Can Mahomes and Reid get the Chiefs Offense on Track?
The first edition of NFL Market Moves returns for the 2023 season. For new readers, I examine games and dissect not only the movement, but where my numbers show an edge relative to the current betting market. This week we head to Arrowhead, where the Chiefs offense has an opportunity to raid a Bears defense rife with issues.
Kansas City Chiefs Team Total OVER 30.5 (-105)
Our look pertains to one side of the ball, so we’ll focus on key points when the Chiefs have possession. In their opener against the Lions, Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes struggled without Travis Kelce. The other weapons failed to contribute, as only Marques Valdez-Scantling and Justyn Ross produced a positive catch % above expectation, while Kadarius Toney had one of the worst outings a wide receiver has had in the past 5 seasons.
Reasons or Excuses for the Chiefs early woes?
Week 1 Travis Kelce suffered a knee injury 48 hours before kickoff; with the Chiefs game plan already installed, it’s not hard to understand the struggles as Andy Reid scrambled to adjust. Against the Jaguars, we saw glimpses of the KC offense we’re accustomed to despite the scoreboard not reflecting it. A fumble and an interception on back to back drives in the second quarter quelled any opportunity for an offensive outburst. Juwann Taylor’s 5 penalties hindered the ability to keep drives moving in a positive direction. Despite all of this, Kansas City is #1 in pass block win rate, 3rd in adjusted sack rate, and 5th in run block win rate.
Who Better to Cure a Struggling Offense than the Chicago Bears?
Head Coach Matt Eberflus will be the Bears defensive play-caller again this week, though that should be the least of concerns. Chicago currently ranks 26th in defensive EPA and 31st through the air despite facing Baker Mayfield and Jordan Love. The Bears rank 26th in pressure rate and 31st in adjusted sack rate, which shouldn’t surprise readers that tuned into Bet the Board’s NFC North preview where it was stated Chicago generating below average pressure would be an uphill battle this season.
Losing starting cornerback Kyle Fuller after Week 1 was a blow to the Bears secondary. Losing safety Eddie Jackson who hasn’t practiced yet this week due to a foot injury sustained against Tampa Bay could be the death blow. Another injury to monitor is cornerback Josh Blackwell, the replacement for Kyle Fuller, who did not suit up Week 2 due to a hamstring injury.
Providing a snapshot of the market, UNDER money arrived early this week sending the game total from 49.5 down to 47 before settling at 48 Thursday morning. Kansas City’s defense has played to a Top 10 level against talented offensive minds in Lions coordinator Ben Johnson and Super Bowl champion Doug Pederson. With the Bears unlikely to find sustained offensive success, quick possessions and short fields for the Chiefs are in play. Our numbers suggest Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid remind everyone what a Super Bowl caliber offense looks like this week.
2022-2023 NFL Market Moves Record: (13-6-1) 68.4%