AFC Divisional Playoffs – Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes and the high-scoring Kansas City Chiefs will look to avoid becoming the latest team to fall at the hands of Andrew Luck and the visiting Indianapolis Colts when the two Super Bowl hopefuls square off in their highly intriguing AFC Divisional round showdown on Saturday, live from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
With the Colts looking to extend their winning ways and the Chiefs looking to avoid the dubious distinction of a one-and-done playoff appearance, let’s find out which team is offering the bet betting value in this AFC clash.
If you’re thinking about backing Indianapolis as a 6-point road dog, then you should know there are several great reasons to do just that. First, the Colts are undoubtedly playing their best football of the season at just the right time. Indianapolis closed out the regular season by winning four consecutive games and a scorching nine of their last 10 games overall. Better yet, Indy’s underrated defense has gotten stingier with each passing game.
That improved defense took center stage in the Colts’ surprisingly overpowering 21-7 win over the Houston Texans in their AFC wild card matchups against their AFC South division rivals on Saturday. Superstar quarterback Andrew Luck passed for 222 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the win while running back Marlon Mack rushed for 148 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.
“We know we have an elite quarterback and we can throw it for 400 and win when we have to,” Indianapolis coach Frank Reich said. “But the margin for error in playoff football when you try to do it that way is very thin. When you can win like this — running the football and stopping it — that’s just everything.”
Despite missing all of 2017 with a shoulder injury, Luck has played like an MVP candidate this season by passing for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns. Indianapolis has been surprisingly solid on both sides of the ball in ranking fifth in scoring (27.1 ppg) and an encouraging 10th in points allowed (21.5 ppg).
• Colts are 7-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
• Colts are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
• Colts are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
• Colts are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
• Colts are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
• Colts are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 vs. AFC.
Kansas City Chiefs
If you’re thinking about backing Kansas City as a slightly less than touchdown home favorite, then there looks like a handful of great reasons for you to do just that. First, here’s the fact that the Chiefs lead the league in scoring by averaging a stunning 35.3 points per game. Then, another great reason to back Kansas City is that the Chiefs have gone a near-perfect 7-1 SU at Arrowhead Stadium this season. Kansas City also has a quarterback that threw for more yards and touchdown passes in gifted second-year signal-caller Patrick Mahomes.
The strong-armed former Texas Tech star has passed for a whopping 5,097 yards while becoming just the third player in NFL history to throw 50 touchdown passes in a single season. In addition to that, Kansas City also have a bunch of gifted players at the skill positions for Mahomes to hook up with, starting with fleet-footed wide receiver Tyreek Hill and Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce. Last but not least, Kansas City will be highly motivated after suffering a trio of losses over their final six games following their stupendous 8-1 start through nine games.
• Chiefs are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following an ATS win.
• Chiefs are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 vs. AFC.
• Chiefs are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in January.
• Chiefs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.
• Chiefs are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
• Chiefs are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 playoff games.
• Chiefs are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win.
• Chiefs are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 playoff home games.
• Chiefs are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 Divisional Playoffs games.
Expert Pick and Prediction
I know the Colts are playing outstanding football and that they looked great in Saturday’s win over Houston, particularly on defense, I’m thinking Indianapolis is going to have their hands more than full in trying to stop a Chiefs offense that is far more dangerous than Houston’s was at any point this season.
Yes, I know the Colts are a near-perfect 7-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings in Kansas City and a bankroll-boosting 11-4 ATS in their last 15 meetings against Kansas City overall, but the majority of those dominating trends was compiled when Peyton Manning was still playing his trade in Indianapolis.
While the Road team in this series has gone 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings, Kansas City has gone 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS win and a bankroll-boosting 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games against their AFC counterparts. While 54 percent of public bettors are currently backing Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts to cover the near-touchdown spread, I’m going to advise you to back Kansas City to narrowly cover the chalk in a thriller as Patrick Mahomes narrowly outshines Andrew Luck!
Predicted Score: Kansas City Chiefs 31 | Indianapolis Colts 24
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