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Chiefs vs. Packers: The Opening Line

Good morning everyone. I cannot speak for everyone, but I myself feel a little calmer after having slept off yesterday's game. It does not ease the pain of being blown out by the Jets, but dwelling on it is not going to help either because we have the defending Super Bowl champions in town this week who also happen to be 13-0.

The Green Bay Packers will be in town this week for a Week 15 matchup with the Chiefs. The Packers have been perfect on the season and their star quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in the midst of a record-breaking season. Meanwhile the Chiefs are mired in mediocrity at the moment and sitting in last place in the AFC West at 5-8. How will Vegas see this matchup? Will the Packers be favored by well over two TDs, despite being on the road? Will the Chiefs face one of their highest home point spreads in history? Or will the line be lower than we expect and be the result of some home respect for the Chiefs? Let's find out this and more in the Week 15 edition of The Opening Line.

The Chiefs and Packers, while connected forever as the first Super Bowl participants, have had a relatively small history of regular season matchups. The Chiefs lead the all-time series at 6-3-1, while the Packers won the most recent matchup back in 2007.

This week the Packers opened as 14 point favorites and the total was set at 46.5. Apparently, some people have tossed some money on the Chiefs because the most widely available line this morning is 13.5. I know what many of you must be thinking: "This line is way too low! The Packers can score at will and the Chiefs cannot score!". I'd be lying if I said I disagreed with that thought process but I will offer a few possible explanations as to why the spread is where it is.

First, is what I would call the "Colts factor". If you have paid any attention to them recently (pat yourself on the back if you have) they were 21 point underdogs to the Patriots and 16.5 point underdogs to the Ravens. And despite being down by much more than that in both games, guess who covered both? Yes, the Colts. So perhaps knowing the public will be all over the Packers, Vegas is taking a shot at a possible backdoor cover to win big.

Second, is the simple "trying to get action on both sides of this number". I think you could get adequate action on both sides but at some point the line will have to continue to move up or the books will be looking at a big loss if the Packers cover. I think if the public starts to be too much in favor of the Packers, we will see the line continue to rise even as high as 15.5 or 16, and then the books will hold their noses and hope for a Chiefs cover.

Lastly, the Kyle Orton factor. Who? You know, the guy who has played one more snap than Ricky Stanzi. If, somehow, Kyle Orton is the starting QB this week it most certainly changes the ability of the Chiefs to score points. Thus, a two touchdown line is pretty accurate. If he is ruled out again, and Tyler Palko must start again (I use must loosely), expect a giant spike upward in the line.

Whew! Lots to process there. Let's see some recent trends heading into this matchup:

  • Green Bay is 8-4 ATS over the last three seasons as a favorite of ten points or more
  • Green Bay is 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games against a team with a losing record
  • Green Bay is 7-2 ATS in the last three seasons in the final four games of the year
  • Green Bay is 3-0 ATS and 3-0 SU against the AFC West this season
  • Green Bay is 10-2 ATS in their last 12 nonconference games
  • Green Bay is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 December games.
  • Kansas City is 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games as an underdog of ten or more points.
  • Kansas City is 7-3 ATS as an underdog this year
  • Kansas City is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 nonconference games
  • And finally, this one: Green Bay is 33-3 SU in their last 36 as a favorite of ten points or more.

Well then, looks like we have our work cut out for us this week. I don't think any Chiefs fans have any unrealistic expectations for this game, but I think I can speak for many when I say that we would greatly appreciate a competitive football game in which we at least play with more fire than we did yesterday. Who knows though what will happen during the week, but knowing Chiefs Nation, today will be an interesting day on talk radio. For now though, have a great start to your week and this has been your Week 15 installment of The Opening Line.

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