Kansas City Chiefs (0-0) at New England Patriots (0-0)
|Date & Time||Thursday September 7, 2017, 8:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New England Patriots -8 -- Over/Under: 48
The Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots open up the 2017-18 NFL season Thursday at Gillette Stadium on NBC.
The Kansas City Chiefs have won a combined 23 games the last two seasons and hope to make the playoffs for a third straight season for the first time since 1993-95. The Cheifs offense is pretty much the same from a year ago with Alex Smith leading the charge at quarterback, Tyreek Hill doing everything and tight end Travis Kelce proving to be one of the best at his position. Kansas City is a balanced offense that can be explosive at times, but the loss of running back Spencer Ware does hurt. A combination of Kareem Hunt, Charcandrick West and C.J. Spiller have to step up in order to take pressure off Smith and allow this Chiefs offense to reach its full potential. Defensively, the Chiefs still have one of the best secondary’s in the league with Marcus Peters and Eric Berry patrolling the third line of defense. Justin Houston returns for another season at linebacker and defensive lineman Chris Jones hopes to build on a season that earned him PFWA All-Rookie Team honors. The Kansas City Chiefs have won six straight regular season road games.
The New England Patriots have won the Super Bowl in two of the last three years and enter this season as the favorites to do it yet again. Just when you thought an offense of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski couldn’t get any better, the Pats go ahead and add playmaking wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Newly added Mike Gillislee will also see a ton of running lanes with Marcus Cannon and Joe Thuney holding down the fort on the offensive line. However, we can’t ignore the loss of wide receiver Julian Edelman, who suffered a torn ACL in the preseason, as he was Brady’s security blanket for large stretches of the season. Defensively, the Patriots have three all-pros from a year ago in Devin McCourty, Malcolm Butler and Dont'a Hightower. Defensive lineman Trey Flowers is also coming off a season in which he had seven sacks, and he’s likely only scratching the surface of his potential considering he just turned 24 years old. The New England Patriots have lost only four regular season home games since the 2014 season.
The Chiefs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in September, 6-0 ATS in their last 6 road games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Patriots are 18-6-2 ATS in their last 26 home games, 18-7-2 ATS in their last 27 vs. AFC and 34-16-2 ATS in their last 52 games overall. The Chiefs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in New England, 3-7 ATS in their last 10 meetings and the home team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
The Kansas City Chiefs are one of those AFC contenders if you're looking for a team outside of the Patriots, but I think it's without question New England is a better team than it was a season ago. Even without Edelman, the Pats are deadly on the offensive end and have a defense that always shows up in big games, especially at home. Not to mention the Bill Belichick factor, as he always has his team prepared and is hard to bet against when having extra time to prepare. If this game was in Kansas City, I'd feel a little different, but you can't bet against the Pats at home with this much time to put together a gameplan.
I'll side with the Pats by double digits.