- The Chiefs snuck past the Broncos 22-16 on Sunday night, clinching a playoff spot and moving to 11-1
- Miami beat the Bengals 19-7, as the Dolphins improved to 8-4
- The opening line is set at Chiefs -7.5 but could see movement throughout the week
While Patrick Mahomes and his high-powered offense started slowly, they finished strong against the Denver Broncos.
Meanwhile it was a career day for Tua Tagovailoa, even if it didn’t always feel like it. He threw for a career-high 296 yards, moving to 4-1 as a starter.
Now the rookie gets set for his stiffest test. The reigning Super Bowl champs have been a buzz saw in 2020, and want to keep their hopes of a first round bye alive.
Chiefs vs Dolphins Odds
|Kansas City Chiefs||N/A||-7.5 (-113)||N/A|
|Miami Dolphins||N/A||+7.5 (-107)||N/A|
Odds as of December 7th
Despite a dominant 11-1 record, the Chiefs have been very pedestrian against the spread in 2020. In fact, it’s the Dolphins who have made bettors very happy in 2020. A Jason Sanders field goal continued that trend on Sunday, as Miami covered again in Week 13.
The Cincinnati Bengals are not the Chiefs however, and no one is mistaking Brandon Allen or Ryan Finley for Mahomes.
Broncos Slowed Chiefs Offense Sunday Night
Speaking of Mahomes, his aerial assault over the past month had put him squarely at the front of the MVP conversation.
But, like divisional games do, the numbers weren’t as gaudy against the Broncos. So the Chiefs opening at -7.5 feels a bit low.
Chiefs’ Offense Last 5 Games
|Week||Passing Yards||Passing TDs||Rushing Yards||Rushing TDs||Total Yards||Total Points|
|Week 8 vs NYJ||446||5||50||0||496||35|
|Week 9 vs CAR||361||4||36||0||397||33|
|Week 11 @ LVR||352||2||108||3||460||35|
|Week 12 @ TB||456||3||87||0||543||27|
|Week 13 vs DEN||313||1||134||0||447||22|
From Week 8 to Week 12, the Chiefs’ average margin of victory was 8.75 points. On Sunday night it was six.
The Dolphins defense has played well the last two games, surrendering 10 combined points. But that was to the Jets and the Bengals. In the four games before that, they surrendered 17, 31, 21 and 20 points.
Three of those four were wins, before a seven-point loss to the Broncos.
Tua Time Yields Mixed Results
If all you did was look at the end result, Tua Tagovailoa did pretty well against the Bengals.
He went 26-for-39 for 296 yards and a touchdown. He set career highs for completions, attempts and yards, and threw a TD for the fifth-straight start.
Here is the list of rookie QBs in NFL history whose teams won at least 4 of their first 5 starts while posting a passer rating of at least 95:
That's it. That's the list. #FinsUp
— Matt Infante (@MattyInfante) December 6, 2020
But if you break it down, it wasn’t pretty. Three of Miami’s first half drives ended with punts, while the other two were field goals, putting them behind 7-6 at halftime.
Things changed in the second half, as the Dolphins came away with 13 points on three drives to start the second half.
Kansas City scored on three of their first four drives against Tampa, five of their nine drives against the Raiders, and six of their nine drives against the Panthers. So the pressure is on Miami to keep up.
Discipline Could Impact Week 14 Line
Three Miami Dolphins were ejected from their game on Sunday: star corner Xavien Howard and wide receivers DeVante Parker and Mack Hollins. It’s unlikely that Howard receives anything more than a fine for his actions. Because Parker took a few swings at the Bengals, he could be handed a suspension.
That would definitely hurt Miami’s offense, especially if they fall into a hole.
Regardless of Parker’s status, expect the early money to come in on the Chiefs, forcing that 7.5 to climb. If you’re hesitant when it comes to the Chiefs on the road, jump on them now. But until things reach double digits, a Dolphins cover may be wishful thinking. When we see a total, stay away from the over on anything north of 50.