Chiefs vs. Eagles Odds, NFL Picks, Week 4 Predictions: How To Bet Kansas City Despite Cover Struggles
Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes (left) and Jalen Hurts.
|Moneyline||-320 / +250|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
Holy cow. The sky is falling, the world is falling apart, our pets’ heads are falling off. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are on a two-game losing streak and sit at the bottom of the AFC West entering October.
After losing in Week 2, the Chiefs trailed in the division for the first time with Mahomes as their quarterback. Now at 1-2, Kansas City is under .500 for the first time ever under Andy Reid, a remarkable fact. It turns out Reid is pretty good.
Of course, you don’t have to tell the Philadelphia Eagles that. Reid coached the Eagles for a decade and a half, taking Philly to the playoffs year after year and getting them to the NFC Championship Game four years in a row at its peak.
Now Reid returns to Philadelphia for only his second time with both teams at 1-2 and in danger of falling into a serious hole four weeks into the season. The Chiefs are favored — aren’t they always? — but Kansas City hasn’t been covering or even winning lately.
Can Mahomes and Reid find a way?
Chiefs’ Woes Are On Both Sides of Ball
It hasn’t been pretty for the Chiefs, whose defense can’t stop a nosebleed at this point.
The Chiefs rank 32nd in the NFL in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA, including 32nd in both pass and rush defense DVOA. In case you’ve forgotten, there are 32 teams in the NFL.
It’s ugly for this Chiefs defense right now. They’ve allowed at least 29 points in all three games this season, and it could pretty easily be 0-3 if not for a big second-half comeback to beat the Browns in Week 1.
Then again, the Chiefs could also be 3-0 if the defense could’ve held onto late leads against the Ravens and Chargers.
The truth is that it’s not all bad for the Chiefs. The defense is certainly worrisome, but probably isn’t quite as bad as it looks, especially considering the fact that all three teams it has faced this season feature top quarterbacks and look like playoff teams.
Maybe the bigger concern should be the slow start for the offense. The Chiefs fell behind the Browns 15-3 and then 14-0 to the Chargers. This defense can’t afford to see the Chiefs offense go three-and-out and punt the ball away quickly. That’s putting the defense behind the eight ball from the jump and making them more tired out later.
The Chiefs are also giving the ball away with some uncharacteristic sloppy mistakes and turnovers.
There’s little question that Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce can still do their thing — the Chiefs’ passing attack ranks second in DVOA, plus the Eagles pass defense is beatable. But it comes down to the same question every week: Can Kansas City outscore its opponent in a track meet? Or will the defense prove too leaky at the worst moment again?
Eagles Offense Needs to Step Up
The Eagles are coming off an ugly Monday Night Football loss to the Cowboys, and the season is moving in the wrong direction. It started out so well with a huge season-opening win over the Falcons, but that 32-6 margin may have painted a much more positive picture of this team than reality.
What looked at the time like a great Eagles defensive performance has turned out to be par for the course with the Falcons’ offensive struggles, which hid a pretty tepid offensive showing from Philly. The Eagles had just seven points until right before halftime in that one and only got to 32 because they scored three times on short fields in the second half when the Falcons’ offense turned it over.
Philadelphia’s offense has struggled big time to score points, and the Eagles have not proven they can go on long sustainable drives. They lost to the 49ers 17-11, but eight of those points came on a late garbage-time touchdown. That leaves only a field goal for the first 55 minutes of the game.
It was more of the same against Dallas. The Eagles scored 21 points, but seven came on defense and another seven in garbage time. In the meaningful part of the game, Philadelphia managed just seven points on offense, and it’s not like the Eagles have been playing world-beating defenses.
Still, there’s some reason for optimism in this matchup.
Miles Sanders and the Eagles run game have looked good, even last week against Dallas, but they just haven’t run the ball enough. That should change in this one with the Chiefs run defense so bad. Expect Jalen Hurts and Sanders to run early and often, trying to keep Mahomes on the sidelines, and they could have some success.
Even that optimism, though, is muted.
The strength of this Eagles team is in the trenches, but they’re already picking up some key injuries. Both starting guards, Isaac Seumalo and Brandon Brooks, have been lost for the season. And their best pass rusher, Brandon Graham, is also out for the year.
Kansas City’s trenches are weak right now — that’s where the Chiefs are losing the battle — so it’s an area Philadelphia absolutely has to win to stay in this game. Fletcher Cox needs to have a big game against a Chiefs’ O-line that is still meshing, and the Eagles’ line needs to create lanes for Hurts and Sanders.
If Philly can’t win the battle in the trenches, it has no chance.
Can Mahomes really lose three straight? Surely he can’t, right?
Be careful with that logic. You’re not betting on Mahomes losing three straight here. Two of those losses already happened. This is an independent game, and we can rest assured that the Eagles want to win just as much as the Chiefs.
The path to Philadelphia covering is getting out on the right foot with a strong run game and winning the battle on the interior. Teams are having success against the Chiefs early, so the Eagles need to get on the board quickly and create some plays defensively, forcing Mahomes into more mistakes.
As inevitable as Mahomes looks, there are real concerns about this team. It’s a problem that Chiefs games always seem to come down to the end, always relying on a superhuman performance from their superhero quarterback.
Excluding a meaningless Week 17 game, an incredible 10 straight Kansas City games have been one-score affairs. The Chiefs won the first eight of those but have now lost two straight, and Kansas City is an ugly 1-9 against the spread (ATS) in those games.
With a line at seven points, oddsmakers are begging us to bet against that stat. All the Eagles have to do is the same thing everyone else has been doing — just keep the game within one score.
Even so, I still can’t get there. And it’s not about believing in Mahomes as much as my lack of belief in the Eagles attack. Philadelphia scored only 10 points during the meaningful portions of the last two games, and that was against pretty average defenses.
If the Chiefs offense clicks and the Eagles fall behind, is there any reason to believe Hurts and this offense can play catch-up? Then again, Philly does have a pair of garbage touchdowns late the last two games, so maybe they can find the back door.
I considered a lot of angles here.
If the Eagles offense can’t score, maybe take Philadelphia’s under 23.5 team total. But the Chiefs have allowed at least 29 points in all three games this season.
So how about the game under 54.5? Well, if I’m not confident the Eagles stay below 24, why would I basically want to bet against the Chiefs offense? No thanks.
How about just the Chiefs covering the spread? That feels mostly good because it’s really hard to see the Eagles offense keeping up, but the Chiefs trends over the last 10 games are pretty damning.
In the end, I trust the Chiefs to win this game. I’m not sure they’ll cover, though, because they never seem to and the defense is just so bad. I trust in the Chiefs offense being good enough and the Eagles attack not keeping up.
There’s not much value in the moneyline, but at -7, this is the perfect spot to put the Chiefs into a teaser — that would mean we basically just need the win, so line Kansas City up with another Sunday pick you like and play them that way.
I also won’t be afraid to bet on Mahomes and the Chiefs in-game if they fall behind — give me Mahomes down 7-10 points on anything near even odds on a moneyline with at least 20 minutes left, and I like my chances. The Chiefs will find a way to win this game. I’m willing to bet on that.
Pick: Tease Chiefs from -7 to -1