Tennessee at Kansas City
Sunday, 1:30 pm PT - CBS
CRIS Opener: Kansas City -7.5 O/U 45
CRIS Current: Kansas City -9 O/U 44.5
There’s been a flu bug ripping through the Chiefs complex this week, forcing the likes of Justin Houston and Travis Kelce into submission. Head coach Andy Reid is clearly concerned:
“We’ve tried to quarantine the guys the best we could, get them out of the building. Quarantine’s not the right word, but we’ve tried to get them away from the team, tried to isolate them the best we can. Things like this happen and we just kind of hope for the best there.”
It’s not like the Chiefs or Reid have a particularly good postseason track record or a good track record as chalk. KC is just 1-3 SU in the playoffs under Andy Reid, the lone win coming in 2015 against a Texans team that didn’t have anything resembling an NFL quarterback. In fact, since the start of the 2015 campaign, Reid’s Chiefs have been favored by -6.5 or more twelve times. They have more SU losses in that role (four) as they do pointspread covers (three).
The Chiefs have a matchup problem here as well. Based on Football Outsiders rankings, KC’s defense was ranked #30 overall and dead last (#32) against the run. The Titans run game has ranked in the top quartile of the NFL in each of the last two seasons. Even without RB DeMarco Murray (out), they’ve still got one of the most explosive backs in the NFL in Derrick Henry, who scored his third 65+ yard TD of the season with a ‘catch & run’ last week. Expect Tennessee to be able to move the chains on offense here.
Henry is more than a little bit fired up to take on KC this week, extremely critical of his own performance against the Jaguars last Sunday:
“I didn’t feel like a workhorse back. I kind of felt soft. “I am not really happy about that game at all. It hasn’t left my mind since the clock hit 0:00. I have been working hard this week and trying to get better than I was last week and looking forward to the game on Saturday. I just feel like I didn’t run like myself (vs Jacksonville). I wasn’t really happy. I could say other words, but I have to play better.”
And despite their consistent mediocrity this year – in sharp contrast to the Chiefs great start and finish, coupled with a dismal midseason run – the Titans have consistently hung tough in hostile environments, even against quality opposition. Since their ugly blowout at the hands of Deshaun Watson back in Week 4, the Titans have only suffered only loss by a TD or more; a -4 turnover debacle at Pittsburgh. I’m not anticipating a ‘turnover debacle’ repeat on Saturday, in a game that should be decided by a TD or less.