Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles: The Opening Line

G. Newman Lowrance

From the FanPosts -Joel

Greetings Chiefs fans! After an exciting day, it is immediately time to re-focus and prepare for a nationally televised matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night. The undefeated Chiefs visit the Eagles (1-1) in what will be a crucial game for both teams when looking at the standings at the end of the year. The Chiefs are fresh off of their impressive home victory over the Dallas Cowboys, while meanwhile the Eagles dropped a heartbreaker to the San Diego Chargers 33-30 in their home opener.

This matchup has a variety of built-in storylines, none bigger than the return of Andy Reid to Philadelphia after coaching there for fourteen seasons. Also noteworthy is that Donovan McNabb will be honored and his jersey will be retired on the night his former coach returns. Another big story is the fast pace that has been employed by Chip Kelly and his explosive Eagles offense. Can the Chiefs stop this pace and will either team be fatigued by the short turnaround? We will soon find out.

Let's take a look at what the folks in Vegas have to say about this game.

The Philadelphia Eagles opened this week as 3 point favorites (-120) and the total was set at 50. Let me briefly explain the "-120" before we move on in the easiest way possible (we had some issues with these numbers previously). For a normal wager, the vig (juice) is typically -110. This means you would put up $110 in order to win $100 (Thus you leave with a total of 210 on a win because you get your original money back. When it is -120, the books are saying it is not quite 3, but it's also not enough to be 3.5. So instead, they just increase the vig and keep it at 3. Think of it as them saying the Eagles in this case are favored by 3.25 points. Since that doesn't exist here, they choose to do it the way I just mentioned.

OK. Moving on.

With that said, since the opener, the line has moved in some places (but not all) to 3.5 and the total has moved up everywhere to 50.5. As we saw last week, the public was on Dallas but the money was moving the line in our direction. This week we see a different pattern. As of this writing, there have been roughly 2,100 wagers on offshore accounts and 59 percent of the action has been on Philadelphia. Thus the public and the early "wise-guy" money has slightly favored the home team. It will be worth keeping an eye on as the week progresses.

Taking a look at this line, I think it is a fair line. These two teams are fairly equal in talent and with the typical home-field advantage built in, a 3 point line is reasonable. I find this game to be very tough to handicap because nobody knows how either team will react to the short week, especially the Eagles and the tempo they utilize. This angle may be a bit overplayed though. In Week 1, the Eagles ran 53 plays in the first two quarters. In the six quarters since? They have run just 80 total plays.

Whereas the Eagles have plenty of offensive firepower, their defense is virtually invisible. The last six quarters of defense for Philadelphia has been dreadful and they will need to quickly adjust for the variety of looks they will see from Kansas City. Meanwhile the opposite has been true for the Chiefs. The defense has been excellent and the offense has shown signs of success, but still should be classified as somewhat inconsistent. The fact that the total has moved up quickly can mean a few things, and I think many expect this to be a shootout. My prediction is that it will not, and that (sometimes the big money men do this) the over will be bet up to a number that people like, and late in the week a lot of under money will come in. I have no opinion on the game line, but I do lean toward the under.

Let's take a look at some trends leading into this game. As I say every week, do not simply rely on trend betting. For every unbeatable trend, you probably can find one that supports the exact opposite. But they can definitely be useful on occasion:

  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Kansas City's last 6 games
  • Kansas City is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games on the road
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Kansas City's last 5 games on the road
  • Philadelphia is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games at home
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Philadelphia's last 5 games at home
  • Philadelphia is 3-13 ATS in it's last 16 games at home.

Nothing earth shattering here, and nothing really stands out to me as useful due to the vast changes to both franchises. Nonetheless, I see this being a very exciting contest. I am sure both teams and both fanbases think they will win this game, but as I mentioned, we will not know how either team will respond to the short week until Thursday night. Well, I hope everyone enjoyed the info here and fire away in the comments section if you have any questions or even advice on other games as well.

For now though, enjoy the week and thanks for reading the weekly installment of The Opening Line!

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This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.