The Kansas City Chiefs look to improve to 4-3 at the expense of the host Tennessee Titans, who are coming off a statement victory over the Buffalo Bills. Books opened with this game cornered in Kansas City’s’ camp, and while the bulk of the betting is going toward the Chiefs, there’s a lot of love for the Titans shining through in early betting, too.
It’s a 55-45 split currently. And this narrow split suggests there’s value in the NFL odds on either side of the coin, setting up one of the most riveting contests between AFC contenders this season with a fitting injection of dramatic anticipation.
|Game: Kansas City Chiefs (3-3) at Tennessee Titans (4-2)
Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville. Date/Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
|Kansas City Chiefs||-4½ -110||-220||57½ -110o|
|Tennessee Titans||+4½ -110||+180||57½ -110u|
The Kansas City Chiefs and the Tennessee Titans have split the last two meetings since the Patrick Mahomes era started in 2018. The Titans won the first game 35-32 in November 2019 at Nissan Stadium. However, the Chiefs won the most important game played between the pair, beating the Titans 35-24 in the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 19, 2020. The Chiefs went on to win the Super Bowl, beating the San Francisco 49ers.
Kansas City Chiefs
Next game: vs. New York Giants
The Kansas City Chiefs bounced back into the win column on Sunday after beating the Washington Football Team (WFT) 31-13, coming through as the as the 6½-point road favorites. It marked the Chiefs’ third win of the season and second against an NFC East opponent.
Mahomes had another below standard performance, especially in the first half of the game when he threw one of his two interceptions on the day and the Football Team took the 13-10 lead at halftime. Fortunately, it didn’t cost the Chiefs the game as they returned in the second half and romped to victory. Mahomes was back to his brilliant self, leading the Chiefs in a dominant 21-0 second half.
Mahomes went 32 of 47 for 397 yards and two touchdowns while Darrell Williams led the team in rushing with 62 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. Tyreek Hill had nine catches and one touchdown.
I know Patrick Mahomes is proven, but even young MVP and SB winner makes mistakes. Tua threw an interception yesterday and that’s what people focused on, but I didn’t see much about this pick Mahomes threw that was infinitely worse. Young guys make mistakes, they’ll grow from it pic.twitter.com/YZnuMyzr6t
— Austin Murray (@_WhiteBoiBoogie) October 18, 2021
Cornerback Charvarius Ward (quadricep), defensive tackle Chris Jones (wrist), wide receiver Tyreek Hill (quadricep), tight end Blake Bell (back), linebacker Anthony Hitchens (elbow) and safety Tyrann Mathieu (thumb) are all questionable.
Next game: at Indianapolis Colts
The Tennessee Titans served up the upset over the Buffalo Bills in Week 6, coming through as the closing six-point home underdogs for their backers — and for our Upset of the Week pick.
It was a thrilling Monday Night Football showdown that featured seven lead changes and back-and-forth, edge-of-the-seat action. Derrick Henry had a monster day rushing for 143 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill rushed for a score too and finished the night by going 18 of 29 for 216 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception.
A bold decision making by Mike Vrabel and a defensive stop on fourth down ultimately sealed the win for the Titans. Josh Allen and the Bills were a quarterback sneak away from scoring a game-winning touchdown in the final seconds of the game, only for the defense to make the critical stop.
— NFL (@NFL) October 19, 2021
Center Daniel Munyer (undisclosed), defensive lineman Larrell Murchison (elbow), safety Brady Breeze (leg), running back Darrynton Evans (knee), wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring), tackle Ty Sambraig (foot), linebacker Monty Rice (groin), running back Jeremy McNichols (ankle), and tackle Taylor Lewan (head), are all questionable. Cornerback Kristian Fulton (hamstring) and wide receiver Racey McMath (quadricep) are out indefinitely.
Betting on the Game
Kansas City is in uncharted territory following their worst start since 2015. The Chiefs are 3-3 straight up (SU) and 2-4-0 against the spread (ATS). They haven’t really beaten any team of note since the Week 1 victory over the Cleveland Browns, and they have struggled in all facets of the game through their first six matchups of the season. And yet, oddsmakers continue to shower the Chiefs with favor and bettors are still riding shotgun on the bandwagon.
Last weekend’s win over the WFT was the first time the Chiefs truly dominated in a game. Granted, it came in the second half as the Chiefs held the WFT scoreless while putting up 21 points. But as the saying goes, better late than never.
That said, the Titans, who are coming off a big win over the Bills, can take the measure of the Chiefs. How this game unfolds will determine whether the Chiefs are on the cusp of a turnaround. Kansas City needs this win, which is a strange thing to say considering the Chiefs are favored across online sports betting platforms. But the Titans need the win too, if only to back up last week’s upset and prove they’re legitimate contenders rather than pretenders.
The Chiefs aren’t up to their very own lofty standards, and while they can win this game, betting them on their moneyline odds of -220 is too great of a risk for not enough reward. The Titans odds are more tempting at +180 but that’s not a bet for the fainthearted. In terms of probability, they’re being given only a 32.3 percent chance of pulling off the upset, according to the odds.
Betting the Chiefs as the -4½ road chalk also carries risk seeing as they’ve struggled to cover games. They’re merely 2-4-0 ATS. On the flip side, the Titans are 4-2-0 ATS and riding a two-game covering streak into Week 7 on the back of wins over Jacksonville and Buffalo. The Titans twice were tipped as the +6 or greater underdogs and both times they not only covered but pulled off the upset.
All told, everything about this matchup screams tossup in the betting. It has the hallmarks of a shootout that could crack the lofty 57 ½ point total — and come down to the quarterback (or running back) to be in possession of the ball last. So, perhaps, the best betting strategy for NFL picks here is to hedge bets with the Chiefs for the win and the Titans to cover.