49ers-Chiefs Betting Preview: Is This Near-Record Over/Under Way Too High?

49ers-Chiefs Betting Preview: Is This Near-Record Over/Under Way Too High? article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Jimmy Garoppolo, Patrick Mahomes

Betting odds: San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs

  • Spread: Chiefs -6.5
  • Over/Under: 55
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX

>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: The 2-0 Chiefs are unsurprisingly the more popular side here, drawing 65% of bettors at the time of writing (see live data here). Forty-seven percent of dollars are actually on the Niners despite their low ticket count, but this line is still moving toward Kansas City, from -4 to -6.5.

A similar story is taking place on the total, as the under has drawn 53% dollars despite only 35% of bets, yet the total has risen from 54.5 to 55. Danny Donahue

Trends to know: This game has the highest total of the week with Kansas City averaging 40 points per game through two weeks with Patrick Mahomes having already thrown 10 touchdown passes.

In Andy Reid’s career as a head coach with the Eagles and Chiefs (330 total games), this is his highest over/under by nearly three points. His second-highest was 53 against the Cowboys last season.

If this total reaches 56.5, it would match the over/under from the Patriots-Falcons matchup in October 2017.

But a total this high this early in the season is close to unprecedented.

Since 1990, only two games in the first four weeks of a regular season have closed with a total above 56. Both featured Super Bowl-winning, Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Evan Abrams

Highest Over/Unders in First Four Weeks of a Regular Season Since 1990:

Did you know? According to our Bet Labs data, this is the first time since at least 2003 that three teams enter a week averaging 30 or more points per game, are undefeated against the spread (ATS) and 100% of their games have gone over the total. That includes the Chiefs. (Buccaneers and Bengals are the other two.) Abrams

Injury watch: A banged-up secondary isn’t the best thing to have entering a matchup against Mahomes and the Chiefs, and Niners cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (ankle) and safety Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder) should both be considered questionable for Sunday.

It remains to be seen whether the 49ers offense will welcome back right guard Joshua Garnett (foot) or No. 1 receiver Marquise Goodwin (quad).

Meanwhile, the Chiefs could be without safety Eric Berry (heel) for another week. Defensive tackle Chris Jones (groin) and linebacker Ben Niemann (hamstring) aren’t guaranteed to suit up, either.

But at least the league’s most-explosive offense is fully healthy.

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Dashboard for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: George Kittle was a chalk bust last week going 2-22-0 on four targets. That said, his ownership should be depressed this week due to recency bias, and he could easily troll all the non-believers in an above-average matchup.

The Chiefs were once known as a team to avoid with your tight end, but so far this season, they have tied for the fifth-most receptions and third-most yards allowed and are currently ranked 31st in Football Outsiders’ DVOA at defending the position.Joe Holka

Bet To Watch: 49ers +6.5

Mahomes is on pace to throw 80 touchdowns and the Chiefs lead the league in scoring. But Mahomes can’t maintain this pace, and he will throw some picks.

If everything isn’t clicking on offense, I have no confidence in the defense keeping this close (allowed 32.5 points per game).

Plus, after impressive wins against the Chargers and Steelers, the oddsmakers have told us that they will inflate the Chiefs lines going forward. Our simulations back this up, as The Action Network model lists Kansas City as a 4.5-point favorite in Week 3.

Finally, I’m a sucker for a good trend. Kansas City started the season with back-to-back road games, winning and covering both. Bettors would expect the good times to continue with the Chiefs playing their home opener in Week 3.

But, according to our Bet Labs data, teams that began the season with consecutive road games have gone 9-26-2 (26%) ATS in Week 3 home openers since 2003.

Home-field advantage is often overvalued.

Regression, inflated lines and trends all point to the 49ers as a value bet. John Ewing


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.