Sunday, December 20, 2020, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, 4:25 p.m. ET
Chiefs at Saints Betting Preview: Chiefs (-3/-110), Saints (+3/-110)
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs (12-1) have rolled off eight straight victories and are in the driver’s seat for claiming the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. Kansas City’s last five wins have been by a combined 21 points, and it hasn’t registered a blowout win since whipping the lowly New York Jets on Nov. 1. Cornerback Tyrann Mathieu has been attempting to help the defense play better and he has six interceptions, including four over the past three games.
The Chiefs lead the NFL in total offense (429.2 yards per game) and rank second in scoring (31.0 points per game) as quarterback Patrick Mahomes is playing superb with a league-high 4,208 yards to go with 33 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Star tight end Travis Kelce leads the NFL with 1,250 yards and the player with 90 catches and nine touchdowns is the first tight end in NFL history to rack up five 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Wideout Tyreek Hill is tied for the NFL lead with 14 touchdown catches and ranks fourth in yardage with 1,158.
Star defensive end Chris Jones (6.5 sacks) went three games without a sack until recording one during last week’s 33-27 win over the Miami Dolphins. Linebacker Damien Wilson (68 tackles) missed practice Wednesday and could sit out his second straight game.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints (10-3) had a nine-game winning snapped with last Sunday’s 24-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles but are still battling the Green Bay Packers for the NFC’s No. 1 playoff seed. Quarterback Drew Brees was designated to return to practice on Wednesday after missing the past four games with 11 broken ribs and a punctured lung, but coach Sean Payton said the 41-year-old still has “a ways to go” before he can play in a game. Brees passed for 2,196 yards, 18 touchdowns and three interceptions prior to the injury.
Taysom Hill passed for a career-best 291 yards against the Eagles and also had two touchdowns but he was sacked five times, tossed one interception and lost a fumble in a performance that didn’t impress Payton. Look for Alvin Kamara’s fingerprints to be all over this game plan as the star running back (723 rushing yards, 699 receiving yards) is just three receptions away from reaching 80 catches for the fourth straight season and has scored 52 total touchdowns in 58 career games. Standout receiver Michael Thomas (ankle) is ailing but had eight receptions last week and 30 over the past four games.
Defensive end Trey Hendrickson is tied for third in the NFL with 10.5 sacks in a strong breakout season. Defensive tackle Malcom Brown (shoulder) missed Wednesday’s practice and could sit out his second straight contest, while defensive end Marcus Davenport (quadriceps) was limited and should be fine by Sunday.
Chiefs at Saints Betting Pick for Week 15
Kansas City has a major edge at quarterback with Mahomes against Hill as Brees appears to be at least one week away from playing. Kelce and Hill are operating at will against opposing secondaries and the Chiefs feel like they can score at anytime.
Hill’s blemishes were in full view last Sunday and perhaps are what should be expected from a 30-year-old starting NFL games for the first time. New Orleans will score some points against Kansas City’s defense but it is hard to see the Saints slowing down Mahomes.
Chiefs at Saints Betting Pick:
Chiefs 45, Saints 30
Chiefs at Saints Best Bet for Week 15
Kansas City has topped 30 points eight times this season and Mahomes is on a roll with six straight 300-yard outings. A healthy Brees would for sure make this total over but expect the New Orleans attack to do its part of putting points on the scoreboard regardless.
Chiefs at Saints Best Bet: OVER 51.5 total points (-110)