The Lede: Chiefs Super Bowl Odds Spike

Alex Smith posing for a picture (public domain)

Don’t have time to read through 1,000 words, but need some informed betting tips? Here’s a quick rundown on today’s biggest sports story (as adjudged by me) and how it impacts the way you should bet.

Chiefs Stun Patriots in Season-Opener

It was supposed to be a night-long celebration of the New England Patriots’ fifth Lombardi Trophy. It was supposed to be a taste of how dominant the 2017 Patriots will be. Instead, it was a whiskey sour, hold the whiskey.

In the opening game of the 2017 NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs came to Foxborough and crashed New England’s party. After getting off to a bit of a slow start, the Chiefs’ offense broke out for over 40 points and their defense was able to pester Tom Brady throughout the entire second half, ultimately leaving Massachusetts with a 42-27 victory.

Perhaps hearing the footsteps of first-round pick Patrick Mahomes coming up behind him, quarterback Alex Smith looked like a brand new QB. He was decisive and displayed a strong willingness to push the ball down the field, finishing with 368 yards through the air, four TDs, and a near-flawless 148.6 passer rating.

However, Smith’s performance wasn’t the best of the night, as rookie running back Kareem Hunt set an NFL record for most yards from scrimmage by any player in his first game (246). This all came after fumbling on his first touch as a pro, something he never did in his entire college career at Toledo. Hunt proved he is the dynamic RB Andy Reid needs to exploit matchups all over the field.

With the impressive victory, the Chiefs have seen their odds to win the Super Bowl get quite a bit shorter. On average, they were around +2400 to win Super Bowl LII entering the regular season; the 1-0 Chiefs are now as low as +1400. (If you want to monitor this throughout the season, we’ll be tracking it weekly in our Super Bowl LII Futures.) Is there still value there?

Takeaway: Yes, the Chiefs looked very good in their season-opener, but they didn’t escape unscathed. In fact, when history looks back at the 2017 season, this may prove to have been a Pyrrhic victory. Kansas City lost one of the key cogs of its defense, Eric Berry, to a ruptured Achilles tendon. Reid confirmed today that Berry will miss the rest of the 2017 season. Losing the three-time First-Team All-Pro is a huge blow to a talented Chiefs secondary.

With all that being said, there is still some value on betting the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl at sites like SportsInteraction, where they’re currently at 17/1. Justin Houston is a monster coming off the edge and Marcus Peters is one of the top cover-corners in the league. Plus, the Chiefs have experience playing — and playing well — without Berry. The safety missed the majority of the 2014 season, yet KC still ranked second in points allowed and seventh in total defense.

While I’m not ready to crown the Chiefs yet, I do believe they are the AFC’s best chance of dethroning the Pats. Reid is an offensive mastermind; between Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt, we’re going to see new-found creativity and a slew of mismatches in Kansas City this year. Don’t jump off the Pats train yet, but if you were riding the Raiders-Have-Value Express, it’s time to hop off that locomotive and climb aboard the KC train.