Jets vs. Chiefs Odds & Picks: It’s Worth Risking A Backdoor Cover Sunday
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Chiefs RB Le’Veon Bell
Jets vs. Chiefs Odds
The struggling Jets head to Arrowhead Stadium as massive 19.5-point underdogs. The NFL’s only winless team appears headed to 0-8, are they even worth consideration against the spread?
Let’s take a closer look.
New York Jets
An 0-7 Jets team enters this Week 8 battle with another long list of injuries. New York will be without starting wide receivers Jamison Crowder (groin) and Breshad Perriman (concussion). They will also be missing safety Bradley McDougald (shoulder) and kicker Sam Ficken (groin).
Making things even worse, running back Frank Gore popped up with a hand injury on Friday and is now listed as questionable.
Last week’s return of Sam Darnold provided stability, but little offensive improvement. He threw for only 120 yards with two interceptions while fortunately recovering his fumble.
The lone bright spot was the debut of explosive rookie Denzel Mims, who tallied four receptions for 42 yards. With the injuries to Crowder and Perriman, New York will turn to Braxton Berrios to maintain its passing attack.
If Gore cannot play, there will be a larger workload on rookie running back La’Mical Perine, who found the end zone for New York’s only touchdown last week. The Jets are desperate for any offensive weapons to contribute, as they ranks last in offensive efficiency including last in pass offense DVOA per Football Outsiders.
New York’s best overall unit has been their run defense, ranking 14th in DVOA. However, their leaking pass defense will certainly struggle against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Only four teams have allowed more receiving yards to opposing wide receivers, and Mahomes’ sparkling 16-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio will face little resistance against New York.
While the Jets are stingy against opposing rushers, they have allowed the ninth-most receptions and eight total touchdowns to opposing RBs.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs enter Week 8 with mild injury concerns. They will again be without right tackle Mitchell Schwartz (back) and wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring), who missed practice this week.
Safety Armani Watts and defensive end Chris Jones were back at practice on Friday and are ready to go for Sunday.
Look for Kansas City to support the “Le’Veon Bell Revenge Game” narrative in a likely blowout win. Head coach Andy Reid can rely on rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Bell to carry the offensive mantle once Kansas City builds a first-half lead.
In last week’s 43-16 win at Denver, both Edwards-Helaire (5.8 yards per carry) and Bell (6.5 yards per carry) demonstrated strong efficiency.
Kansas City’s passing attack should find success at all positions, with Travis Kelce and speed merchants Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman ready and willing to find big plays against a porous Jets secondary.
The Chiefs’ one area of weakness this season has been run defense, where they allowed both Phillip Lindsay (6.8 yards per carry) and Melvin Gordon (68 rushing yards, one touchdown) to find success last week. However, this has been offset by the Chiefs’ 13 forced turnovers this season.
Kansas City’s pass defense ranks fifth-best in the league and has allowed just 16.3 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
While it’s always difficult giving so many points in an NFL game, history tells us that shouldn’t be a huge concern. According to our BetLabs data, favorites have done quite well in these situations since 2007.
I hate laying big numbers, but I can’t see any outcome other than a big Chiefs win. The Bell revenge narrative is strong, and I’m willing to take the risk of a late backdoor cover.
The Jets will need to control the ball behind their running game, which only features the rookie Perine and (maybe) a limited Gore. I’m going to follow the trend and back the Chiefs giving the big number.
The weather forecast also appears clear, with 50 degrees and sun. I’m laying the points against the shorthanded and winless Jets but would only do so up to -20.
PICK: Chiefs -19.5