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ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

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.

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

1 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

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.

2 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

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.

3 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

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)_/¯

7 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

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.

4 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

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?

5 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

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.

20 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

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.

21 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

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.

24 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

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).

26 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

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.

6 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

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. :)

11 Re: ESPN Upset Watch: Chiefs-Patriots

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.