Jaguars-Chiefs Betting Preview: Will K.C. and Mahomes Stay Hot?
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Calais Campbell, Patrick Mahomes
Betting odds: Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs
- Spread: Chiefs -3
- Over/Under: 49
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: At the time of writing, spread bets are split almost exactly down the middle, which is a bit surprising given the Chiefs’ success so far.
In fact, it’s Jacksonville that is getting the slight majority of bets, not Kansas City. Nevertheless, the line is having a hard time moving off of the key number of three.
It moved up to 3.5 for a grand total of one minute all week before heading back.
Trends to know: Leonard Fournette will miss Sunday’s game. Since drafting the former LSU running back, the Jaguars have played five games without him. And outside of a dud vs. Tennessee earlier this season, their offense hasn’t been that bad:
- 2018 vs. Titans: Lost, 9-6 (4.6 yds/rush)
- 2018 vs. Patriots: Won, 31-20 (4.3 yds/rush)
- 2017 vs. Texans: Won, 45-7 (3.6 yds/rush)
- 2017 vs. Bengals: Won, 23-7 (3.7 yds/rush)
- 2017 at Colts: Won, 27-0 (5.1 yds/rush) — Evan Abrams
Meteorology matters: Wind looks like it could be a factor at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. (Forecasts tend to fluctuate so be sure to check the weather as the game gets closer.)
Jags quarterback Blake Bortles hasn’t fared well in windy conditions (10 mph or more). The UCF product is 1-3 against the spread and his stats are very underwhelming (82-for-162, 5 TDs, 9 INTs). — Evan Abrams
When the forecast calls for winds of 10 mph or greater and a game has a high total (44 or more points), it has been profitable to bet the under since 2003. — John Ewing
Matchup to watch: Jaguars pass defense vs. QB Patrick Mahomes
The Jaguars pass defense ranks first in the NFL with 164.2 passing yards per game. This will be a big step up in competition for Mahomes, who has faced four defenses with the following ranks in that same category this season:
- Chargers: 275.8 (21st)
- Steelers: 304.8 (29th)
- 49ers: 276.2 (22nd)
- Broncos: 273 (20th)
Yes, the Chiefs contributed some to those depressed rankings, but going from four bottom-10 pass defenses to the best (on a short week) is not ideal. — Stuckey
Biggest mismatch: Jaguars offensive line vs. Chiefs’ defensive line
The Jaguars have already benefited from their offseason reinforcements to their offensive line. Jacksonville has the single biggest O-line advantage on the Week 5 slate according to adjusted line yards per rush.
The Jags’ offensive line ranks 11th and is facing the Chiefs’ league-worst front seven. This is all great news for T.J. Yeldon. — Ian Hartitz
Which team is healthier? Chiefs
The Chiefs aren’t expected to have the services of all-world safety Eric Berry (heel) for another week, while wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) is shaping up as a game-time decision.
But they’re otherwise healthy, which is more than the Jaguars are able to say. Fournette (hamstring) and slot corner D.J. Hayden (toe) have each already been ruled out, while center Brandon Linder (knee/back) and left guard Andrew Norwell (foot) aren’t guaranteed to suit up, either.
DFS edge: Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are plenty deserving of their statuses as elite cornerbacks, but they’ve typically not shadowed against well-rounded offenses.
Tyreek Hill should avoid each for plenty of plays considering he has lined up in the backfield or slot on 41% of his offensive snaps this season.
Reduced DFS ownership seems certain for the Chiefs in a (difficult) home matchup vs. a defense that’s allowed 40-plus points twice since last December. — Ian Hartitz
Bet to watch: Not only is this a tough situational spot for the undefeated Chiefs (short week after playing in Denver’s altitude), but I think this team in general is being significantly overvalued by the market.
You have to remember this is a Chiefs defense that might just be the worst in the league. Take a look at the big stats on defense for Kansas City:
- 31st in pass D (328.5 pass yards per game)
- 25th in scoring D (more than 28 ppg)
- An NFL-worst 5.7 yards per rush
When Kansas City has the ball it’ll be strength vs. strength. This game features the league’s highest-scoring offense (36.2 ppg) vs. the best scoring defense (14.0 ppg).
Even when the Chiefs get into the red zone, where they rank second with an 82.35% touchdown percentage, they will face a defense that also ranks second in red-zone touchdown percentage at 25%.
Essentially, the Jags’ offense is closer in level to the Chiefs’ offense than KC’s defense is to Jacksonville’s defense.
One of the most important stats to look at when handicapping football is yards per play (specifically net yards per play which takes into account both sides of the ball).
Well, the Chiefs have a negative net yards per play (-0.1), while the Jaguars are at +1.3 (second-best in the NFL only behind the Rams).
It’s not the greatest sample size, but that discrepancy would imply the Jaguars should be around a touchdown favorite on a neutral field. I don’t think that’s the case, but I do think the Jaguars should be around a field-goal favorite on a neutral field, which would translate to about a pick ’em in Arrowhead.
Less prep time for Andy Reid + a pass-rush/secondary that can contain Mahomes = an easy decision to take the points. — Stuckey
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.