Kansas City bettors welcomed the news this week that the much-anticipated Rams-Chiefs “Monday Night Football” game was moved from Mexico City to Los Angeles because of poor field conditions at Azteca Stadium.
The Chiefs were 2½-point underdogs before the site change after the line opened at 1 for the showdown of explosive 9-1 teams. But Kansas City, which has the NFL’s best spread record at 8-2, got an extra point when the game was moved to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
We’ll gladly take the Chiefs getting 3½ points.
Handicapper Doug Fitz, who went 4-1 ATS last week to run his record to 27-21-2 ATS in the Review-Journal’s NFL Challenge, also likes Kansas City.
“Basically, it comes down to the number. You’re getting arguably the best team in the AFC getting over a field goal,” said Fitz (Systemplays.com). “Getting that hook on top of the 3 is huge. To me, you just can’t pass up the 3½. It’s too big of a number against a team like the Chiefs.
“Plus the Rams have actually been pretty terrible against the spread here of late. They don’t cover numbers.”
Los Angeles covered its first three games, rolling past the Raiders, Cardinals and Chargers by an average score of 34-12. But the Rams have covered one of their past seven games (1-5-1 ATS) while allowing an average of 27.8 points.
They’ve allowed 35 ppg during an 0-3 spread skid that included narrow escapes at home against the Seahawks and Packers, and lost receiver Cooper Kupp to a season-ending torn ACL in Sunday’s 36-31 win over Seattle.
The Chiefs will have their full arsenal of weapons ready for what promises to be a shootout with what is believed to be the highest total in NFL history at 63½.
“The wiseguys will bet this game under, because that’s what they do,” Westgate sports book manager Ed Salmons said. “But I don’t see how this game stays under.”
Four more plays (home team in CAPS):
BEARS (-2½) over Vikings: This “Sunday Night Football” game on frozen Soldier Field is arguably Chicago’s biggest since the Super Fans were having Polish sausage-induced heart attacks on “Saturday Night Live.” Khalil Mack is back to lead the Bears’ defense, which is second in takeaways and fourth in total defense. Mitchell Trubisky is coming off a career performance in a win over the Lions, throwing for 355 yards and three TDs. Chicago has covered four of its past five at home, where it’s 14-6 SU and 15-5 ATS in its last 20 games vs. the Vikings.
CHARGERS (-7) over Broncos: The Chargers (7-2) are flying under the radar despite winning six straight games and 13 of their past 16. Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon are locked in, and Los Angeles has limited its past five foes to an average of 13 points. Denver hasn’t won an AFC West road game in three years and has covered one of the past five meetings.
COLTS (-1½) over Titans: Tennessee is 0-9 against Andrew Luck, who has returned to top form in leading Indianapolis to three consecutive wins and covers. Luck has thrown for 10 TDs and one interception while taking no sacks during the three-game win streak. The Colts have covered eight of the past 10 meetings at home.
GIANTS (-1½) over Buccaneers: Eli Manning threw a season-high three TD passes in Monday’s win over the 49ers and is primed to build on that performance at home against a Tampa Bay team with the league’s worst scoring defense (32.3 ppg) and one of the worst pass defenses. New York has covered six of the past seven meetings against the Bucs.
Last week: 2-2-1 against the spread