NFL: This daring pairing of underdogs could pay dividends on Sunday

The Chiefs have lit up the early stages of the 2018 NFL season under Patrick Mahomes, but there's value in opposing them this weekend...


Kansas City @ San Francisco: San Francisco +6.5 – 10/11

Time to step right in front of the Pat Mahomes train.

There will only be so long that he can bail out this defence, which is ranked dead last in defensive DVOA according to Football Outsiders.

San Fran have performed as expected, running Minnesota close as a six-point ‘dog and being a dodgy defensive holding call away from probably beating Detroit last week by 17 as a six-point favourite.

Aug 11, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid reacts to play on the sidelines during the second half against the San Francisco 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports’s NFL odds strip sack the quarterback every time

Before the season this game was KC -3, meaning the market rated both teams almost identically when homefield advantage is factored in. Mahomes throws for 10 TDs and no INTs in the first two weeks and we get an extra 3.5pts for San Fran just like that!

I won’t lie and say I haven’t adjusted my ratings for Mahomes’ excellent start to the season (1.5pt upgrade). A 3.5pt adjustment is too much in my opinion with the defence giving up almost 7 yards per play – time to trust Jimmy G in what should be an early season block buster in Arrowhead.

Sep 17, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) is tackled by Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack (52) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago @ Arizona: Arizona +5.5 – 5/6

A team doesn’t cross midfield on offence until the final play of the game in Week 2 – time to put our money behind them in Week 3!

For the Cardinals, the returning Markus Golden on the defensive line will help a unit who have not got a break because of the inept Arizona offence.

Jan 24, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) runs the ball against Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Markus Golden (44) during the first quarter in the NFC Championship football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters
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(TAGS: Sport American Football NFL) *** Local Caption *** 2016-01-25T000105Z_1918795508_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_NFL-NFC-CHAMPIONSHIP-ARIZONA-CARDINALS-AT-CAROLINA-PANTHERS.JPG

Mitchell Trubisky hasn’t done much outside the scripted plays and drives to start games and in my opinion doesn’t deserve to be anything bigger than a field goal favourite on the road out west.

No matter how good Khalil Mack and the rest of that Bears defence is, I predict their offence will struggle once they run the 10 or 15 plays they work all week on.

It runs true for most football games, but whoever turns the ball over less should win this one and at the price, I’m happy to take a punt on Arizona (again)!

*All odds correct at time of posting

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