Coming off an AFC West division title, the Chiefs figure to be pretty good this season. But the biggest question mark is how they’ll handle their running back situation.
We’ll discuss their running backs soon and how it’ll affect their line against New England. But let’s first look at the odds on Thursday night’s (Sept 7) game.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots Odds (from GTBets.eu)
- Kansas City spread 8.5 (-109)
- Kansas City moneyline +320
- New England spread -8.5 (-111)
- New England moneyline -420
- Over 48 (-118)
- Under 48 (-102)
Kareem Hunt Starting – But then what?
Spencer Ware was set to start in Kansas City’s backfield after strong year in 2016. However, he hurt his PCL and will now be sidelined for the season.
Head coach Andy Reid quickly named Kareem Hunt the starting running back. The third-round pick out of Toledo had an excellent preseason, and he beat out Charcandrick West and C.J. Spiller for the role.
This seemed to settle who’d be playing one of the most-important positions on any Andy Reid team. But ESPN’s Adam Teicher reports that the situation may not be so cut and dried. Here’s what Teicher writes:
“Rookie Kareem Hunt will start but otherwise one of the unknowns surrounding the Chiefs heading into Thursday night’s game against the Patriots is how they will divide the playing time at running back. The Chiefs are again at three backs after re-signing C.J. Spiller. But Spiller has never played for the Chiefs and Hunt has never played in the NFL at all.
“The known quantity among their backs is Charcandrick West, who led the Chiefs in rushing in 2015. Offensive coordinator Matt Nagy indicated all three backs would play. “These guys are all prepared. They’re all prepared to play. They all know they’re a big part of this game plan. That’s the exciting part. We have a team of guys that we’re not just loaded with one guy at one position. We have a group of guys that can all play well and we trust them at all positions.”
What to expect from Chiefs Running Back Distribution
Last season, Ware carried the ball 214 times for 921 yards and 3 touchdowns. West was a distant second with 88 carries for 293 yards and 1 touchdown.
The feature back always gets lots of carries in an Andy Reid offense. That said, we expect to see a lot of Hunt in the early going.
The only question is if he’ll be able to keep up with blocking assignments. If not, we’ll likely see more of a 50/50 distribution between Hunt and a combination of West & Spiller.
Take Patriots on the Point Spread
As mentioned above, running back is very important in Reid’s offense. And the team can’t be happy going into the opener with so much uncertainty. Moreover, they’ll be starting a rookie against one of the league’s best all-around defenses.
To top it off, Kansas City will be on the road against what’s quite possibly the NFL’s best team. This is a big reason why – as a playoff team last year – they currently have a -8.5 line.
Given the running back mess and who the Chiefs are playing, we suggest taking New England at +8.5. Maybe Kansas City’s RB situation will clear up after this week, maybe it won’t.
Long story short, we don’t see them performing too well against the Patriots at Foxborough.