Is this the Super Bowl preview?
The New Orleans Saints host the Kansas City Chiefs today and both teams are in prime positions to make a lot of noise in the postseason. In this game, the Saints return Drew Brees to the starting role behind center, back from his rib and chest injuries suffered in the New Orleans win over the San Francisco 49ers five weeks ago.
How important is it that the Saints get Brees back?
That is somewhat debatable, until last week’s upset loss in Philadelphia, the Saints had won eight straight games with Brees sidelined with injuries. But, let's get real, this is Brees, one of the greatest of all time and a sure fire bet to gain entrance to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Now, while he is one the best to ever play quarterback, Brees is in the twilight of his magnificent career. Today, he is up against an opponent, Patrick Mahomes, who is also a likely first ballot Hall of Famer and in the prime of his career, his fourth professional season.
But, while Brees may be getting old, and missing Michael Thomas from his receiving corps for the rest of the regular season, he is also well rested after being sidelined with his injuries. The Saints no doubt want to give Brees some live combat drills before the playoffs, and there's no better opponent to break in against than the Chiefs.
Because, they have an offense that will keep the pressure on Brees to trade points, and a defense that is not their calling card. While the Chiefs defense is above average, it is not an intimidating unit that strikes fear in their opponents. They don’t have plaques of injured quarterbacks on their walls like a hunter mounts his kill.
Kansas City is very special, the defending Super Bowl Champions and possess the best record in the NFL at 12-1. The Saints come into this game with10 wins. When two quality teams meet and one team has a two game advantage, the pendulum of balance favors the team that is likely to win and pull to within one game as opposed to falling three behind.
The public likes the Chiefs, they do every week, but no team in the NFL currently has a longer active point spread losing streak than Kansas City. They have won their most recent five games, but failed to cover the point spread in wins over the Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins. When a team is winning, but failing to cover the point spread, it is more likely they will lose a game straight-up before scoring an easy win.
Now, with a line as little as three points or less, one might well consider that the straight-up winner today in the Big Easy will also be the point spread winner. The public thinks that is Kansas City, the books don’t.
The opening line on this game had the Chiefs favored by 4 points, and even while the public continues to back their fortunes, the books have sliced that line to three points or less.
In this case, less is more.
Qoxhi Picks: New Orleans Saints (+3) over Kansas City Chiefs