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Playoff Bound
by Dennis Ranahan

The Seattle Seahawks host the Kansas City Chiefs tonight with playoff implications for both teams. Based on what happened yesterday, do you think the Chiefs have less of an edge to beat the Seahawks tonight?

Last week, the Chiefs lost to the Los Angeles Chargers, and while they still own the tiebreaker over Los Angeles for the AFC West title, having your record be equal with a division opponent is not a comfortable lead. Then, the Chargers get beat by the Baltimore Ravens last night, and now the Chiefs only have to win one of their last two games to clinch both the division and home field advantage in the AFC playoffs.

While it is interesting to contemplate how results from other games affect another contest, I think it only comes into play when coaches make decisions based on needing a game or not. How the players are going to perform is not tied to something that happened in the last 24 hours, but how the athletes prepared all week. The Chiefs and Seahawks both come into this game off rare losses, Seattle was beaten in San Francisco last Sunday while the Chiefs were upset at home by the Chargers a week ago Thursday, which could serve to spike the performance of either team this week.

Good teams, the Seahawks and Chiefs both qualify, have a solid winning percentage following a loss. So, who has the advantage tonight given they are both looking to reverse last week’s results?

While the Chiefs have clinched a playoff berth and are near a division title, the Seahawks only path into the postseason is via a Wild Card berth. There are three teams vying for two Wild Card openings in the NFC, along with the Seahawks, the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles are in the hunt. Entering tonight, the Vikings and Seahawks have the edge over Philadelphia, and with a win by Seattle against the Chiefs they will clinch one of the two berths. That would leave the final week of the regular season to determine if Minnesota or Philadelphia is the final postseason qualifier.

If the Chiefs win in Seattle, they would clinch home field advantage and have nothing to play for next week.

While the Chiefs remain one of the favorite team’s for the public to wager on, good offenses will inspire such actions, Kansas City has been a money burner for nearly two months.

Since October, the Chiefs have won only one point spread decision, and their 5-2 straight-up mark since October 28th, has been reduced to a 1-5-1 record against the line.

Tonight, appears an unlikely venue for Kansas City to reverse their downward point spread trend, while the Seahawks appear positioned to seize a playoff berth.

The Chiefs want it and the Seahawks need it. That basic fact lends the advantage to the home team.

Qoxhi Picks: Seattle Seahawks (+1) over Kansas City Chiefs