We will bet against the Chiefs Thursday when they face the Rams in a preseason Battle of Missouri. Not just because they were shut out by the Buccaneers in Week 1 and were pummelled by the Ravens in Week 2. Not just because they look disjointed and disinterested and spend as much time getting into locker room fights as fighting on the field.
Kansas City is 3-23-1 ATS in the NFL preseason going back to August of 2004. Say it another way: if you bet against the Chiefs the last 27 times they played in the preseason, you would have won 23 times and lost just three wagers.
"It’s been a pretty remarkable run of futility, especially in a preseason NFL betting structure where the lines are usually sharp and the other team isn’t even trying to win half the time," said Mike Pickett of OddsShark.com, the odds partner for SBNation.
"You keep expecting the pattern to change, but we faded them twice already this year and won both times. They just don’t seem ready, and the Rams are hungry." [ Rams vs Chiefs Matchup Report ] Indeed, the Chiefs opened as 2.5-point home underdogs, a rare situation in the preseason where home teams are almost always favored. It has been bet down to +1 at one shop tracked by Odds Shark.
The home underdog situation actually prevails a few times in Week 3. And not just a single point either.
In Indianapolis, the Colts are whopping 9.5-point home pups. The Packers come in ready to rumble and have plenty of public backing. But 10 points on the road in an exhibition game?
The OVER may be a safer play if you are betting the Colts Packers matchup as Green Bay has played OVER the total in 13 of their past 15 exhibition games.
Likewise in Detroit, where the allegedly improving Lions are 4-point home dogs against the visiting Patriots. New England bettors have been pocketing cash as their team rolls through the preseason schedule and the Lions have been a solid play lately, going 6-1 ATS in preseason games.