Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints Betting Preview

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)

OddsUSA’s NFL Best Picks for Week 15

Happy Thursday football fans and welcome back to our weekly column in which we attempt to predict the outcome of some of the upcoming football games. Week 14 was a rough one for me, to say the least. I picked wins for the Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Green Bay Packers.

How did I fare with those selections? Not too great. Despite losing six straight games, the Bears decided to have one of their better performances of the season en route to a 36-7 victory. Ouch. Meanwhile, the Steelers suffered their second straight loss at the hands of the Buffalo Bills. Fortunately, the Packers proved to be my saving grace, as they edged the Detroit Lions 31-24.

Despite an unimpressive 1-2 week, my overall record stands at 31-10. That’s not too bad of a winning percentage but I’m hoping to do better this time around. So, with that being said, here’s a look at my top outright picks for Week 15. 

Week 15 NFL Best Bet No. 3:

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-3)

This is the first (and probably the last) time that I’ve mentioned the Chicago Bears in back-to-back weeks. Could it be because I’m still smarting from their unexpected offensive explosion against the Texans? Perhaps it’s because I believe that their outing in Week 14 was more of an aberration rather than a sign of things to come. While Mitchell Trubisky turned in an impressive performance last week, I don’t see him throwing for another three touchdowns. 

James’ pick: Vikings win a close one

Week 15 NFL Best Bet No. 2:

Kansas City Chiefs (-4) at New Orleans Saints

Before I get into my pick for this matchup, I must admit that I’m surprised that the point spread isn’t a bit larger, considering Drew Brees’ status remains uncertain. New Orleans was the hottest team in the NFL going into Week 14, as they had won nine straight. However, they were upended by the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21. 

On the other side of the coin, the Chiefs extended their winning streak to eight games following a 33-27 victory against the Miami Dolphins. While Patrick Mahomes II had 393 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns, he also threw three interceptions and was sacked three times. If the Chiefs can win a game in which Mahomes had more INTs than touchdowns, that spells trouble for opposing defenses. For obvious reasons, this will be a high-scoring affair if Brees returns to the mix. But even if that is the case, the Chiefs will come out on top. 

James’ pick: Chiefs get their 13th win on the season

James’ NFL Best Bet of Week 15:

Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (-9)

The Packers were my lone win from a week ago, so I make no apologies in making them my safe pick for the second consecutive week. My second reason for going with the Packers is because Carolina has dropped seven of its previous eight games. On top of that, whether you love him or hate him, Aaron Rodgers is playing at an MVP level (39 touchdowns against four interceptions) and that trend will continue against a team that has forced just five interceptions all season. 

James’ pick: Packers continue to roll

Super Bowl 55 Odds Update: Week 14

Good afternoon football fans. We are just three weeks away from the end of the 2021 NFL season. Last week, the teams that were considered the top title contenders included the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, the New Orleans Saints, and of course, the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. 

The Steelers were handed their second straight loss by the Buffalo Bills – who have won 10 games for the second straight season. Additionally, the Saints’ nine-game win streak was snapped by the Philadelphia Eagles. Yikes! 

Did these losses knock either team out of the running as title favorites? Here’s an updated look at the teams with the best odds to win it all in 2021, based on their performances from Week 14 (according to Unibet)

Third-Best Super Bowl Odds: 

New Orleans Saints (+700)

Last week (+500)

The Saints — who were tied for the second-best Super Bowl odds a week ago — were the hottest team in the league going into their Week 14 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. Not only had they won nine straight, but they had also done so without the services of Drew Brees over the past three-and-a-half games. Unfortunately, that trend came to a screeching halt. Thanks to a defense that recorded five sacks on the day, the Eagles jumped out to a 17-0 lead before holding on for a 24-21 victory. The loss dropped New Orleans behind the Green Bay Packers for the top overall seed in the NFC. It doesn’t get any easier for New Orleans with a matchup against the Chiefs in Week 15. The good news is the Saints will conclude their season against the Minnesota Vikings and Carolina Panthers. In other words, they could still be in the running for the top seed in the conference. 

Second-Best Super Bowl Odds: 

Green Bay Packers (+650)

Last week (+800)

The Packers were tied for the third-best Super Bowl odds on our weekly list going into Week 14. And for the second time in three weeks, the Packers were squaring off against a divisional opponent. While the Packers cruised to an easy 41-25 victory against the Chicago Bears two weeks ago, Detroit proved to be a much more formidable opponent. In fact, the game was tied at 14 apiece going into halftime. But the Packers dominated the third quarter, thanks in part to a 14-play, 90-yard that concluded with a rushing touchdown by Aaron Rodgers. 

The Packers defense forced a three-and-out on the Lions’ next possession before putting up another touchdown early in the fourth quarter. In the end, the Packers held on for a 31-24 victory, their third in a row. Thanks to the Saints’ loss, the Packers own the tiebreaker for the top record in the NFC. And just like the Saints, two of the Packers’ three remaining opponents have sub-.500 records (the Panthers in Week 15 and the Bears in the season finale). That said, Green Bay controls its destiny for the No. 1 seed in the conference. 

Super Bowl Odds Favorites: 

Kansas City Chiefs (+180)
Last week (+210) 

The fact that the Kansas City Chiefs have had the best Super Bowl odds comes as no surprise at this point, considering how well they’ve played over the past several weeks. Winners of their last seven, the Chiefs took on the Miami Dolphins in Week 14. Being that the Dolphins are in the hunt for a postseason berth, they were not going to go away quietly, and they trailed by a slim 14-10 margin going into the break. However, as Kansas City has done so many times this season, they created some separation in the second half, outscoring Miami 16-0 in the third quarter. Although the Dolphins rallied to score a pair of touchdowns in the final frame, it wasn’t enough to prevent the Chiefs from winning the game 33-27. On the heels of their eighth straight win, the Chiefs reached the 12-win mark for the third straight year and notched their fifth consecutive division title. 

Even more important, the Chiefs have the best record in the NFL at 12-1. Simply put, if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon already, now would be a good time to do so. 

5 NFL Prop Bets To Watch This Weekend

Last weekend saw some ridiculous action around the NFL, including a could-have-should-have-somehow-didn’t win for the Jets and the Steelers lose for the first time.

As we inch closer to the postseason, here are five prop bets we’ve got our eye on this weekend.

Jared Goff

Over/Under: Jared Goff (-113) throws for more than 271.5 yards against the Patriots

Prediction: Under

After a somewhat slow start to the season, it looks like both of these teams have finally found their footing. The 6-6 Pats travel to LA to face the 8-4 Rams on Thursday evening.

Entering the game, Los Angeles ranks sixth in the league in passing offense, averaging 271.2 yards per game. While the Pats may not be as fearsome as they were last year, New England has the seventh-ranked scoring defense in the NFL this season. New England’s defense ranks 13th against the pass (225.8 yards/game).

So what gives? My prediction is the Rams focus on attacking the Patriots on the ground; New England is in the bottom-half of the league against the run.

Dalvin Cook

Minnesota (+116) will be the first team to score in the Vikings-Buccaneers game

Prediction: Yes

The game between the Buccaneers and the Vikings could have major NFC playoff implications: Tampa Bay is projected to be the sixth seed in the NFC while the Vikings would be the seventh seed. The winner of this game will significantly increase their chances to reach the 2020 postseason.

This one comes down to the coin flip, but I’m more confident the Vikings defense can get a game-opening stop and put points on the board than Tampa holding Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson down early in the game.

Josh Allen

Over/Under: 5.5 combined passing TDs in the Bills-Steelers game.

Prediction: Over

Sunday night could feature one of the best regular-season games of the year. The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking to bounce back after suffering a disappointing loss at the hands of the Washington Football Team, ending their bid for an undefeated season. On the other side, the 9-3 Buffalo Bills are looking to continue building their confidence heading to the playoffs.

This game features two of the best passing attacks in the NFL. Buffalo ranks fourth in passing touchdowns this season while the Steelers rank sixth. Also, the Bills (fifth) and Steelers (11th) are among the league leaders in team Quarterback Rating.

In his last five games, Josh Allen has completed 72.6% of his passes and thrown 10 passing TDs. In his last five contests, Ben Roethlisberger’s has found the end zone more frequently than Allen (12 TDs to 3 INTs). I anticipate both QBs finding success come Sunday night.

This is a primetime game that will have a huge impact on how the AFC playoff race shakes out.

Nick Chubb

Over/Under: 299.5 total rushing yards in the Ravens-Browns game

Prediction: Under

The 9-3 Browns are coming off one of the best wins in recent franchise history, hammering the Titans 41-35 last week. Baltimore is hoping they can turn things around after winning only two of their previous six outings. The Ravens desperately need this game if they want to keep their playoff dreams alive while the Browns are looking to lock in a playoff berth.

This matchup will feature the top two rushing offenses in the NFL. The Ravens have the number one rushing attack in the league (169 rushing yards per game). Cleveland is right on their heels (pun intended), ranking second in the league at 157.8 yards per game on the ground.

Will these teams maintain their season averages on the ground, or will the opposing coaching staff try to take away the run game? My bet is to take the under in this prop – both sides will focus on the run (which means check Baker Mayfield’s props this weekend as well).

Patrick Mahomes

The Chiefs (+155) will be the last team to score a TD in the KC-MIA game

Prediction: No

After starting the year 1-3, the Dolphins have rebounded to win seven of their last eight – all while making multiple changes at the quarterback position. Kansas City, on the other hand, saw their chances at the top seed in the AFC increase dramatically when the Steelers lost to Baltimore. And they have no questions or concerns under center.

Miami is battling for a playoff spot and they’ve shown a lot of heart, but Kansas City’s offense is almost impossible to slow down. While I believe the Chiefs will win this game, I’m betting the Dolphins put points on the board last.

Super Bowl Odds Update: Week 14

Happy Wednesday football fans. I can’t believe that we’re already three-fourths of the way through the NFL season. The upcoming stretch will separate the contenders from the pretenders. Last week, the list of title favorites includes the Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, and the Seattle Seahawks. 

Ironically, two of those teams were victorious, while the other two teams suffered disappointing losses. With that said, here’s a look at where the title contenders rank based on their performances from Week 13. 

Third-Best Super Bowl Odds: 

Tie: Pittsburgh Steelers & Green Bay Packers (+800)
Last Week: Packers (NR). Steelers (+550)

The Pittsburgh Steelers were the lone undefeated team going into Week 13. In their recent outing against the Washington Football Team, it appeared that Pittsburgh was on its way to adding another win to its resume after jumping out to a 14-0 lead. Unfortunately, the wheels fell off the wagon after that. Washington’s defense came to life, holding the Steelers to just three points the rest of the way en route to an unexpected 23-17 victory. It was the second straight week in which the Steelers played down to the level of their opponent, and this time, they paid the price. However, considering that they are tied for the best record in the NFL, along with having one of the best scoring defenses, it wouldn’t be wise to count them out just yet.

Meanwhile, following a minor setback against the Indianapolis Colts a few weeks ago, the Packers have strung together a pair of victories over the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles. Not only are the Packers on their way to another division title, but they are also a top-10 team in rushing; a top-five team through the air and they have the second-best offense in the NFL. I should also mention that their 31.6 points per contest is tops in the NFL. While the Packers haven’t always played up to their potential, this a team that opposing defenses do not want to face in the postseason. 

Second-Best Super Bowl Odds:

New Orleans Saints (+500)
Last Week: (+550)

A week ago, the Saints were tied for the second-best title odds with the Steelers. But thanks to the Steelers’ recent loss, the Saints have sole possession of second place on our weekly list. While their 21-16 win over the lowly Atlanta Falcons wasn’t overly impressive, it marked the team’s ninth straight victory following a 1-2 start. On top of that, Drew Brees has been on the shelf nursing an injury over the last three games. During that stretch, backup quarterback Taysom Hill hasn’t been lighting up the scoreboard, but he’s made enough plays under center to keep the Saints’ offense operating at a respectable level. And from a defensive standpoint, New Orleans has given up a total of 28 points in their last three games. Given the fact that New Orleans continues to win games with one of its best players out of the mix, this is a team that you should keep a watchful eye on come playoff time. 

Super Bowl Odds Favorites: 

Kansas City Chiefs (+210)
Last week (+275) 

The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs continue to sit atop the leaderboard in the title odds race. Although their 22-16 win over the Denver Broncos was a lot closer than most expected, the Chiefs are now tied with the Steelers for the best record in the NFL. Not only that, this team has one of the most explosive offenses in the league. In addition to compiling over 300 yards through the air over the past five games, Kansas City is ranked first in overall offense (427.6 yards per game), passing yards (314.4) and they have the second-highest scoring offense at 30.8 points per contest. No, the Chiefs don’t have a great running game, and they certainly have room for improvement from a defensive standpoint. At the same time, putting your money on this team would not be a bad idea at this point. 

Super Bowl Odds Update: Week 13

Hello NFL fans and welcome back to our weekly column where we’ve been discussing the list of teams that are considered legitimate title contenders. A week ago, the Kansas City Chiefs, the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rounded out the coveted list.

For the second straight week, we have two teams that share the second-best odds. Since that is the case, I’m going to include four teams on the list again this week instead of three. With that said, here’s a look at the teams with the best odds to win the big game in 2021 (according to Unibet).

Third-Best Super Bowl Odds:

Seattle Seahawks (+900).
Last week (NR)

As many of you may recall, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the third-best odds last week. But following a 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, they have fallen from our top-three list. The Seattle Seahawks have been a mixed bag this season. They started the season with a 5-0 record and then they went on to lose three of their next four contests. Fortunately, Seattle has righted the ship somewhat as they have bounced back with a pair of wins against the Arizona Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles. While the Seahawks are one of the top-scoring teams in the league (ranked third – 31 points per contest), they are also ranked dead last in total defense. That said, unless they can find a way to improve on that side of the football, the chances of them going on a deep playoff run are pretty slim right now.

Second-Best Super Bowl Odds:

Tie: Pittsburgh Steelers & New Orleans Saints (+550)
Last Week: No change for either team

To avoid sounding like too much of a hater, I’m going to give the New Orleans Saints some kudos. First, they have won eight straight following a 1-2 start. Second, a few of those wins have occurred with Drew Brees on the shelf with an injury over the past two-and-half games. Taking that into consideration, the Saints deserve a little praise for their 9-2 record.

On the other hand, the Steelers must be feeling slighted to an extent. Sure, they’ve had a couple of unimpressive outings during the season. Their 24-19 win over the Dallas Cowboys was nothing to be overly excited about. And head coach Mike Tomlin stated that the team’s recent performance against the Baltimore Ravens could be categorized as junior varsity. But despite the game being rescheduled twice, the Steelers still came out on top 19-14.

In addition to being the only unbeaten team in the NFL, the Steelers are ranked seventh in rushing defense (105.7 yards per game), third in overall defense (298.9 yards per game), and first in passing defense (193.2 yards per outing). Given those factors, the Steelers should have the better odds here and it will be interesting to see if that changes at all should both of these continue playing well down the stretch.

Super Bowl Odds Favorites:

Kansas City Chiefs (+275)
Last week (+300)

The Chiefs have been considered the odds-on favorite to win it all for quite some time now and that trend continues going into Week 13. While the Saints have won nine straight, the Chiefs have been on a bit of a roll in their own right. After a 40-32 setback against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5, the defending champs have reeled off six straight, including a 27-24 win over the Buccaneers in Week 12. In that contest, Patrick Mahomes II had his best game of the season, throwing for 462 yards to go along with three touchdowns. With the Chiefs have found their footing in the passing game, this team will be tough to stop the rest of the way. Simply put, KC and Pittsburgh should be the teams to keep an eye on as the season draws to a close.

Even the Chiefs’ hype game is the favorite!

OddsUSA’s NFL Best Picks for Week 13

Greetings NFL fans. Here’s hoping you and your families had a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Last week, we had a couple of interesting events unfold. First, all of the quarterbacks for the Denver Broncos were out of the mix due to COVID-19 protocol. Second, after hanging tough with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Las Vegas Raiders were blown out by the Atlanta Falcons to the tune of 43-6.

And last, but certainly not least, I predicted wins for the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, and the Kansas City Chiefs. And for the first time in several weeks, I was correct on each of those selections, giving me a 3-0 week.

As a result, my overall record improved to 28-7 on the season. While it was nice to finally hit on each of those picks, Week 12 is in the books now and it is time to look ahead to the upcoming slate of games. Having said that, here’s a look at my top outright picks for Week 13.

Week 13 NFL Best Bet No. 3:

Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans (-4)

If you’ve been following my column at any point during the season, my first pick usually involves a matchup that could go either way, and that is certainly the case here. Both teams are coming off wins in Week 12. The Browns narrowly edged the Jacksonville Jaguars by a 27-25 margin. Meanwhile, the Titans defeated the Indianapolis Colts 45-26. Additionally, both of these teams have posted three wins in their last four contests. While both teams have a formidable running game, the Titans are a bit more balanced from an offensive standpoint and that will help them to come away with a win in what should be a very competitive game between a pair of teams with an identical 8-3 record.

James’ pick: Titans win in a close one

Week 13 NFL Best Bet No. 2:

Las Vegas Raiders (-7.5) at New York Jets

Sure, the Raiders have dropped their last two games. Sure, the Raiders are coming off one of their poorest showings of the season against the Falcons. On the flip side of the coin, though, the Jets have yet to win a game this season. Yes, the jury is still out on how good the Raiders are. At the same time, this is the winless Jets we’re talking about here. On the heels of two straight losses, and their playoff hopes starting to look a bit dim, look for the Raiders to bounce back in a big way here.

James’ pick: Raiders get back into the win column

James’ NFL Best Bet of Week 13:

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-13.5)

There is a reason why the defending champs have been one of my best bets several times during the season and that trend will continue in Week 13. On one side of this matchup, the Broncos are 4-7 and have dropped three of their last four contests. On the flip side of the equation, the defending champs have reeled off six straight victories since suffering a 40-32 loss against the Raiders in Week 5. Not only that, but the Chiefs’ aerial attack is rounding into form, and just at the right time. In fact, Patrick Mahomes has posted four consecutive games in which he has thrown for at least 350 yards. This includes a season-best 462-yard performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. Simply put, the Chiefs are one of the hottest teams in the league right now and they will win this one going away. It would be a surprise if the Chiefs didn’t win this one by at least 10 points.

James’ pick: Chiefs win outright and by at least 10 points

OddsUSA’s NFL Best Bets for Week 12: A Young Buck vs. the Old G.O.A.T

Happy Wednesday football fans and welcome back to our weekly edition of best picks for the upcoming slate of NFL games. Last week, I predicted close wins for the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Additionally, I picked that the Steelers would win big.

The Chiefs edged the Las Vegas Raiders by a 35-31 margin, while the Steelers beat up the Jacksonville Jaguars to the tune of 27-3. Unfortunately, the Packers prevented me from earning a perfect week as they fell to the Indianapolis Colts 34-31 despite leading by a 28-14 margin at halftime.

On the heels of another 2-1 week, my record stands at 25-7. Not too shabby, but I’m still somewhat disappointed because I was so close to a 3-0 week. Now that I’m done ranting a bit, here’s a look at my top outright picks for Week 12.

Week 12 NFL Best Bet No. 1: Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I have to admit not having the defending champs as my absolute safest pick feels a bit strange, to say the least. Out of all the times I’ve gone with KC this season, this is the slimmest point spread, which makes me a little bit hesitant.

On the other hand, as is the case with most matchups, I’m going to ride the hot hand. And although the Chiefs needed a late-game scoring drive to edge the Raiders, they have won five straight since a 40-32 loss in Week 5 against, you guessed it, the Las Vegas Raiders. That being said, I’m going to go with the reigning champs to push their win streak to six games.

James’ pick: Chiefs win by less than a field goal

Week 12 NFL Best Bet No. 2: Seattle Seahawks (-5) at Philadelphia Eagles

The Seattle Seahawks have dropped two of their previous three and three of their last five games overall following a 5-0 start. Furthermore, while the Seahawks are a formidable home team, they are just 2-3 on the road.

On the other side of the coin, the Eagles are in first place in the NFC East. But don’t be deceived as they are 3-6 -1 in the worst division in the NFL. Given the fact that the Eagles have dropped their last two games, scoring 17 points in both contests, they won’t be able to keep up with one of the highest-scoring teams in the league.

James’ pick: Seahawks win by a field goal

James’ NFL Best Bet of Week 12: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)

James’ NFL Best Bet of Week 12: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)

Yes, the Packers squandered a golden opportunity despite jumping out to a 14-point lead against one of the better defensive units in the league. Yes, they did keep me from posting a perfect mark in Week 11.

However, there are a few reasons why Aaron Rodgers and Co. are my safe pick this time around. As a guy that was born and raised in the Windy City, I’ve been keeping a watchful eye on the Bears this season. Sure, they got off to a 5-1 start. However, that proved to be fool’s gold as they have dropped their last four games.

Meanwhile, the Packers are 3-3 in their last six games following a 4-0 start. When it comes to the Bears, though, betting against the green and gold would not be a good call. Not only are the Packers the better team this season, they always seem to be the better team when these rivals square off.

In fact, dating back to 2015, the Packers have won eight of the previous 10 meetings between these two teams. While the Bears’ defense has played well, they continue to struggle on offense. Having said that, look for the Packers’ dominance to continue against their division rival. At the same time, I’m a bit cautious about the point spread given the fact that their margin of victory exceeded 10 points just twice in those eight wins.

James’ pick: Packers win outright in a close one

Week 12 Super Bowl Odds: Did Another Steelers’ Win Move Them Ahead of KC?

Hello NFL fans and welcome back to our weekly column where we’ve been discussing the list of teams that are considered legitimate title contenders. A week ago, the Kansas City Chiefs, the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, and New Orleans Saints rounded out the coveted list.

Since all three of these teams won last week, there wasn’t too much of a shakeup in where they rank from a betting standpoint. However, being that two teams currently share the second-best odds; I’m going to include four teams on the list instead of three. With that said, here’s a look at the teams with the best odds to win the big game in 2021.

Third-Best Super Bowl Odds: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1100). Last Week (NR)

It has been a while since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in the discussion as a potential title favorite, but here we are. Thanks, to a few additions – namely Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski – the expectations for this team increased dramatically from a season ago. And the Bucs have lived up to those expectations, for the most part, posting six wins through their first eight games.

However, they’ve hit a rough patch recently, dropping two of their last three outings. This includes a poor showing in a 38-3 loss against the Saints in Week 9 and a 27-24 loss against the Rams on Monday Night Football.

Things don’t get any easier for Tampa Bay as they will face off against the Chiefs in Week 12. On the other hand, their last four games are against sub .500 teams, which means that the Bucs could still be in the hunt for a playoff berth with a strong finish down the stretch.

Second-Best Super Bowl Odds: New Orleans Saints (+550). Last Week (+650)

Let’s give a huge shoutout to the Saints. After posting a 1-2 mark in their first three games, they’ve reeled off seven straight victories to improve to 8-2 on the season. Not only that, but they’ve done so without the services of Drew Brees, who has been sidelined with an injury over the last six quarters and is expected to miss a few more games.

Second-Best Super Bowl Odds: Pittsburgh Steelers (+550). Last Week (No Change)

Despite the Saints’ impressive 8-2 mark, though, the Steelers should get the nod as the team with the second-best odds, if not the odds-on favorite altogether.

The Steelers are the lone undefeated team in the NFL. They are ranked fourth in total defense (306.9 yards per game); third in passing yards allowed per outing (203.5) and seventh in rushing yards allowed (103.4). Furthermore, the Steelers are allowing just 17.4 points per game and their last three opponents have scored a total of 32 points combined. Given the fact that Brees will be on the shelf for the foreseeable future, look for the Steelers to solidify their hold on the No. 2 spot.

Super Bowl Odds Favorites: Kansas City Chiefs (+300). Last week (+350)

The Chiefs have been considered the odds-on favorite for quite some time now and that trend continues going into Week 12. KC started the season with victories in each of their first four games before a 40-32 setback against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5.

Since that little hiccup, the Chiefs have rattled off five straight wins and have the second-best record in the NFL at 9-1. While the margin of victory in their last two games is a combined six points, the Chiefs are one of the hottest teams in the league right now.

Additionally, the aerial attack is starting to round into form (over 340 yards in each of the last three outings), which could be a troublesome trend for opposing teams down the stretch. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, this should be a two-team race between the Chiefs and Steelers the rest of the way.

Updated NFL MVP Odds for Week 12: Patrick Mahomes Leads the Pack

Happy Wednesday football fans. Before I begin, I’d like to take a moment to wish everyone and their families a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Last week, the list of players in the running for the NFL MVP award were Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Patrick Mahomes. Both Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes led their respective teams to victory, but Rodgers and the Packers came up a bit short despite jumping out to a 14-point lead. Despite that, did Rodgers do enough to close the gap with the other two QBs ahead of Week 12?

Third-Best NFL MVP Odds: Aaron Rodgers (+500). Last Week (+300)

Aaron Rodgers continues to hold down the third spot on our weekly list. Going up against one of the better defensive units in the league — the Indianapolis Colts — everyone knew that Rodgers would have his work cut out for him.

Thanks to three touchdown passes in the first half, the Packers appeared to be on their way to an easy victory, as they led 28-14 at the break. However, the Colts’ defense came to life in the second half, and in a big way. Not only did Indianapolis hold the Packers to just three points after the break, they also forced a fumble in OT, which set up Rodrigo Blankenship’s game-winning field goal, enabling the home team to escape with a 34-31 victory.

Rodgers finished 27-of-38 for 311 yards and three touchdowns. While Rodgers eclipsed the 300-yard mark for the third straight outing, it wasn’t enough to prevent his team from losing in heartbreaking fashion.

Second-Best NFL MVP Odds: Russell Wilson (+300). Last Week (+225)

Russell Wilson was the frontrunner in the MVP race for most of the season. But thanks to a stretch of three losses in four games, along with 10 turnovers in those losses, Chef Wilson has been sitting at the No. 2 spot on our weekly list over the past couple of weeks.

Coming off his worst performance of the season – a 23-16 loss against the Los Angeles Rams—Wilson bounced back to help lead his team to a 28-21 victory against the Arizona Cardinals. While Wilson had a somewhat modest outing – throwing for just 197 yards – he made enough plays to keep his team in a division race that is heating up quickly.

Also, being that the Seahawks’ next four opponents have a combined record of 8-28-1, Chef Wilson still has an opportunity to make up some ground in this race.

The NFL MVP Odds Favorite: Patrick Mahomes (-121). Last Week (+180)

Patrick Mahomes took over the top spot in the league MVP a week ago and remains the frontrunner for the second straight week. Going into the Week 11 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders, Mahomes and Co. were looking for a measure of revenge against the team that handed them their only loss of the season back in Week 5.

Thanks, to a late-game drive, the Kansas City Chiefs came away with a 35-31 victory. Mahomes completed 34 of 45 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns. After totaling just two 300-yard games during the team’s first seven games, Mahomes has thrown for at least 300 yards in each of his last three outings. He has also thrown nine TD passes and just one interception during that stretch. Simply put, Mahomes will be difficult to catch if he and the Chiefs’ offense continue playing at this level.  

Best Betting Picks for NFL Week 11: Doubling Down on the Packers, Chiefs, and Steelers

Happy Thursday football fans and welcome back to another edition of our best picks column. There was an interesting trend that unfolded in Week 10; four teams that finished below .500 last season posted victories. The list includes the Cleveland Browns, Las Vegas Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, and the Miami Dolphins. Not only that, but these teams are a combined 24-12 this season and they’re all in the playoff hunt. This just proves that anything can happen on any given Sunday.

Last week, I predicted wins for the Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, and the Green Bay Packers, but hedged my bets by saying the Ravens wouldn’t cover while the Saints and Packers would win big. Although the Saints did win big while losing Drew Brees, the Packers only beat the fiesty Jaguars by four.

As a result, I posted a 2-1 mark to improve to 23-6 on the season. The picks for the upcoming week will be somewhat challenging as there is only one matchup that offers a double-digit point spread. So, without further delay, here’s a look at my best bets for Week 11.

Week 11 NFL Best Bet No. 1: Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts

This is a classic game featuring one of the better offensive teams in the league squaring off against one of the better defensive units in the league. The Packers are ranked third in scoring (30.8 points per outing), sixth in total yards (395.8), and passing yards per game (274.3). Green Bay also falls just outside the top-10 in rushing, averaging 121.4 yards per contest on the ground.

As good as the Packers are from an offensive standpoint, the Colts’ defense is just as formidable. Indy has allowed the second-fewest passing yards per contest (198.7) and they are ranked third in rushing yards allowed per contest (91.8). Along with that, the Colts are the top team in the NFL in yards per play (4.8) and third in rushing yards per attempt (3.5). Talk about a difficult pick.

Despite the Colts’ stout defensive stats, I’m predicting that Rodgers and the Packers will have another good outing in what should be a competitive game.

James’ pick: Packers win by a field goal

Week 11 NFL Best Bet No. 2: Kansas City Chiefs (-7) at Las Vegas Raiders

For those of you who have been following my picks this season, it is no secret that KC is one of the teams that I go with a lot. And I don’t make any apologies for doing so, either. After all, they are the defending champions and they are 8-1.

However, this matchup against the Raiders could be a shot at redemption for the reigning NFL champs; the Raiders handed the Chiefs their only loss – a 40-32 victory back in Week 5.

There are two reasons I’m going with the Chiefs here: First, they are a perfect 4-0 since losing to the Raiders and they have won those games by an averae of 16 points per contest. Second, Andy Reid is 18-3 in his career coming off a bye week. Considering those factors, I’m picking the Chiefs to split the season series in a close one.

James’ pick: Chiefs get revenge but don’t cover the spread

James’ NFL Best Bet of Week 11: Pittsburgh Steelers (-10) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Remember when I mentioned there was one matchup on this week’s slate of games that featured a double-digit favorite? Well, this is the one. On one side of the coin, we have a Jaguars’ squad that has dropped eight straight games. Sure, they hung tough with the Green Bay Packers but they’re still just 1-8 on the season.

Furthermore, the Steelers are a top-five team in passing yards allowed per contest (211.3) and they are a top-10 squad in rushing yards given up per outing (106.8). On top of that, the Steelers have the third-best scoring defense, giving up just 19 points per contest.

Based on how they played against Green Bay, the Jaguars will make this a competitive affair. In the end, though, the Steelers will prevail and remain the lone unbeaten team in the NFL.

James’ pick: Steelers win AND cover the spread

Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders Betting Preview

Sunday, November 22, 2020, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada, 8:20 p.m. ET

Chiefs at Raiders Betting Preview: Chiefs (-7.5/-110), Raiders (+7.5/-110)

Kansas City Chiefs

The Super Bowl champs are 8-1 and can avenge that lone blemish as a heavy favorite. The Chiefs’ 40-32 home loss to the Raiders on Oct. 11 was one of two times the Kansas City defense allowed more than 20 points. The running game has not been at its best of late, but had a chance to make improvements over the bye week.

The Chiefs had 36 rushing yards in a Nov. 8 victory over the Panthers and 50 on 20 carries one week earlier against the Jets. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes saw heavy pressure in the defeat to the Raiders and Kansas City will be challenged to fix that Sunday after starting offensive tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Both have a chance to play Sunday, but will miss key practice days this week.

Las Vegas Raiders

Quarterback Derek Carr had 347 yards passing in the earlier victory over the Chiefs, with four completions over 40 yards. And while the Raiders no doubt are pleased with the victory, they have the Chiefs’ full attention now.

The Raiders have been one of the worst teams in the NFL at dealing with COVID-19 protocols and will be facing more challenges after six more active defensive players went on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday. Many of them could return by Sunday.

The Raiders are 6-3 but just 2-2 at their new $2 billion home venue just off the Las Vegas strip. They are coming off a convincing 37-12 home victory over the Broncos last Sunday which was powered by 203 rushing yards and four interceptions.

Chiefs at Raiders Betting Pick for Week 11

As impressive as the Raiders have been this season, especially when considering their COVID-19 issues, they likely aren’t good enough to overcome a fully-engaged Chiefs team.

Kansas City apparently was upset the Raiders did a victory lap around Arrowhead Stadium in their team buses after that Oct. 11 game, but the loss to their longtime rival will be enough motivation.

Chiefs at Raiders Betting Pick: Chiefs 35, Raiders 24

Chiefs at Raiders Best Bet for Week 11

While the Chiefs might want to work on their running game this week, they will be most interested in ripping off chunks of yards any way possible and figure to show no mercy.

The teams combined for 72 points the last time they played and another high-scoring affair appears to be on tap.

Chiefs at Raiders Best Bet: GAME OVER 48.5 TOTAL POINTS (-110)

Chiefs Sign Patrick Mahomes To Ten-Year Extension

Mega-Deal is reportedly worth $503 Million

It looks like Patrick Mahomes is going to be the Chiefs’ starting quarterback for a long time. According to the NFL Network’s Michael Silver, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs agreed on a mega-deal that will keep the 24-year-old Quarterback in KC through the 2031 season. The NFL Network is reporting the deal is worth up to $503 million.

The contract extension is the largest in sports history. Mahomes is now the first athlete in history with a contract worth half-a-billion dollars. The contract also marks the first time an NFL player is the highest-paid athlete in the world of sports.

Patrick Mahomes has a 24-7 record in 31 starts. Mahomes was named MVP in his first season as a starter, throwing for 50 Touchdowns and over 5000 yards in 2018. Despite missing some time due to injury this past season, Mahomes led the Chiefs to an 11-3 record and a victory in Super Bowl LIV. He was named the game’s MVP after throwing for 286 passing yards and recording three total touchdowns.