The Teaser: Pair New York Giants and Kansas City
Game 1: New York Giants vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Initial Line:
New York Giants -3.5 home vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Add 7 points to New York Giants’ line
The Final Line:
New York Giants +3.5
The New York Giants lost yet another tight game, this time falling on the road to Tampa Bay 25-23. The Los Angeles Chargers just can’t seem to get it together either, disappointing the home crowd with a 26-24 loss. Eli Manning seems to find more continuity with the offense with each passing week, throwing 30-49 for 288 yds and 2 pass TDs while adding a rush TD as well. Philip Rivers also had a solid game, going 22-38 for 347 yds and 2 TDs (although he did add a fumble as well).
These may be the two most disappointing teams in the NFL to this point, as both had high expectations going into the 2017 season but sit with matching 0-4 records. New York has had some issues mainly with their offensive line, as Eli has been constantly under duress. Los Angeles has dealt with a group of injuries combined with mistakes and poor fortunes depending on the week. To New York’s credit, they’ve had a tough schedule this season with road games against Dallas, Philadelphia, and Tampa Bay and a home game against Detroit (combined records of 10-5). Los Angeles also has had a tough schedule, but is 0-3 in their new home stadium. One of these teams has to win Sunday (unless there’s a tie which at this point wouldn’t shock me), and New York will have the home crowd at their side. One thing we do know is that both teams know how to keep their games close, as they’ve had 5 games out of 8 within 3 points this season (3 for LA, 2 for NY). I think New York will be able to finally get the victory they’ve been seeking, as their defense is too good to keep flopping every week and they’ll have the home crowd at their back. They’ve lost the last 2 by GW-FGs and that trend can’t continue, right? I’d feel better with some insurance points given their recent history, so adding 7 to get New York +3.5 sounds like the right number to grab.
Game 2: Kansas City vs. Houston
The Initial Line:
Kansas City pk (even) away vs. Houston
Add 7 points to Kansas City’s line
The Final Line:
Kansas City +7
Kansas City remains the only undefeated team in the NFL after their victory on Monday Night Football, holding off Washington at home 29-20. Alex Smith continues to shine this year, throwing 27-37 for 293 yds with a passing and rushing touchdown. Houston got their most dominant win (ever) with a blowout against division rival Tennessee, crushing at home 57-14. Deshaun Watson had the best game of his career, throwing for 283 yds and 4 TD (and 1 INT) while also rushing for a TD.
Kansas City has proven to be the best team in the NFL so far this year, and Houston sits at 2-2 and has kicked up their tempo recently. Almost more surprising than Smith has been the play of rookie RB Kareem Hunt, who once again ran for over 100 yds and leads the NFL in rushing yards while averaging 7.4 yards/carry. He will be a tough task for Houston who ranks 14th in rushing yards/game. QB Watson will also have to deal with the fact that Kansas City ranks in the top 10 in points allowed/game, so their success against Tennessee will likely not translate fully. The other factor in this game may be the fact that KC doesn’t turn the ball over much on offense (once to be exact) and sports the 5th best turnover differential in the NFL. Now this should stay a tight game given the caliber of talent on both teams, and there’s a reason this one’s a pick’em for both sides. That’s why we feel that grabbing extra points with a stable Kansas City squad is the smart play, and a cover with a 7 pt cushion sounds like a lock given they’ve only lost by more than 7 once in the last 2 years of the regular season.