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ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

This week's ESPN+ Upset Watch looks at how the Chiefs can beat the Patriots: Patrick Mahomes needs to perform under pressure and the Chiefs have to figure out how to improve their run defense. Cover Watch looks at Arizona at Minnesota.

Comments

26 comments, Last at 15 Oct 2018, 11:08am

1 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by dryheat // Oct 12, 2018 - 7:27am

I'm not sure how many people who have been paying attention would call this an upset. It feels more like a coin flip. KC's has played well in Foxboro the last few seasons.

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2 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by aces4me // Oct 12, 2018 - 8:42am

Considering how fast KC is on offense and how slow NE is on Def I was shocked to see Pats as the favorite in this game. If Bill can figure out a way to beat KC with that D he has reestablished his title of defensive master. I kinda expect a KC blowout.

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3 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by ronnyo // Oct 12, 2018 - 9:12am

Last three games:

@NE 9/7/17: KC 42, NE 27
@NE 1/6/16: NE 27, KC 20
@KC 9/29/14: KC 41, NE 14

So NE has gotten stomped twice (including at Gillette last year) and their win was by one TD, in the playoffs after a bye week.

Doesn't seem like KC is the underdog here to me either. But I think the odds are set/adjusted based on how people are betting, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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7 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by Eddo // Oct 12, 2018 - 11:04am

They're based on how people are betting, yes, but it's more complex based on that.

Vegas's main incentive is to get equal action on both sides of a line, so that no matter who wins, they still profit because of the vigorish (the cut that they take on every bet, more or less).

However, Vegas tends to set lines as close to "reality" as possible, because if lines are skewed, then the sharp bettors will put large sums on the side that is more "correct". As a result, Vegas, generally, is really accurate when setting lines, regardless of how the general public perceives a game.

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10 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by dryheat // Oct 12, 2018 - 11:20am

The box score looks like last season's season opener was a KC blowout, but it was much closer than the final score. Most people have forgotten that the Patriots entered the fourth quarter with the lead, and the game got out of hand late.

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17 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by RobotBoy // Oct 12, 2018 - 6:10pm

Because Week 1 games three years ago are indicative of...?

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4 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by voytron // Oct 12, 2018 - 10:01am

It's not even an upset according to the odds. I just checked Bovada and the Chiefs are +3. That's literally even on a neutral field. I have no idea how this could possibly be considered an upset. The betting odds don't support it, public opinion doesn't support it, the team's records don't support it, and the past meeting data doesn't support it. Where is this coming from?

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8 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by Eddo // Oct 12, 2018 - 11:05am

Yes, the odds factor in three points for home field, but definitionally, this would still be an upset, because the Patriots are favored. "Upset Watch", as Aaron states below, uses Vegas lines to determine what would be an upset, so this qualifies.

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13 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by aces4me // Oct 12, 2018 - 2:19pm

Every place I know to look has NE as a 3.5 Pt favorite.

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14 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by aces4me // Oct 12, 2018 - 2:20pm

My double post fu failed.

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5 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by nat // Oct 12, 2018 - 10:41am

This is nuts. By DVOA, the Chiefs are well ahead of the Patriots, enough to justify being comfortable favorites even after adjusting for being on the road. Even if we go by DAVE and add 15% for home field, the Patriots are ahead only enough to be favored by a point or so.

Is there anyone who would be surprised to see the Chiefs win by 10 or more in this game? Really? I know I wouldn't be.

Sure, the Patriots could surprise us all and pull off a close win. But that would be the upset.

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20 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by RobotBoy // Oct 13, 2018 - 6:02am

Really don't see how it would be a 'surprise' if the Pats won a close game. The Pats are probably much more the team of the past two weeks than they were of the first three.
DVOA and DAVE don't include the return of Edelman, the steady incorporation of Gordon and a non-gimpy Gronk, or the fact that the Pats are coming off a mini-bye. The Chiefs D is quite banged up and will be without its best LB and best safety, with only limited participation from their starting OLB. I'm well aware that we live in an era of passing-inflation but it's interesting to note that no team has ever surrendered more than three 400+yard passing games in a season. In five games, the Chiefs have allowed three. The Pats D might turn out to be decent but even if it's mediocre, I have a hard time believing that Chiefs D will outperform it come Sunday.
Given those facts, a close Pats wins seems like one of the more likely scenarios. Another, of course, is a close Chief's win. I might not take the Pats -3 but straight up seems like a reasonable bet.

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21 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by sbond101 // Oct 14, 2018 - 12:01am

Agree with this; I'm somewhat surprised the Vegas line is as tight as it is given the situation. A week one loss last year that the Pat's in a game that could have easily gone either way despite the ultimate 14 point gap, against a different QB and with a defense with 50%+ personal turnover, really doesn't mean much. The argument to make the chiefs the favorite is that the way the NE offense has looked the last two games (suddenly superbowl caliber) is a result of a lower level of competition - I really don't think that stands up to scrutiny on the tape - Edelmen & Gordon are a huge improvement over what they were trotting out at WR the first three weeks.

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22 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by RobotBoy // Oct 14, 2018 - 11:34pm

Just the way I drew it up.

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23 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by dryheat // Oct 15, 2018 - 9:00am

I don't think anybody's concerned with the Patriots on the offensive side of the ball.

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24 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by sbond101 // Oct 15, 2018 - 9:26am

Serious question - after last night is it appropriate to be encouraged about the Pats D because they forced 2 turnovers in the first half, or discouraged because they got caught gambling for the big play in the second half a couple of times? personally I'm in the former camp; and really don't think it would have been close if the Pat's clean up some of their other sloppiness (the kick-return, the totally unnecessary Brady-fumble, and the strange squib-kickoff in the first half).

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26 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by dryheat // Oct 15, 2018 - 11:08am

I'm personally discouraged, because after being exposed in the Super Bowl as being slow and coverage-deficient, they really haven't addressed the problem, and it's about the Lions and Jaguars games as much as this one.

History has not been kind to Patriots teams with all offense and no defense, as far as counting Super Bowl wins is concerned.

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6 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by Aaron Schatz // Oct 12, 2018 - 10:42am

FYI, the rule for Upset Watch is that I write about a game where one team is favored by 3 or more points. This is a game where one team is favored by 3 or more points. I don't make the lines. :)

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9 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by dryheat // Oct 12, 2018 - 11:19am

Sure, but there are many games where one team is favored by 3 or more points. Surely one of them would be a more appropriate subject for an "upset watch?"

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15 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by CorneliusBrutus // Oct 12, 2018 - 3:57pm

There are probably plenty, but this one is going to get more clicks. And, let's be honest, it's probably way more fun to write about KC-NE than it is to write about whatever Arizona or Buffalo has to do to win over whoever their opponents are.

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16 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by Eddo // Oct 12, 2018 - 5:46pm

I assume they pick this based on a combination of the spread, the likelihood of an upset, and how compelling the game is.

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11 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by RickD // Oct 12, 2018 - 12:46pm

I see this headline and cannot decide which side's victory would constitute an upset. The Chiefs are 5-0 and beat the Pats handily last season. OTOH, the Pats are at home and are the defending AFC champs.

On a neutral field I think the Chiefs would be favored.

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12 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by MJK // Oct 12, 2018 - 12:51pm

When I saw the article title, I thought it was going to be about how the Patriots could beat the Chiefs.

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18 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Oct 12, 2018 - 7:15pm

+1

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19 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by justanothersteve // Oct 12, 2018 - 9:03pm

That was my initial reaction.

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25 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

by RickD // Oct 15, 2018 - 10:05am

Kudos to Vegas for nailing the line.

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