Kansas City Chiefs
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs (9-1) own the second-best record in the NFL as they look to boost their winning streak to six games. Mahomes has passed for a league-best 3,035 yards and also owns a superb ratio of 27 touchdowns to two interceptions, helping Kansas City lead the NFL in scoring with a 32.1 average.
Wideout Tyreek Hill had a season-best 11 receptions last Sunday in a 35-31 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. He has topped 100 yards in back-to-back games and scored six touchdowns over the past four contests. The Chiefs have been soft on defense the past two games, allowing 31 each time while beating the Carolina Panthers and Raiders by a combined six points. Kansas City has experienced consistency issues from its pass rush with just 19 sacks total. defensive ends Chris Jones (31 sacks the previous three seasons) has 5.5 and Frank Clark (40 from 2016-19) has four, but the two haven’t been as solid as recent campaigns.
Safety Daniel Sorensen is enjoying a stellar season with team-best totals of 61 tackles and three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) while sharing the lead with two forced fumbles. Tight end Travis Kelce, who is just 104 yards away from his fifth straight 1,000-yard season, was a full practice participant on Wednesday despite having a pectoral injury. Jones (groin) also practiced in full and should be fine for the contest.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Veteran quarterback Tom Brady looks to bounce back from a lackluster performance in which he threw two costly interceptions during a 27-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday. The Buccaneers (7-4) likely need a strong effort from Brady (2,955 yards, 25 touchdowns) to keep pace with the Chiefs as opposed to getting the version of Brady who has three multi-interception games and nine picks overall this season.
Receiver Antonio Brown is getting comfortable in the offense that averages 29.1 points, hauling in 15 receptions over the past two games. The Buccaneers totaled just 42 yards on the ground against the Rams with Ronald Jones II (754 rushing yards on the season) getting only 24. Consistency issues have plagued Jones all season as he has four outings of more than 100 yards and five of 34 or fewer.
Outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul recorded his fourth career interception with a pick against the Rams and also has a team-best 7.5 sacks while standout inside linebacker Devin White ranks third in the NFL with 97 tackles. Cornerback Jamel Dean (concussion) likely will miss the contest after getting injured on Monday.
The offensive line is ailing with left tackle Donovan Smith (ankle) and center A.Q. Shipley (neck) both hurt while standout left guard Ali Marpet (concussion) isn’t certain to be cleared. Marpet could miss his fourth straight contest.
Chiefs at Buccaneers Betting Pick for Week 12
Mahomes vs. Brady feels like a mismatch, and that might best describe where the two quarterbacks currently stand in their careers. Mahomes is clicking on all cylinders all the time. Brady is still trying to get accustomed to the Bruce Arians way of offense, and ill-advised throws directly to defenders amplify the issues.
Kansas City has lost five straight games to the Buccaneers since the Joe Montana-led 1993 team posted a 27-3 win over Steve DeBerg and Tampa Bay. That streak should end in this one as the Buccaneers will need to thrive in a shootout to slay the Chiefs.
Chiefs at Buccaneers Betting Pick: Chiefs 45, Buccaneers 35
Chiefs at Buccaneers Best Bet for Week 12
Points will be scored … and scored … and scored … as the Chiefs will keep the scoreboard busy. Brady’s receiving arsenal will see many balls come their way as the Buccaneers will have time to throw against a sagging Kansas City pass rush.
Chiefs at Buccaneers Best Bet: OVER 55.5 total points (-115)