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Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots Point Spread - Pick

Kansas City Chiefs (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Week 1 NFL
Date/Time: Thursday Night Football, September 7, 2017 at 8:30PM EST
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: KC+ 9/NE -9
Over/Under Total: 48

The Kansas City Chiefs come to Gillette Stadium to face the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football, as the 2017 NFL football season gets started. And the opening game is a great battle between conference contenders, as the Chiefs look to build off a successful 2016 where they won 12 games and AFC West division. For the Pats, last season was even better, as they attained Super Bowl glory once again in a memorable comeback win over the Falcons, capping off a year where they had a chip on their shoulder. Forecasting a Super Bowl hangover with the last team to repeat in Super Bowl could be a mistake. Who gets the 2017 season off to a good start on Thursday?

The Patriots were on their way to a successful offseason where they were busy in acquiring players. The season-ending knee injury to Julian Edelman kind of soured that. Having acquired Brandin Cooks in the offseason now looks like a smart move, but their aerial game might not get a boost with Edelman sidelined. And if they were to lose Rob Gronkowski, which seems to be a recurring theme, things could get interesting.

Tom Brady is 40 now and shows no signs of slowing down. Until we see otherwise, he still needs to be factored in as if he's still the same guy. Helping him is stellar coaching and a robust offensive line that has really come around in the past few seasons. Tackles Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon, with center David Andrews, along with guards Shaq Mason and Joe Thuney might be collectively better this season and that gives the whole offense a boost.

While the passing-game now relies a lot on Gronk staying healthy, they are still deep and should see improvement from second-year guy Malcolm Mitchell. Receivers Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola are also useful weapons. Losing LeGarrette Blount could resonate badly, but Belichick always seems to find the right answers and should do so again with James White, Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, and new Patriot Mike Gillislee. There is a lot of experience, playmaking ability, and depth on this side of the ball.

The New England defense will need to show its wares in a tougher schedule this season and against a higher caliber of quarterbacks. They may very well be up for the challenge. The secondary now looks really tip-top with the acquisition of Stephon Gilmore, who joins Malcolm Butler for a fearsome combo at corner. Safety is in good hands with Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, and Duron Harmon. The middle is likely the weak part of the "D," but they added former Jet David Harris to join guys like Donta Hightower and could be better off as a result. The line was really good in '16 with Alan Branch excellent is stopping the run, along with Malcolm Brown and emerging end Trey Flowers.

It's helpful to be leery of teams like the Chiefs. There are teams that didn't win 43 games in the last 4 seasons who get a lot more respect than Kansas City. Andy Reid is entering his fifth season and looks for a playoff push this season after closing out 2016 strongly with 10 wins in their last 12 games. To do so, they'll need to emerge from the role of a team with a good playmaking defense and an offense that stresses ball-management. Alex Smith is getting a little push from exciting youngster Patrick Mahomes, II. in camp, but will start the season. He might feel the urgency as Mahomes, II. is now an option if the offense languishes.


The Chiefs got bad news in the preseason with a season-ending knee injury to Spencer Ware. That might hurt in short-yardage situations and just with the fact the Chiefs' offense doesn't have an abundance of star-power. Look for an increased role from rookie Kareem Hunt, who will be put in a leading role as a rookie third-round pick. The aerial package isn't terribly exciting, even with Travis Kelce, one of the best tight ends in the game. At receiver, Chris Conley and Albert Wilson fail to excite and rookie Jehu Chesson will likely make his contributions on returns. But last season, this offense developed a real playmaker in Tyreek Hill, a burner who thrived at times in the run, the pass, and on special teams. Making it all come together is a line that is good and returns intact and maybe even a year better.

Last season, the Kansas City defense wasn't as stout in certain areas after losing several key starters. They still managed to make an impact, leading the NFL in turnovers and playing a big role in most of the team's wins. At linebacker, they get Justin Houston back. Along with Dee Ford, they should be better. The line added run-stopper Bennie Logan and along with Allen Bailey and Chris Jones, should be good against the opposing rush. What the Chiefs are hoping will really shine is a secondary that is among the league's best. Safety Eric Berry and CB Marcus Peters lead a game-changing group that also features a good free safety in Ron Parker, along with Terrance Mitchell, Kenneth Acker, and Phillip Gaines.

This isn't an easy spot for the Chiefs, having to come into Massachusetts against a defending Super Bowl champion where they will be trotting out another banner. It can be a tough environment in which to thrive. And on paper, the KC offense lags some behind that of the Pats, making it easy to visualize a big win for the defending Super Bowl champs. But nine seems like a nice amount of points for a 12-win team from last season to work with, so we're takingthe Chiefs.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Kansas City Chiefs plus 9 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the opening game of the NFL season at home by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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