Dolphins vs. Chiefs Odds & Picks: Kansas City Should Dominate Miami In NFL Week 14
Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes, Demarcus Robinson
Dolphins vs. Chiefs Odds
The 11-1 Chiefs have won seven in a row and will travel to Miami to take on an 8-4 Dolphins team that is on a two-win streak. While the Chiefs have all but locked up the AFC West, the Dolphins find themselves in a grudge match with the Bills for the AFC East and need a win to keep pace in the AFC East.
To no one’s surprise, the Chiefs’ offense is electric again this season, averaging 30.8 points per game, just behind the Packers for second-most in the league.
Do the Dolphins have the firepower to keep up with this high-octane bunch? I’m not betting on it.
Kansas City Chiefs
After not playing in Week 13 despite an active tag, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (illness) practiced in full on Friday and is expected to play on Sunday. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill missed practice on Wednesday with an illness unrelated to COVID-19, but returned and will be a full-go this week.
The odds-on favorite to win NFL MVP, Patrick Mahomes hasn’t missed a beat following the Chiefs’ victory in Super Bowl LIV. He does face a tough task against a Dolphins defense that’s surging at the right time, allowing just 23 total points over the past three games, but Mahomes and the Chiefs are a different animal.
The Chiefs are as matchup-proof as it gets, particularly on the road: Since Andy Reid became the head coach in 2013, the Chiefs are 39-21-1 against the spread (ATS), making him the most profitable in the league over that span.
His top skill players — Travis Kelce and Hill — also have superb matchups against their primary defenders. According to Pro Football Focus’ WR/CB WR/CB Matchup Chart, Hill will hold a 54% advantage against cornerback Nik Needham when lining up in the slot while Kelce will have a 49% advantage when lining up against safety Eric Rowe.
Hill will surely see some of the Dolphins’ top corners in Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, but he — like the Chiefs on the road — is essentially matchup-proof.
The Dolphins will be without three running backs: Myles Gaskin and Matt Breida are on the reserve/COVID-19 list while Salvon Ahmed has been ruled out with a shoulder injury.
After missing Week 12 with a thumb injury, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa returned last week against the Bengals and performed well on paper, completing 69% of his passes for 297 yards and a touchdown in a 19-7 win. He struggled mightily in the first half, however, missing open looks and seemingly checking down every opportunity he had, which will not work against a superior Chiefs team and an offense that will likely be able to score at-will.
In order for the Dolphins to keep up with the Chiefs, Tagovailoa will have to stretch the field — something he’s struggled with during his rookie season. In his six games played so far, Tagovailoa has completed only 10.3% of his deep passes (20 or more yards).
While the Chiefs’ pass rush has been suspect, ranking just 20th overall with a 58.8 rush defense rating at PFF, their pass defense has been solid — the secondary ranks 13th with a formidable +5.6% pass defense DVOA, per Football Outsiders.
While the Dolphins have been playing at an extremely high level, their competition of late has not been anything to write home about. Yes, they’ve allowed just 23 total points over their past three games, but their opponents have been the 2-9-1 Bengals, 0-12 Jets and 4-8 Broncos.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, have dominated on the offensive side of the ball and have playmakers in Mahomes, Hill and Kelce who simply cannot all be contained at once.
Even with the weak schedule over the past few weeks, the Dolphins still rank just 12th overall in PFF defensive rankings (66.1), 14th in pass rush (72.1) and 15th in coverage rating (61.7). While respectable, those numbers are no match for one of the best offenses we’ve seen in a long time.
All of that coupled with the Chiefs success ATS on the road under Reid has me confidently betting the Chiefs at the current line of -7.
Sharps agree: As of Saturday evening, 55% of tickets and 78% of the money is on the Chiefs to cover the spread, a 23% difference (go to public betting data here). While -7 is the much preferred number, I’m comfortable taking this up to -8.
PICK: Chiefs -7