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Kansas City Chiefs vs. Seattle Seahawks Point Spread - Pick

Kansas City Chiefs (11-3 SU, 8-5-1 ATS) vs. Seattle Seahawks (8-6 SU, 8-4-2 ATS)
Week 16 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday Night Football, December 23, 2018 at 8:20PM EST
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
TV: NBC

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Betting Odds: KC -2.5/SEA +2.5
Over/Under Total: 53.5

The Kansas City Chiefs come to the northwest for a big week 16 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. The Chiefs are now trying to avoid a slide following a hard-to-believe loss to the Chargers at home last Thursday. After seeing so much go well this season, they don't want to carry negative energy into the postseason, not to mention the hit they've taken in the standings the last month with the Chargers surging. This week presents a problem and an opportunity. It would be a huge win for their morale, but it's not going to be easy against a Seahawks team that is feeling a little desperate after losing to the Niners in overtime on Sunday, 26-23. In losing to a team they had beaten 10 times in a row, they broke a 4-game win streak and now have more work to do. And this isn't an easy spot.

Not to be in a panic state, but it's safe to say the Chiefs are downward-trending. They have only gone 2-2 in their last four, which some teams would be thinking is a good run. But the Chiefs haven't covered in any of their last five games. They lost to the Rams and Chargers, which again, isn't anything to cry about necessarily. But with narrow wins over the Raiders and Ravens sandwiched by those losses, we're not seeing the same team—the one that won 9 of their first ten games and only failed to cover the spread once in that stretch. This is a tough spot. Playing on the road against a Seahawks team that has playoff ramifications of their own, it's not going to be easy. But for a team where a top-two playoff seeding seemed automatic, they need to keep winning to avoid a wild card placement.

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It's can't be understated how costly it is to lose a defending rushing champion. The Chiefs have depth at running back and showed they can still run well in spots, even without Kareem Hunt and backup Spencer Ware. RB Damien Williams is a useful player and scored two touchdowns and caught 6 passes for 74 yards last Thursday. Patrick Mahomes threw two TDs and had no picks, but was not this normal self at just 243 yards against the Chargers last week. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce combined for 11 catches, but were not at their best. One could suspect that this offense will be looking to return to their normal fever-pitch. Can they do it in this spot?

In allowing 140 combined points in their last four games, it's easy to see why a lot of people are down on the Chiefs because of their defense. It really isn't very good. Losing CB Kendall Fuller for the season isn't going to help, as he was injured his wrist last week. And against the Chargers at home and up by 14 with under 4 minutes left, they couldn't close escrow and that's a damning indictment of their big-game presence. With the issues they are facing, you'd like to see a team band together and get the win in a spot like that. Getting Eric Berry back at safety is nice. Chris Jones is a monster in the pass-rush. That's nice. But when you're up by 14 late at home against a division rival with that much on the line, you have to get it done. Even if the KC offense gets their act together, the defense will have to be stouter and make more timely plays, especially late.

After going on a nice run and even distinguishing themselves as a potential postseason darkhorse team, the loss on Sunday was hard for the Seahawks. They could have clinched a postseason berth and had beaten the Niners ten times in a row, including a lopsided win a few weeks ago. In the overtime period, it was untimely penalties that bolstered the Niners more than anything they may have done. Over the course of the game, they committed 14 penalties to the tune of nearly 150 yards. They allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown and a lot of uncommon mistakes kept them from getting a needed win. Hosting an irritated Chiefs squad is a tough spot to make everything better. But that's the task they face. Still, at home in their most recent appearances, they've been pretty dominant, making it a tough spot for the Chiefs, as well.

On Sunday, a lot of the offensive numbers for the Seahawks looked pretty good. Russell Wilson was 23-for-31 with no picks and a pair of TD throws. WR Doug Baldwin caught both of Wilson's TD strikes. Running back Chris Carson had a big day with 119 yards on the ground with a score. Running back Mike Davis caught 7 passes. But penalties were costly, especially late, when a holding call undid a third-down conversion. Heading into the loss to the Niners where they scored 23, the Seahawks had averaged over 30 points a game over their last five contests. They will need to be at least at that level on Sunday night if they want to keep pace with the Chiefs' high-wire act.

It's hard to not picture the Kansas City offense eager to get back on the right track this Sunday. That prospect is a cause of concern for a Seattle defense that wasn't very good on Sunday. They will need to rediscover their form in a big way. Before giving up 26 to San Fran, they had allowed just 23 combined points in their two previous games. They weren't that bad in terms of overall stoutness. Penalties made an impact, as did a big kickoff return for a TD. They just didn't step up when they needed to, especially late in the game. While there are some troubling stats, they really haven't been bad at all. If anything, they have assembled a young defense that is ahead of schedule. They will need to pass this big test this week if the team is to have a chance. Granted, they won't be able to shut down KC, but if anything, they can't undermine themselves as they did last week in the loss to SF.

This is a big game for both teams. Seattle is in a more-urgent state as their playoff futures are on the line, while the Chiefs at least know they will be part of the postseason. With this being at home, I think that gives Seattle the edge. That could be said for any team, but Seattle has been appreciably better at home as of late, especially on the defensive side of the ball, where they will need all the help they can get. In a well-contested game, I see Seattle having enough wherewithal to get the big cover.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Seattle Seahawks plus 2.5 points. Bet the Sunday Night Football game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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