Divisional Wins for the Kansas City Chiefs
In 2013 the Kansas City Chiefs decided to make a change to their offense adding Head Coach Andy Reid and moving on from Matt Cassell to bring in Alex Smith. Smith was just recently benched for Colin Kaepernick. Who was coming off an amazing playoff run, carrying the San Francisco 49ers to the Superbowl. Leaving Alex Smith without a job he moved onto Kansas City where he and Andy Reid revitalized the Kansas City fan base, leading to a top 2 finish within the division every year as a head coach, while only finishing with single-digit wins in one season. After realizing Mahomes was the future, the Chiefs traded Smith to Washington and the Mahomes era began.
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The Kansas City Chiefs are in no way looking like a team in decline as we have seen in the past. Most teams have a two-to-three-year Superbowl window where they are taking advantage of a quarterback playing above the level to which his contract suggests. Being able to underpay for a quarterback is key to any great Superbowl run. The chiefs were considered in that window when they reached their first Superbowl with Mahomes. Now slated to make $45 million a season, Mahomes is the highest-paid QB in the league and still looking to outperform his contract. Even with the huge contract for Mahomes, the Chiefs were able to fill the gap Eric Fisher left behind by adding Joe Thuney. Thuney is one of the best pass blockers in the league and was part of the fantastic offensive lines protecting Brady in New England over the past few years. What makes the Chiefs offense so dynamic is how the pass catchers for the chiefs are able to break free of their coverage when Mahomes extend plays. You need a great offensive line anchoring your offense to make that happen. We all saw what happened in the Superbowl when the Bucs pass rush was able to get to Mahomes early and often.
As a starter, Mahomes is 16-2 against the AFC West opponents while never losing more than one game in a season. The Chiefs are favorited to win every AFC West game by at least three points this season. That lone 3-point favorite game comes against the Broncos in week 18. This spread appears low, most likely Vegas is expecting them to sit starters that week to prepare for the playoffs. Other than that game, the Chiefs are at least a touchdown favorite in every other divisional game, with the closest spread being 6.5 points. The Chiefs will see an implied odds to win their divisional games between 75 and 85%. Only that Denver game, week 18, shows an implied odds at around 60% but those odds are only based on Vegas projecting the starters to sit. If the Starters have to play this will mean the Chiefs will be in a must-win spot leading to a huge spread and high implied odds.
These seem to be ridiculous odds, giving plus money to a team that has dominated this division since Mahomes was the starter. The only scenario I see this bet missing is due to injury or the ability to rest starters week 18 ahead of a playoff run. This being a likely scenario but that would mean they went 5-0 in their division already ahead of week 18, meaning the bet already hit.