Written by Rohit Ghosh
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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.
• 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.
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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.