Game Preview

Monday Night Football Preview: Chiefs at Rams

MNF Week 11

Monday Night Football Preview

Rams -3 | Over/Under 63.5

Finally, we have a blockbuster on Monday Night Football. No disrespect to the previous teams and games, but none of them hold a candle to the Kansas City Chiefs visiting the Los Angeles Rams at the L.A. Coliseum. Both teams have a 9-1 record entering this game, and the winner will be emerging with the NFL’s best record. This Monday, we’ll see the league’s second-ranked offense taking on the third, MVP candidates on each side of the field, the highest projected point total ever set for an NFL game, and a potential Superbowl preview. The game of the season is upon us.

Chiefs at Rams

Rams -3 | Over/Under 63.5

Kansas City Chiefs (9-1)

Kansas City’s only loss of the season came against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in week 6. Losing to Brady and co. on the road is nothing to be ashamed of though. Plenty of teams have fallen victim there. Few have done it in the fashion Kansas City did though; a 43-40 loss thanks to a Stephen Gostkowski field goal as time expired. The Chiefs have got stronger since then, averaging a slightly better 34.5 points per game. The 63.6 point projection isn’t the only game in which the Chiefs have faced such a total. In 2004, they played the (now) third highest over/under game. It was against the Raiders and the total was set at 60 points. The Chiefs went over in this one, the final score being 31-30 to Kansas City.

Why They Will Win

Travis Kelce ChiefsThe Chiefs big four of Patrick Mahomes, Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce are unmatched as far as offensive talent on a single team goes. Mahomes is currently on pace for 5,040 yards and 49.6 touchdowns. Hunt is the reigning NFL rushing leader. Hill is averaging 89.1 yards and almost a touchdown a game. It’s insane that you can look at a side with Travis Kelce in it; one of the NFL’s premier tight ends; a guy on pace for his third consecutive 1000 yard season, and he’s the 4th best offensive player.

I haven’t even mentioned the supporting cast of Sammy Watkins, Spencer Ware, and Chris Conley. It’s a team with a ton of depth and a ton of talent. On current pace, the Chiefs would become the 4th highest scoring team in NFL history.

And Why They Won’t

Defensively, the Chiefs are a middle of the pack team. It’s actually lucky that they’re so offensively talented because they haven’t made a habit of beating teams with stops. They are allowing 24 points per game, including giving up at least 20 points to seven of their ten opponents. They’re also allowing 410 yards a game, which ranks them in the bottom five teams. This is especially concerning when you consider some of the teams they’ve played against. The 49ers (ranked 19th in the NFL for ypg), Browns (20), Bengals (25) and Cardinals (32) have averaged 18 points and 323 yards against the Chiefs. Coming up against the league’s third-best offense is going to prove their biggest test to date.

Los Angeles Rams (9-1)

The Rams only loss of the regular season play came two weeks ago, also on the road against one of the NFL’s premier sides in the New Orleans Saints, and it took 45 points to get the job done. Again, no shame in that. And not the only similarity between the two sides. Before this game, the highest projected points game was one in October of 2000, when the St Louis Rams with Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, took on a San Francisco 49ers team featuring Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens. The total was set at 63, but fell short when the Rams won 34-24.

Why They Will Win

The Rams have a pretty handy foursome of their own in Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods who can keep up with any team on their day. However, they will feel a whole lot better if the opposing team isn’t putting up a 50 score on them. That’s where the Rams formidable defensive front comes in. The pro-bowl duo of Aaron Donald and Ndumakong Suh have combined for 16 sacks, four fumble recoveries, three defended passes and five stuffs. Admittedly, that’s mostly Donald, but they’re both disruptive in their own right. And they will need to be on the top of their game. If the Rams sit back and allow Mahomes time to pick and choose his targets, he’ll tear them apart. The Rams will need to dial up the quarterback pressure and force the Chiefs into some mistakes.

 

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And Why They Won’t

Injuries are really the big issue in LA. The Rams just lost Cooper Kupp for the season when he tore his ACL last weekend. Kupp is a huge loss for Goff and the rest of the offense. If I exclude the Broncos game where he got hurt on a horse collar tackle, Kupp played seven games and had less than five receptions just once; a four catch day against the Chargers. He was averaging almost eight targets a game, 80.9 yards and had already got into the endzone on six occasions. Without him in the slot, opposing coordinators can put more effort into containing Cooks and Woods on the outside. Already without Aqib Talib who is currently on IR, the Rams are missing one of their biggest contributors on either side of the ball.

Key Match-Up:

I almost focused on the Mahomes vs Gurley MVP narrative, which will be fun in its own right, but I’m going with Andy Reid and Sean McVay. Both head coaches have their teams playing at a very high level and a fun one to boot. They have similarly ranked offenses and similarly ranked defenses so, at the end of the day, it could all come down to whichever man outcoaches his counterpart.

Prediction

Your guess is as good as mine. This is sure to be an offensive onslaught all evening and I for one will just be sitting back and enjoying the show. But since I have to pick one, I’ll go with the road team to pull an “upset”. One thing is for sure though; this is going to be one of the most entertaining Monday night games we’ve seen in years.

Final:  Kansas City 41Los Angeles 34


Monday Night Football Betting Tips

All of the odds and prop bets I write about in this piece will be sourced from there. They have a bunch of great contests, bonus and NFL specials to sink your teeth into. If you haven’t before, check them out now.

The Kansas City Chiefs have the best record covering the start in the NFL, only failing to do so twice in their ten games. Meanwhile, the Rams are surprisingly just 4-6 ATS this season. I’ve got the Chiefs prevailing above, but I can’t say I’d be surprised whichever way it goes. Not only are the teams averaging with two points of each other, but they’re also allowing less than one point difference to opposing sides. Flip a coin here, but I’ll stick with the Chiefs.

Total Points Over/Under

Both sides have been very comparable when it comes to the over/under markets. Kansas City have a 5-4-1 record against the Rams 5-5 record. All it really means is that both of these high scoring offenses are given huge points totals every week. This one is no different. A 63.5 point total is huge. So big in fact that it is the highest point total set for an NFL game ever, but with good reason. These teams are putting up 35.3 and 33.5 points per game respectively. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a 70+ point game.

BEST BETS:

Chiefs +3 (-110), Total Points Over 63.5 (-110)

 

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