be a factor in this matchup: Home teams are 28-18-2 ATS in games between teams with winning percentages of at least 75% late in the season.
It’s looking like Vegas is going to need the Rams very badly on Monday night, and I have no problem siding with the books in this spot.
John Ewing: Rams Call “Halle Berry” Audible – Yes (+155)
If you missed it, Goff called an audible during last week’s Rams-Seahawks game by shouting “Halle Berry” three times. The 52-year-old Oscar winning actress asked via Twitter what the audible meant. His response: “It’s my favorite play ever.”
I’m a 100% certain Goff will call an audible against the Chiefs. If “Halle Berry” is truly his favorite play, plus-money on “Yes” is the safest bet in the game.
Geoff Schwartz: Over 63
This one is simple for me. These offensive lines will dominate, particularly in the run game, because their defensive counterparts aren’t good. Read my trench report for more details on why:
Matthew Freedman: Under 63
This is the highest-scoring season in NFL history, and two of most dynamic offenses are facing off in what’s expected to be a shootout.
I don’t want to take the under, but that’s what I’m doing.
The loss of wide receiver Cooper Kupp could hinder the Rams on offense, and they might look to run the ball more than usual in order to slow down the game, keep the Chiefs offense off the field and exploit a run defense that’s ranked dead last in the league with a Pro Football Focus grade of 61.2.
I still expect this game to produce a lot of points, but 63 is a historic number, and history doesn’t happen all that often.
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.