The 2017 NFL season kicks off on Thursday with the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots hosting the Kansas City Chiefs. Thanks to the season ending injury suffered by Julian Edelman during the preseason, the betting odds for Patriots game have changed, but they are still the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
Date: Thursday, [8:30] PM. ET.
Venue: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts
MyBookie Point Spread: Patriots -9 -115
Last season, the Patriots covered the spread in 16 of the 19 games they played, which tied an NFL record. The only other team to go 16-3 ATS was the 1989 San Francisco 49ers, who also won the Super Bowl.
The Patriots started their season as 8.5 point underdogs against the Arizona Cardinals last year in a game Tom Brady missed due to a suspension, and won the game. When Brady returned from his suspension, the team went 13-2 against the spread and covered in their final eight games.
The Chiefs were 9-7-1 ATS last season and 6-2 ATS on the road.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs were 12-4 last season and surprised a lot of people by winning the AFC West over the Raiders, who controlled the division lead for most of the season. The Chiefs were eliminated from the playoffs by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and would have faced the Patriots if they had been able to defeat Pittsburgh.
This season, the Chiefs may not be as good as they were last year after some surprising moves like the release of Jeremy Maclin, who was their best wide receiver. The team felt Maclin was expendable due to the emergence of Tyreke Hill. If Hill regresses this year, the offense will have a hard time without Maclin to bail out quarterback Alex Smith.
The Chiefs also released running back Jamaal Charles, who had been their best offensive weapon for the past few seasons. Charles’ release might have come as a surprise for some, but it made sense for the Chiefs since he has spent the better part of the last three seasons injured, and he also turned 30 in December, which is the age most running backs start to decline.
The Chiefs have lost six consecutive games at New England and are 2-4 ATS in those games.
New England Patriots
The Patriots are the favorites to win the Super Bowl this year, and if they can avoid another significant injury, there is no reason why they can’t win it for the second consecutive season.
One thing the team has to worry about going in to the season is the lack of a running game, which will affect quarterback Tom Brady’s ability to lead them back to the Super Bowl.
Last season, LaGarette Blount led the NFL in rushing touchdowns, but he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles during the offseason leaving a big void in the New England backfield. If the Patriots can’t run the ball effectively this year, they will force Brady to throw the ball more than he wants to, and at 40-years-old, that might be putting too much pressure on the future Hall of Famer.
You also have to remember that time remains undefeated, and if Brady’s skills diminish like Peyton Manning’s did at the end of his career, the Patriots won’t win the Super Bowl because Denver had a much better defense then than the Patriots do now.
The Chiefs are most likely going to lose this game, but they will keep it close so take Kansas City on the +9.