It’s Christmas Eve, know what happened the day after Halloween?
Let me give you a hint, the Kansas City Chiefs played the New York Jets. Why is that significant?
Because while the Chiefs beat the Jets on November 1, everyone did until the Rams got tripped up last Sunday, they also covered the point spread. Against the Jets, the Chiefs were playing their first home game since suffering their only loss of the season, a 40-32 setback to the Las Vegas Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium, and downed the Jets, 35-9.
What makes that game eight weeks ago against New York significant?
The Chiefs haven’t beaten a point spread since.
Probably surprises the public bettors who have backed the Chiefs with their money in all six of those games, and lost all of them until getting a push last Sunday when as a 3 point road favorite the Chiefs beat the New Orleans Saints, 32-29.
How can this be? How can the team with the best record in the standings, 13-1, burn money at a quicker pace over the past two months than any team in the league?
Because the books want it that way, and the Chiefs are every bit as much of their friend as the New England Patriots were in 2007. That year, the Patriots took a perfect season record into the Super Bowl against the New York Giants.
What do I mean they were a friend to the books?
That year, the season the Patriots almost matched the 1972 Miami Dolphins perfect campaign, they separated bettors from their money like a magnet collects metal shavings. Early in the Patriots near perfect season, the books took a thumping. The public popular New England squad won their first eight games both straight-up and against the point spread. By the time Tom Brady and his crew drilled the Buffalo Bills, 52-7, on October 28th, their eighth straight point spread triumph, the public had figured out how to withdraw money from the NFL point spread bank … just bet the Pats.
Well, over the final six weeks of the regular season, and all three postseason games, that strategy won once and lost eight times.
Books don’t lose forever.
They have two major factors working in their favor when a public backed team continues to win while failing to cover the point spread. First, the team losing games against the number but continuing to win straight-up will not lose public support, even while they are returning the profits they earned their backers over the first half of a campaign. Second, when a team is winning it is tough to be inspired to catch a motivational sporkett to do better. That is, a win is a win, and before a good team will have their attention significantly grabbed enough to blow out an opponent, they will routinely do enough to win while falling short of covering the number the books pin them with on the spread.
In 2007, the Patriots lost five straight point spread decisions, including two in the playoffs, before they finally suffered their only straight-up loss of the season, as a double-digit favorite against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
It is worth noting, that the only point spread decision the Chiefs haven’t lost since the day after Halloween was last Sunday in New Orleans, and that game opened with them favored by four points and was moved down to a field goal margin before kickoff. This, while more than 70% of the public wagers were backing the Chiefs even when they were giving four points on the spread.
So, what moved the line down?
While the public was backing Kansas City for a 14th straight time, wise guy money was looking to cash with a wager on the home underdog Saints. This week, the line on the Chiefs opened with Kansas City favored at home over the Atlanta Falcons by 10½ points, a spread that hasn’t moved while the enthusiasm for public bets on the Chiefs has softened, they currently are backing the home team at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday by a 57% margin.
What does this mean?
It means this, if the Chiefs were to lose a game over the final three weeks of the regular season they would be in a position to once again throttle down on an opponent and defeat them by a wide margin in their next outing. But, before they get that straight-up loss, the Chiefs will be overpriced, bet on by the public, and in no position to win by double-digits.
We wouldn’t want to miss this week, because if the Chiefs get upset here then their next game becomes a lot tougher to predict. And while the chances of the Falcons beating the Chiefs is only slightly better than the Jets downing the Rams or Bengals upsetting the Steelers, it could happen.
Qoxhi Picks: Atlanta Falcons (+10½) over Kansas City Chiefs