Kansas City Chiefs NFL Betting Preview: Ready to Repeat

Posted on: September 6, 2020, 12:59h. 

Last updated on: September 6, 2020, 11:14h.

Most Super Bowl champions open the season as the betting favorite to repeat. The Kansas City Chiefs, however, are more heavily favored than some past champions.

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are the favorite to repeat as Super Bowl champions. (Image: Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

At this time last year, for instance, the reigning champion New England Patriots were +700 at FanDuel. This year, the Chiefs are +600 at FanDuel and even lower elsewhere, including +450 at Westgate SuperBook.

While the betting odds favor the Chiefs, the historical odds are against them. Of the 54 Super Bowl champions, only seven have won back-to-back titles – and none since the Patriots in 2003 and 2004.

With perhaps the best player in the sport in Patrick Mahomes, a track team of skill-position players around him, and esteemed coach Andy Reid putting it all together, Kansas City enters the season as a nine-point favorite in Thursday’s NFL opener against Houston.

Over/Under: 11.5 Wins

Mahomes is the new face of the NFL, and for good reason. In 2018, he had one of the great seasons in league history, with 5,097 passing yards and 50 touchdowns to win the MVP award. In 2019, he threw for 4,031 yards in 14 games, but was brilliant in the playoffs. He led the Chiefs back from a 24-0 deficit in the divisional round against Houston, then rallied the team past Tennessee in the AFC Championship Game and San Francisco in the Super Bowl.

With a prolific offense and underrated defense, it’s no wonder the public is backing the Chiefs.

The Chiefs have received the most money to win the Super Bowl this year,” said Ed Salmons, the vice president of risk management and oddsmaking at Westgate SuperBook, to Casino.org. “Usually the team that wins the Super Bowl the year before gets the most money, and the Chiefs money hasn’t disappointed. We wrote two separate bets of $25,000 at 5/1 and $50,000 at 5/1 to win the Super Bowl.”

Kansas City is an overwhelming favorite to win the AFC West. At SuperBook, it’s -400 to win the division, well ahead of the Chargers at +700.

The consensus over/under win total is 11.5, with DraftKings’ bet of -121 on the over and +100 on the under being representative of the odds at sportsbooks.

Honor Roll

Led by Mahomes, Kansas City’s offense is loaded. With Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Mecole Hardman at receiver, and Travis Kelce at tight end, no quarterback in the league has a better group of weapons in the passing game.

Mahomes is a heavy favorite to win MVP honors. He is +350 at PointsBet (Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson is second at +600), where he’s also the favorite to lead the NFL in passing yards at +450. Mahomes is +380 to win MVP at FanDuel (Jackson and Seattle’s Russell Wilson are +700), where his over/under for passing yards is 4,499.5.

Maybe the rich are getting richer. Kansas City used its first-round pick on running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who is +300 to win Rookie of the Year at DraftKings. That trails only the +250 for the No. 1 overall pick, Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow.

For all the talk about the offense, the defense is no joke. The Chiefs finished seventh in points allowed last season. Defensive tackle Chris Jones (nine sacks) and defensive end Frank Clark (eight) provide the pass rush. Veteran Tyrann Mathieu (four interceptions) and up-and-coming Juan Thornhill (three interceptions) form a top combo at safety.

With all that talent, the perception of Reid’s role is diminished. Thus, he’s only +2,500 to win Coach of the Year at SuperBook. That’s well behind the +1,000 of the favorites, Dallas’ Mike McCarthy and Tampa Bay’s Bruce Arians.

Editor’s Note: This is the 25th of 32 NFL team previews and the first of four on the AFC West.