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Chiefs Super Bowl Odds Improve After Acquiring Frank Clark, Patriots Still Favored

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes was named the 2018 NFL MVP. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire)
  • The Kansas City Chiefs recently added defensive end Frank Clark from Seattle
  • KC’s odds to win the Super Bowl changed marginally after the move
  • Should bettors wager on the Chiefs before their price gets any higher?

After a heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots, the Kansas City Chiefs have been anything but quiet this offseason. KC has re-worked their defense, which was highlighted by the recent addition of Frank Clark.

Without a first round pick, and a QB on a rookie contract, KC is in win-now mode. Should we be buying the hype?

Super Bowl 54 Odds

Team 2018 Record 2018 Result Super Bowl 54 Odds at BetOnline
New England Patriots 11-5 Won Super Bowl +600
Kansas City Chiefs 12-4 Lost AFC Championship +700
New Orleans Saints 13-3 Lost NFC Championship +800
Los Angeles Rams 13-3 Lost Super Bowl +1000
Chicago Bears 12-4 Lost Wild Card Round +1200

*Odds taken 04/24/2019. Click on the link in the table above to see odds for all teams. 

The Chiefs odds have moved to varying degrees. Their Super Bowl odds went from +750 to +700 on BetOnline, and their average odds went from +710 to +690.

It presents good value for the runner-up in the AFC.

Clark Punctuates Kansas City Chiefs’ Busy Offseason

Kansas City Chiefs Key Defensive Additions and Subtractions

Defensive Additions Defensive Subtractions
Tyrann Mathieu, S Eric Berry, S
Frank Clark, DE Dee Ford, DE
Alex Okafor, DE Justin Houston, DE/LB
Emmanuel Ogbah, DE Allen Bailey, DL
Bashaud Breeland, CB Ron Parker, CB
Steven Nelson, S
Eric Murray, S

When Eric Berry was on the field in 2018, he struggled to find his Pro Bowl form. The longtime Chief is gone, and in his place is Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu finished 11 points ahead of Berry in Pro Football Focus’ overall defensive grade.

He was also a slightly better tackler, and 13 points better in coverage. Their biggest trade-off however, came when they shipped out Dee Ford, and added Clark.

Dee Ford vs Frank Clark Statistical Comparison

Ford
VS
Clark

8.9 Pass Rush Productivity 8.7
15 Sacks 13
17 QB Hits 13
45 Hurries 38
518 Pass Rush Snaps 441

As you can see, from a pass rush perspective, Pro Football Focus has Ford and Clark shockingly close. The edge on pass rushing may go to Clark, as his numbers came on 77 fewer snaps.

Clark was actually significantly better against the run than Ford too. On 353 rushing snaps, Ford’s Stop Percentage was 4.2%. Clark’s was 5.6% on 233 snaps.

Do Kansas City Chiefs’ Additions Out-Weigh Losses?

In a perfect world, the answer is “yes”. But things are a little murky.

Berry and Mathieu play the position differently, but Mathieu’s availability makes him an upgrade. After some injury-shortened years, he’s played 1,100+ snaps in back-to-back seasons.

After some injury-shortened years, Mathieu has played 1,100+ snaps in back-to-back seasons.

The hope is that Breeland is an improvement over Steven Nelson. Breeland allowed a Catch Percentage of 59% last year though, worse than Nelson’s 53%. He also played just 173 snaps.

But the changes on the defensive line could offer mixed results.

Justin Houston’s defensive and pass rush grades were better than Ogbah’s and Okafor’s. Houston and Bailey also played 250+ snaps against the run. Ogbah played 296 snaps and graded out better than them, but Okafor’s 223 was his most since 2015.

Are the Kansas City Chiefs Worthy Super Bowl Favorites?

The changes could have mixed results, but the Chiefs are either the best, or second best team in the AFC.

It depends what the Patriots do in the draft.

KC has tweaked their defensive line, and gotten a little more reliable at Safety. Corner is still a question, but they can find someone, even without a first round pick.

KC still sits atop the AFC, eyeing a top two spot when the season starts. It’s tough to see them getting a better number before September.

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