Chiefs, Rams set for highly anticipated showdown

Point Spread odds (As of Nov. 14)

Kansas City Chiefs +3.5 (1.95)
Los Angeles Rams -3.5 (1.90)


Will this be a Super Bowl LIII preview? That will sort itself out eventually over these next several weeks. For now, the Week 11 Monday Night Football matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams is oozing with potential to be the most thrilling, offensively explosive matchup of the 2018 regular season.

Which is why, when this matchup opened at the beginning of the week, the Over/Under for Chiefs-Rams in primetime was set at 63.5 – believed to be perhaps the highest-ever mark set for total points in an NFL game.

This game was supposed to be played in Mexico City. However, poor field conditions caused officials to relocate the game back to L.A. The Chiefs, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, go into Monday’s game as 3.5-point road underdogs at PlayNow.com, as of Wednesday afternoon.

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The Chiefs are 8-2 against the spread this season, and 12-3 against the spread in their last 15 games overall. The Rams have struggled in this area, sitting at 2-6 against the spread in their last eight home games.

Both teams have identical 9-1 records. Both teams sit atop their respective conferences. And, as we alluded to earlier, both teams possess frighteningly talented offences full of playmakers – and schemes that play to the strengths of those players.

The Chiefs are averaging 35.3 points per game, second in the entire league. They lead the NFL in total points per game with 353, although the New Orleans Saints – just 23 total points back in that category – have played one fewer game. The Rams are third in the league in average points at 33.5 per game. The Chiefs and Rams also sit second and third, respectively, in yards gained per game.

Translation? The opposing defences could be in for a long night – a very long night, indeed. Which, for the fans and bettors alike, should make for a roller coaster ride of emotions as we take it all in.

This game will also act as a showcase for three players currently among the favourites in the NFL Regular Season Most Valuable Player market. Mahomes, in his first year as a starting quarterback, has been spectacular with 31 touchdown passes compared to only seven interceptions. He is now the favourite to win the MVP, with odds of 1.95 at PlayNow.com.

When the season started just over two months ago, Mahomes’ odds to win MVP were a modest 60.00. Over the course of just 10 days, those odds experienced a seismic shift, rapidly moving into the single digits. As of Wednesday, about 29.9 per cent of money wagered on the NFL MVP Special was on Mahomes to win.

He’ll certainly command the spotlight Monday, as he did versus Tom Brady during a Sunday Night Football game earlier in the year. That said, Todd Gurley’s odds for MVP have shifted over the weeks, as well. The seemingly unstoppable Rams running back began the year with odds of 18.00 to win MVP, but he’s now at 5.20 to win, third on the list with only Drew Brees in between him and Mahomes.

As of Wednesday, 13.2 per cent of money was on Gurley to win NFL MVP, although at this stage in the season, he’s undoubtedly the MVP of your respective fantasy league.

Jared Goff, the Rams quarterback, had odds of 26.00 to win MVP earlier in the year. For a three-week period in October, those odds dipped into the single digits, before rising again to 20.00 at the beginning of this week. Goff has thrown for 22 touchdowns and only six interceptions as the quarterback of an offence that certainly focuses on Todd Gurley but has an array of speedy, star receivers that keep defences on their heels.

Now, back to our earlier point about this being a potential Super Bowl LIII preview: There are many outside factors when it comes to winning a championship, and while the Chiefs and Rams seem capable of doing great things in the playoffs in January, other teams have forced their way into the conversation.

The Saints have won eight in a row. The L.A. Chargers and Houston Texans have won six straight. Don’t sleep on the Pittsburgh Steelers sans Le’Veon Bell. And while the Patriots didn’t look good at all in Week 10, are you *really* going to look the other way on that team?

The Rams are the current Super Bowl LIII favourites, with odds of 4.80 to win it all, while the Saints are next on the list of favourites at 5.20 and the Chiefs third at 5.60. There isn’t much of a discrepancy between the Rams and Chiefs when it comes to the percentage of money placed on this particular outright market.

About 16.2 per cent of the money is on the Rams to win Super Bowl LIII. About 14.9 per cent is on the Chiefs. From a betting perspective, there is more at stake heading into this Monday Night Football matchup than a historic Over/Under.

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