• 2017 NFL Kickoff: Patriots vs Chiefs

    Written by Rohit Ghosh
    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    Patriots vs Chiefs: 2017 NFL Kickoff - Week 1

    Football is back in action and Week 1 kicks off with the defending Super Bowl champ New England Patriots hosting the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. At the time of publication, the Pats are 9-point favorites with the total at 48.5.

    What to Watch For

    With Julian Edelman out of the lineup this season, keep an eye on wide receiver Brandin Cooks to get some production early and often. Most scouts are expecting a slightly faster tempo from the Pats when looking to get Cooks some touches. He's projected to finish Thursday's game with 46 receiving yards on 4 carries; he averages 0.3 TDs per simulated matchup.

    A big part of the Kansas City's 12-4 record last [regular] season can be directly connected to its league-leading 33 takeaways, allowing the Chiefs to finish the season No. 1 with a +16 turnover ratio, tied with Oakland. The Chiefs average 1 forced turnover per simulated matchup.

    All of AccuScore’s Week 1:NFL Expert Picks

    Vegas Odds vs AccuSore Sims

    Whereas Vegas has the Pats favored by 9 points, AccuScore sim data has that line a couple points lower at 7. The line actually opened in Vegas at 7 and the highest it has been so far is 9.5.

    The average score after 10,000-plus simulations is 28-21. Kansas City covers the 9-point spread in over 54 percent of simulations.

    The totals listed in most books across Vegas are about the same as the data AccuScore sims provided.

    Betting Trends

    • Kansas City is 6-0 against the spread (ATS) in its last six road games going into last season.
    • Kansas City is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games going into last season.

    Analyst's Pick

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    2016 NFL Betting Record

    (revealed)

    The Chiefs have lost their last six road games up in Foxborough. Not expecting a KC victory, but Alex Smith has proven himself to be able to stay competitive in games like this. He lost 27-20 to New England in the 2016 AFC divisional round. I'm expecting a fairly strong performance by the Chiefs' defense, led by Justin Houston -- enough to keep things at bay.

    KC +9 is what we're going with.

  • 2019 NFL Playoffs Bracket: Chiefs Over Saints in Super Bowl

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    NFL Playoffs 2019: Chiefs Over Saints in the Super Bowl

    With Wildcard Weekend wrapped up, the real NFL playoffs begin now. The top two teams in each conference get to host games that count and the best eight teams remaining in the league are all in action in the divisional round, which should probably be more accurately referred to as the conference semifinals.

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    AFC Playoffs

    Starting with the AFC, the Chargers go to New England to take on the New England Patriots in a game that features two veteran quarterbacks still standing. Philip Rivers is 37 years old, which makes him sound like a teenager next to the everlasting 41-year-old Tom Brady. On neutral ground, Rivers and the sturdy Chargers may well beat the Patriots. This game, however, is at Foxboro, and New England is therefore a heavy favorite to advance.

    Andy Reid's record isn't stellar in the playoffs, but he's never quite had a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes is so stunningly good, along with being the MVP favorite in his first full year under center, that no one entering this game has Andrew Luck ranked ahead of the Kansas City QB. The Colts turns some heads in how they jumped out to an early lead and put their Wildcard game to bed, but playing at Arrowhead against Mahomes and the no. 1 team in the AFC is test of another grade. KC is 68% to win, which should be noted as the strongest differential of any of the eight teams to advance.

    The Chiefs and Patriots meeting in the AFC Championship feels like a passing of the torch from Brady to Mahomes, but Brady likely has no interest in passing anything other than the football. Any previous year, Brady would be the best quarterback on the field without question, but this has been Mahomes season, and it will take a special effort from the weakest looking Patriots team in recent memory to bypass the Chiefs and punch another ticket to the Super Bowl for the Pats.

    2019 NFL Playoffs Bracket

    NFC Playoffs

    The Rams host the Cowboys at the LA Memorial Coliseum, which promises to be a packed house and provide an electric atmosphere. LA seemed to be back to its high-scoring ways to wrap up the season, and that spells doom for the Cowboys. If the Rams rack up points, Dallas is going down, and that's a 60-40 likelihood according to AccuSore.

    Similarly, the Saints and Eagles is an interesting proposition. It's Super Bowl favorite versus Super Bowl champion. The Eagles may be back to looking like a team to beat, but playing New Orleans in the same place where Drew Brees and company clobbered Philadelphia 48-7 and put the Eagles' season on life support is not a positive sign of a Philly win. The Saints aren't scared of the Eagles, and this is another 60-40 game in favor of the Saints in the computer's eyes.

    The NFC Championship featuring the Rams and Saints promises a high-scoring affair, but these two teams met in New Orleans during the regular season, and the Saints outscored the Rams 35-17 in the first half. The final score looked like a respectable count of 45-35, but the game never felt that close.

    Like the Chiefs, the Saints look like a clear favorite, and AccuScore's 10,000 simulations have New Orleans as a 60% favorite to advance to the Super Bowl over the Rams.

    Super Bowl 2019

    The Chiefs and Saints meeting on a neutral ground is fitting because these have been the two best teams this season, and that's been clear as day to see. For Mahomes, facing Brees after facing Brady should lead to even more exaggerated imagery of a torch being passed. Of course, the Super Bowl is a monster of chaos, distractions and pressure unlike any other football game, so Brees has an edge on the Chiefs' quarterback in that regard.

    Still, AccuScore believes that the Chiefs are simply better, though a 56% to 44% difference implies that this will be a tough challenge for the Chiefs. Ultimately, though, the Chiefs should conquer the Saints on Super Bowl Sunday with Mahomes key to victory.

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  • AccuScore Picks Kansas City to Win SuperBowl

    Kansas City Picked to Win the Super Bowl

    After 17 weeks of regular season in NFL, there are 12 teams left standing and fighting for a chance to win Super Bowl in February. Accuscore has simulated every postseason game 10,000 times to calculate Super Bowl probabilities for every team still alive in the Vince Lombardi trophy.

    While Vegas odds have the New Orleans Saints as the favorites to win it all, AccuScore's super computer says that the AFC's top seed Kansas City Chiefs should have the highest probability to stand victorious in Atlanta.

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    • All 2018 Spread Picks: 132-107-17, 55.2% +1430
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    2018 Spread and Totals Picks (season): +4510
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    On the whole, AccuScore's simulations don't show notable playoff upsets. Essentially, every favorite is projected to take care of business with home teams looking strong. The tightest match is a young Dallas Cowboys team hosting Russell Wilson and the experienced Seattle Seahawks. In the divisional round, bye-week teams have an obvious advantage over wild card winners. It is not very common that there is no lower seeded winners during playoffs, but right now, it's tough to find a clear Cinderella story. More likely, the 2019 NFL Playoffs will be similar to the 2018 NFL Playoffs, when top seeded teams faced each other in Super Bowl.

    Both number one seeded teams have a very strong home field advantage, and Kansas City is definitely looking for improvement from last year’s loss to Tennessee in the playoffs. Their only home loss this season came against the Chargers, but Philip Rivers and company need to get past a red hot Baltimore on the road before even dreaming of walking into Arrowhead Stadium. Meanwhile, Kansas City performance was very strong in their 40-43 loss to the Patriots on the road, and a rematch would be held in Missouri. With revenge on their minds, a Patriots versus Chiefs AFC Championship game could turn into an unofficial passing of the torch from Tom Brady to Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City not at least making the AFC Championship game would be a huge disappointment.

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    In the NFC, two high-flying offenses are projected to meet in the Championship game. The upstart LA Rams have only one playoff game worth of experience from last season, but they appear be more ready for the long playoff run this season. Still, the Super Bowl winning QB Drew Brees together with great running back tandem should be too much for the Rams, and with the Saints holding the home field advantage, the teams' regular season meeting is a good representation of how the Saints can beat the Rams in the NFC Championship game.

    Before the season, it was very difficult to project out Kansas City because of a rookie starting at QB. As we all know now, Mahomes has surpassed all expectations with his record breaking season, essentially as a rookie. Mahomes has been tipped to win the NFL's MVP award, to underscore how incredible the second year QB out of Texas Tech has been.

    When comparing Vegas odds to Accuscore Super Bowl probabilities, basically only Kansas City has value for betting. Long shots like Houston or Dallas have minor value as well, but as the probability is very low, it doesn’t make sense from a mathematical point of view to place those bets. Kansas City is good value to win the Super Bowl at this stage, but we will monitor playoffs as the picture develops on weekly basis and a couple upsets sure to change the probabilities.

  • AFC West: 2017 NFL Previews

    Written by AccuScore Staff
    Follow @AccuScore on Twitter

    AFC West: 2017 NFL Division Previews

    AccuScore previewed every team and division in the NFC last week, and it’s time to move onto the AFC in our trot to the start of the 2017 NFL season. For the NFC, AccuScore is starting out West where the Raiders, Chargers, Chiefs and Broncos offer one of the most intriguing divisions in the NFL.

    2017 AFC West Projections and Preview

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    Denver back in the Playoffs?

    The AFC West is one of the toughest division in the NFL. Denver hopes to return to the playoffs after a Super Bowl hangover that left them out of the postseason last season for the first time since 2010.

    Accuscore played out every game of the 2017 NFL season 10,000 times to project out the season, and the Broncos mirrored their 9-7 mark from a season ago. This time, though, that record should be enough for a wild card spot. The probability to win a very tight AFC West is just under 30% for Denver, but their chances of reaching the playoffs are 50%. Not helping the Broncos is that Denver has the toughest schedule for any team in NFL based on last season’s performance.

    Roster Moves

    The biggest change in Denver was the retirement of their Super Bowl winning head coach Gary Kubiak. New HC Vance Joseph with new coordinators Mike McCoy and Joe Woods inherit a team with expectations a Mile High. Denver struggled last season with the running game and made a few notable additions to the offensive line. Also former 1,500+ yards running back Jamaal Charles joined the team to compete with CJ Anderson in the backfield, along with promise two potential revenge games against the Chiefs this season.

    Fantasy Analysis: Denver Broncos

    On fantasy projections, Anderson is top 30 RB in the league, but the backbone of the team will be the defense. It is ranked the best in the league in Accuscore’s fantasy projections. One of the best WR tandems Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are both ranked into the top 30 among all receivers in the league, too.

    Other 2017 NFL Previews:
    NFC North Division Preview
    NFC East Division Preview
    NFC South Division Preview
    NFC West Division Preview

    Kansas City Chiefs Still Solid

    Andy Reid has been the head coach of Kansas City Chiefs for four years. During this time they have reached playoffs three times. While his postseason success has been less than impressive, the Chiefs have turned into a near-perennial playoff team. Before Reid, the Chiefs had reached the playoffs three times in 15 years. So, will it be 4 out of 5 trips to playoffs for the Reid’s Chiefs?

    Accuscore’s numbers sure seem to think so. The computer predicts 10 wins for the Chiefs and a first place finish in the AFC West. The probability to win the division is 45%, so it’s technically more likely the Chiefs don’t win the division than do win it, but no other team out West has odds as high as Kansas City. Over all, the Chiefs have a 68% probability of making the postseason either as a Wild Cart team or a division winner.

    Roster Moves:

    As the Chiefs have performed at a high level in recent years, there hasn’t been a major roster shakeup. The Chiefs changed Dontari Poe to Bennie Logan at defensive tackle. Also, they traded up and drafted QB Patrick Mahomes, but his contribution during season don’t exactly move the needle for AccuScore. Generally, the Chiefs are counting on essentially the same roster that recorded 12 wins last season.

    Fantasy Analysis: Kansas City Chiefs

    Accuscore’s fantasy projections show many quality players on Kansas City. Even though they are not the pinnacle of the respective position, they can be considered as a valuable picks from later rounds. The Defense is ranked within top 15, QB Alex Smith is 13th, TE Travis Kelce 12th and WR Tyreek Hill is projected to be among the top receivers after his impressive rookie campaign. If he is not going to play any special teams, it may hurt his fantasy value slightly even if he is set to establish himself as a no. 1 receiver for the Chiefs.

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    Chargers - New Coach, New City, Same Result

    The San Diego Chargers changed to the Los Angeles Chargers during the offseason. Their head coach for last three season, Mike McCoy was fired and first time head coach Anthony Lynn was hired to begin a new chapter in LA. The Chargers finished last season with five straight losses and only five total wins.

    Once again, the Chargers are projected to only win five games, which gives Philip Rivers and company only a remote shot at making the playoffs. The Chargers may be in a new city and a new stadium, but this team expects to look a fair bit like the team struggling to find support in San Diego a season ago.

    Roster Moves

    For a team that underachieved last season, there are remarkably few changes on the roster. Tackle Russell Okung, who won a Super Bowl with Seattle, moved from Denver to LA this summer. The Chargers used an early draft pick on WR Mike Williams, who provides additional tools for 35 years old Philip Rivers. At its roots, a healthy Rivers is the key to the Chargers’ offense.

    Fantasy Analysis: Los Angeles Chargers

    Accuscore’s fantasy projections highlight TE Antonio Gates among Top 5 TEs in the league. Some other notable players are more second tier options for your fantasy team. QB Philip Rivers and RB Melvin Gordon are around 20th when ranking fantasy players by their respective positions for this season’s fantasy points. There could be some sleepers on the Chargers’ roster, but those are sleeping so deep on the projection list that it is difficult to point out at this moment.

    Is Oakland’s sword still pointing up?

    Jack Del Rio has been the Oakland Raiders’ head coach for two season, and the team’s record has improved from 3-13 to 12-4 during this time. Last season ended quickly in the wild card game as QB Derek Carr was injured, and team couldn’t come close to filling that hole. Raiders’ fans feel like this is their year—well, at least according to the bets being placed in Las Vegas.

    Accuscore predicts the AFC West to be very competitive. In simulations, Oakland averaged nine wins and has a 25% probability of winning the division. Reaching the playoffs won’t be as easy, and AccuScore projects the Raiders’ chances at 47% to return to the postseason.

    Roster Moves

    There were few changes in Raiders’ roster. On the offensive side, RB Latavius Murray moved to Minnesota and Oakland lured Marshawn Lynch out of retirement to plug in his beast mode into Oakland. On defense, one of their leading tackler Malcolm Smith took off to San Francisco and Oakland signed Jelani Jenkins from Miami to fill this gap.

    Fantasy Analysis: Oakland Raiders

    Fantasy projections show that there should be still something left in RB Marshawn Lynch tank. If he can stay healthy, he would be still Top 20 running back in Oakland’s system. Considering his ability to get into the end zone from close yardage, those fantasy points may rack up in a hurry. QB Derek Carr will also be around the Top 20 at his position when counting all predicted fantasy points during the season. The Raiders have one of the top WR duos in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. However, if the offense continues to be more running heavy, they won’t be collecting top fantasy points compared to WRs in more pass-heavy systems.

  • Free Analyst Pick: Chiefs vs Redskins on MNF

    Written by Rohit Ghosh
    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    Monday Night Football: Chiefs vs Redskins - Analyst Pick

    We've got a four-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend alert in this Monday night's matchup at Arrowhead Stadium between the Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs opened as 9-point favorites before settling down at 7 Sunday afternoon. The total's stayed consistent at 49 or 49.5.

    AccuScore’s Full MNF Forecast & Picks

    Vegas Odds vs AccuScore SIm Data

    One thing's for sure -- the Chiefs are fairly heavy favorites. Vegas odds have the Chiefs getting -340 odds on the money line, indicating a 77.27 percent chance of winning. Kansas City wins 77.3. percent of simulated matchups, on par with the probabilities suggested by Vegas odds.

    The spread's where the value is at in this matchup. The sim data actually has the home side favored by 10 points, indicating a whole lot of value on the 7-point spread.

    The Chiefs cover a 7-point spread in 55.4 percent of simulations, a four-star AccuScore hot trend. The 55.4 percent probability would have had the odds at -125, showing the value on the -110 most books are offering for the 7-point spread.

    AccuScore Betting Trends
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    • All Picks Against the Spread: 33-26-3 55.9% +440
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    Top Non-AccuScore Betting Trends
    • The Chiefs are 5-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last six games.
    • The Chiefs are 5-1 straight up (SU) in their last 6 games.
    • The Chiefs are 4-1 ATS in their last five after a SU win.
    • The total has gone OVER in 4 of the Chiefs' last 6 games.
    • The total has gone OVER in 17 of the Redskins' last 24 games.

    What to Watch For

    Washington QB Kirk Cousins was magnificent in last week's victory with 365 passing yards and three TDs, completing 25 of his 30 attempts.

    He's projected to finish Monday night's game with 298 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. In the 22 percent of simulated matchups in which the Redskins win, Cousins averages 2.12 TDs to 0.44 INTs; in the losses, he's at 1.62 TDs to 0.82 INTs.

    Free Analyst's Pick

    The favorite between these two sides has covered ATS in four of the last five meetings, and the total has gone OVER in four of the last six meetings.

    We'll go with the Chiefs covering, and the OVER. Safe play might be to buy a half-point on the 7-point spread to make it 6.5.

  • Kansas City Chiefs Still Best Bet to Win Super Bowl

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    Kansas City Chiefs Offer Best Bet to Win Super Bowl

    The first two weeks of the NFL playoffs has passed, but the Super Bowl betting picture hasn’t swayed too much from the start of the playoffs. When 12 teams started the playoffs. AccuScore said that the Kansas City Chiefs offered the best value bet to win the Super Bowl, along with picking the Chiefs as the most likely team to win the NFL's title game. At the time, AccuScore picked the four teams with the bye weeks to advance to Championship weekend, which is where we land now.

    While Vegas odds have the New Orleans Saints as the most-likely team to win it all, Accuscore simulations still show that it is AFC number one seeded Kansas City as the computer's pick to stand victorious.

    After strong performances by both New England and Kansas City, the Chiefs are still the clear favorites to win Sunday and advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1969, when KC won its only Super Bowl. New England’s track record away from the Foxborough is not very impressive, as they haven’t won a single AFC Championship game on the road since 2004. The Patriots have lost all three times they've had to travel at this stage: twice in Denver and once to Indianapolis. However, Kansas City has never played an AFC Championship game on the home, but the divisional round gave a strong indication that KC is ready to claim its home field advantage.

    2019 NFL Playoffs Bracket

    All of AccuScore's NFL Championship Weekend Expert Picks

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    AccuScore projected these four teams to meet at this stage before the playoffs started, with two high-flying offenses predicted to face off in the NFC Championship game. The divisional game for New Orleans was a low scoring one, which means it may be defenses on both sides that will need to step up and keep this one low scoring one as well.

    When comparing Vegas odds to Accuscore Super Bowl probabilities, Kansas City is still only team to have value for betting to win the Super Bowl. Even though the odds have came down from 6-1 to 7-2, the odds are still over 10% better compared to probabilities from the simulations as seen on the table below:

    2019 NFL Playoffs Bracket