Thursday, October 31, 2013

NFL Predictions 2013 Week 9: Chiefs vs Bills

Kansas City Chiefs vs Buffalo Bills: KC -3 (Bet365)

Market Watch

A week ago the Chiefs were -4 point favorites for this game. For whatever reason, it reopened at -3 after Week 8.

My numbers also have KC as -4 point favorites, and when that happens for a road favorite, I have no choice but to make them a play.

The only qualifying factor that needs to be mentioned is the overall perception of the Chiefs. Everyone is expecting them to come back to earth at some point, and they have let below average QBs have solid games in back to back weeks. With a soft schedule, it's still fair to ask how good this team really is.

What to watch for

The one area where KC are sure to have some issues is up front on offense. Smith was sacked 6 times last week and Eric Fisher was bad once again. The problem is, he wasn't the only one to have a bad game.

Everything else should come as advertise though. KC will continue to go through Jamaal Charles and his lead blocker, Anthony Sherman. Dexter McCluster continues to be a strong utility player, and Smith will take what the defenses gives him everywhere else.

It's not going to be easy though. It's fair to give the Bills defense a pass last week because Drew Brees makes lots of defenses look bad at home. Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus will cause a lot of trouble in the middle and Stephon Gilmore is a guy to watch on the back end.

But like most weeks, KC is likely to come out on top thanks to their defense. They didn't dominate as much as we expected against Keenum or Campbell, but once again they face a quarterback with big question marks.

And unlike the Browns, the Bills don't have a Joe Thomas on their offensive line to keep Tamba Hali in check. The Bills OL has been a sore spot all year and now they must account for some fierce pass rushers. Houston, Poe, and Johnson are primed for a big afternoon.

Even more alarming, Thad Lewis didn't handle pressure very well last week. He was sacked four times, hit five more times, and had two fumbles and an interception. If he can't play for some reason, Jeff Tuel will get the call.

There's just not any area on offense where Buffalo rank average, let alone good.

Bottom Line

Sooner or later the Chiefs are going to lose a game. If it's going to happen in Week 9, the Bills must defy the odds and play above their heads.  But this is an uphill climb on Sunday and they don't even have an edge in the intangibles. KC rank near the top in average net starting field position, special teams, and turnover differential. Meanwhile, Buffalo's offense continue to take too many penalties, which are straight up drive killers. I'll roll with KC for at least one more week.

NFL Pick: KC -3.