KC Defense Faces the Ultimate Test
The Kansas City defense showed some improvements last week in a 31-13 win at Washington, but the challenge gets a lot tougher ahead of the Week 7 NFL picks. Now the Chiefs’ #27 rush defense (133.2 ypg) faces the Titans and Derrick Henry, who is coming off 143 yards and three TDs vs. Buffalo.
It wouldn’t have been a surprise to see sportsbooks set the Chiefs as underdogs in this game, but both BetOnline and BetUS have KC as -5.5 road favorites. Totals betting has the number set at 57.5, the highest of the Week 7 slate.
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Can Chiefs Get the Road Win?
Kansas City allowed just one TD in last week’s win over Washington, giving up just 276 total yards. That was a breakthrough performance for the Chiefs, who had allowed 29+ ppg in each of the five games prior.
Betting lines reflect oddsmakers feeling the Chiefs have righted their woes on defense, but there’s a big difference between Washington and Tennessee. In the past month, KC has given up 7 TD passes total to Josh Allen and Justin Herbert, while Jalen Hurts also added 387 through the air against the Chiefs.
For all the issues the Chiefs have had defending the pass recently, they are also one of the five worst teams in the league against the run. Even Washington ran for 94 yards on just 19 carries last week and held a 13-10 lead going into the half.
Of course, the Chiefs are still .500 on the season, even with their defensive issues. That’s what happens when you’ve got Patrick Mahomes and the #2 total (433.5) and passing (308.5) yards per game. KC also has an improved rushing game this year, going for 100+ in four straight.
Titans Run Game Looks Like Too Much
It was another week and another game of Derrick Henry absolutely ripping through a defense when the Titans beat the Bills 34-31 on Monday night. The victory over a quality opponent bolstered Tennessee as an AFC championship contender following a win over 1-5 Jacksonville and a loss to the 1-4 Jets.
The Titans are still home underdogs for Sunday’s betting odds despite the fact that Henry has rushed for 130+ yards in three straight games. Henry’s 783 yards on the ground are 250+ more than the next leading rusher Nick Chubb, and he’s averaging nearly five yards per attempt.
It should be a healthy dose of Henry in this matchup, but A.J. Brown also looked good in the Titans passing game with a season-high seven catches for 91 yards. Julio Jones also had a 48-yard catch as he and Brown are starting to get healthy for QB Ryan Tannehill.
Any time you match up with Kansas City, it’s a stressful week for the opposing defensive coordinator. Josh Allen threw for 353 yards last week against the Titans as Tennessee has dipped to 24th in the league vs. the pass (276.3). On the bright side, Mike Vrabel’s squad gives up just 107.7 ypg, which is 10th best in the NFL.
Chiefs at Titans Pick
The betting lines seem kind of strange for this one considering all the struggles Kansas City has had on defense this season. Sure the Chiefs’ offense can usually make up for a lot of those woes but look for Tennessee to just keep pounding and pounding the ball until fatigue sets in for the Chiefs.
The Titans’ pass offense is also improving, so look for both of these teams to score at will. In a situation like that, it’s often the team that has the ball last that prevails, making the points look tempting.
Pick: Titans +5.5