Packers vs. Chiefs Odds & Picks: Bet on a Patrick Mahomes-Less KC?

Packers vs. Chiefs Odds & Picks: Bet on a Patrick Mahomes-Less KC? article feature image

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers

  • The Kansas City Chiefs host the Green Bay Packers for a Sunday Night Football showdown.
  • Our experts break the matchup down from a betting perspective, featuring a spread pick.

Packers at Chiefs Odds & Picks

  • Odds: Packers -4.5
  • Over/Under: 47
  • Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBC

Odds as of Saturday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

The Kansas City Chiefs were 3-point favorites over the Green Bay Packers in Week 8 lookahead lines, but that was before Patrick Mahomes went down. Now the Chiefs are 4.5-point underdogs with their star quarterback on the sideline.

But is the market undervaluing this Mahomes-less Kansas City team?

Our experts break down this Sunday Night Football matchup, featuring Sean Koerner’s projected odds and staff picks.

Sunday Night Football Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Packers

The Packers are reasonably healthy for their matchup against the Chiefs. C Corey Linsley (back) is listed as questionable and Davante Adams (toe) is doubtful. I’d be surprised if Adams played this game since players listed as doubtful rarely manage to suit up.

Most of the Chiefs’ injuries are along the defensive side, where they already ruled out DL Chris Jones (groin), DL Frank Clark (neck) and CB Kendall Fuller (thumb). The absence of Clark and Jones shouldn’t be taken lightly as they rank top two on the team in pressures, hurries and quarterback hits. Justin Bailey

Biggest Mismatch

Packers Run Offense vs. Chiefs Run Defense

Even though the Packers have Aaron Rodgers — who is coming off his best game yet under new head coach Matt LaFleur with a 429-yard, five-touchdown performance — the real edge they have in this matchup is their running attack.

Their running backs are No. 6 on early-down run success rate (53%, per Sharp Football), while the Chiefs defense is No. 32 (58%).

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Aaron Jones

Coaches often don’t act rationally, but I expect the Packers to attack the Chiefs regularly with their ground game, for a number of reasons.

Entering Week 5, the Chiefs looked nearly unbeatable, but since then they’ve lost two of three games to opponents who used the running game to keep the explosive Chiefs offense on the sideline. In a copycat league, the Packers will likely follow the formula that other teams have successfully used.

Additionally, the Chiefs have a funnel defense that naturally skews opposing offenses to the ground game. The Chiefs are No. 4 in pass defense but No. 29 in rush defense (per Football Outsiders’ DVOA). It makes sense for opponents to attack them where they are weakest, and the Chiefs are obviously weak when it comes to stopping the run.

And this weakness is all the more apparent because of the injury issues the Chiefs have. Jones and Clark are out, so the Chiefs will be without the top players on their defensive line.

As bad as the Chiefs normally are in run defense, they might be even worse this week. Matthew Freedman

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Packers -3
  • Projected Total: 47.5

This is by far the most interesting game to handicap this week, and arguably of the season.

This spread is very much a reflection of how many points Mahomes is worth. As soon as he suffered the injury last Thursday night, I was weighing how big of an impact it would have on the Chiefs in fantasy and betting. This lookahead line was right around Chiefs -3.5 before the injury, and I thought it would impact the spread by seven to nine points, so I quickly posted a Week 8 line on twitter of Packers -3.5.

I was surprised when a significant majority of people ended up taking Green Bay, with some people saying it was the worst line they’ve ever seen — it seemed like people assumed the Packers would be much closer to -7.

The reason I say Mahomes is likely worth seven to nine points depends on what numbers are being crossed based on the line move. A move from -3.5 to +3.5 crosses the most critical number in NFL spread betting (3) not once, but twice. That’s why I had this closer to a 7-point line move. If the spread was Chiefs -1.5, it’s likely the line could have ended up in the Packers -7 range as it would’ve passed 3 only once, then parked on the next key number (7) for a full 8.5-point line move.

Having said all that, it’s clear to me that the public is all over the Packers here — especially after Rodgers exploded for 429 passing yards and six total touchdowns last Sunday.

The sharps are more than likely going to back the Matt Moore-led Chiefs and bank on Andy Reid to build the offense around Moore in the 10-day window. We have to remember that they do have playmakers like Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce who can make a below-average QB like Moore look normal. We saw a glimpse of this when Moore connected with Hill for a 57-yard score in the third quarter of Thursday’s win.

Chiefs +4.5 is one of the sneakiest bets of the week. Sean Koerner

Expert Picks

Freedman: Under 47

Whenever the Chiefs are home, I almost always automatically bet the under.

That might seem counterintuitive: If the team with one of the best offenses in the league is at home, shouldn’t we expect that team to score more points than usual? And wouldn’t that drive the game to the over?

With the Chiefs, that’s historically not been the case.

In the Reid era, the Chiefs have actually scored 3.3 fewer points at home than on the road. That’s easily the most negative home/away offensive scoring differential in the league.

In fact, Chiefs games have an NFL-worst home/away total differential of -8.4 points. In Kansas City, NFL games rank No. 26 with a mediocre 43.1 points. On the road, Chiefs games blow out with a league-high 51.5 points.

Arrowhead Stadium is a tough place to score, for both the home and visiting teams.

Since Reid joined the franchise in 2013, no home team has made under bettors more money than the Chiefs have with their 34-19-1 under record (including playoffs), good for an A-graded 24.9 ROI.

That Mahomes is out makes the under only more intriguing. I’d bet this down to 45. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

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