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Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs Point Spread - Pick

Miami Dolphins (6-8 SU, 5-7-2 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (8-6 SU, 8-6 ATS)
Week 16 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, December 24, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: MIA +10/KC -10
Over/Under Total: 45

The Miami Dolphins come to Arrowhead Stadium for a week 17 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. After a prolonged funk, the Chiefs have whipped their act into shape at precisely the right time, winning their second in a row with a huge 30-13 win over the Chargers on Saturday. Tied with the Chargers for the AFC West lead going into that game, they now have a stranglehold on the division and can win it with a win in either of their last two games. And they are nice and dug-in at home, with this being their third straight game at Arrowhead. They welcome the incoming Dolphins, who fell to 6-8 on Sunday is a rough 24-16 loss to the Bills. After a pair of rousing wins, including a victory over New England the previous week, it was another letdown for a team that expected so much more out of the season.

It has been a streaky season for the Chiefs. They opened with five straight wins and took control of the division while standing out as a possible conference contender. But 6 losses in their next seven games threatened to derail their whole season, making their wins over divisional foes the Raiders and Chargers a huge development for a Chiefs' team that looks to have found some of its old edge. The offense is moving the ball again and taking advantage of its increased playmaking flair. And the defense has become stouter, while starting to make the kind of big plays that had the team looking so good earlier in the season.

QB Alex Smith was good against the Chargers, going 23-for-30 with a pair of TD throws. He's been a big part of the team's success and wasn't even that bad when they were losing. He's having his most-prolific season. Big for this offense is how Kareem Hunt has snapped back into form the last two weeks. On Saturday, he was huge with 155 yards on the ground and a touchdown, while also catching a TD pass to go along with 7 catches. More of that will have the offense in good shape. Tyreek Hill had 88 yards receiving and a TD, while Travis Kelce had 6 catches. If those three have a good game at the same time, it's hard to stop this offense

The Kansas City defense is by no means an ironclad one. Even when this team is doing well, the defense is not infallible. Where they do succeed is in the areas of clutch-play and making game-changing plays. Giving up a combined 28 points in their last two games to the Raiders and Chargers tells a lot. They've also been able to keep opposing offenses sedate for long stretches, as they've done in the last two games. The big plays came out of the secondary on Saturday, with Marcus Peters returning from a brief suspension with two big interceptions, while Ron Parker also recorded a pick on the day. Parker also recovered a key fumble in the second half. So while this is a "D" that can be exploited, it's one that can change the complexion of a game with big plays.

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Miami hasn't really been able to follow through on a season of promise last season and a strong start this year. A 4-2 start has evaporated with 6 losses in their last eight games. Quarterback issues contributed, with a variety of things just not going the 'Fins way this season. After pounding Denver and beating the Patriots, they couldn't keep it rolling against Buffalo, falling behind 24-6 in the fourth quarter, with ten late points making it look better than it was. And with their opening game of the season dashed with hurricane concerns, they haven't had a bye-week like their opponents and this would be the time of the season where they're feeling that.

The Miami offense was really awful on Sunday. Jay Cutler was 28-for-49 for 274 yards, but threw no touchdowns and three interceptions. Kenyan Drake has actually been pretty good at running back, though ditching Jay Ajayi still stands out as a strange personnel move for an offense with such few playmakers. Though injuries hurt, WR DeVante Parker has been disappointing with his 89 yards on Sunday being a season-high. Jarvis Landry had ten catches and 99 yards on Sunday, though his 844 yards on the season is pretty low, considering he has 98 catches. For them to manage two field goals until midway through the 4th quarter on Sunday was hard to watch for Miami fans and backers. They've been shut out twice this season and have looked completely impotent on occasion.

The Miami defense has been below-average more often than not this season. Cameron Wake had another sack on Sunday and he's a lone consistent bright-spot on this defense. On Sunday, Ndamukong Suh and Kiko Alonso were active and kept Buffalo from having a really big day overall on offense, but it wasn't nearly enough. Again, on third down or in the red-zone, they didn't step up and get it done. We saw them playing well the previous two weeks against a dilapidated Denver offense and an out-of-rhythm New England bunch, but against offenses that are in good form, they have struggled. And going to Arrowhead to take on a Chiefs' offense that has whipped their act together the last two weeks might not be the best medicine.

The Chiefs have looked good the past few weeks, but it's understandable that some would think that some of their previous problems could come back to plague them. Combine that with the fact that the Dolphins have been somewhat formless and it makes this a tough pick ATS. The Chiefs have more to play for, are at home, and in better form. And they are streaky, with the last few games maybe starting a new winning streak they can carry into the playoffs. It's a tough call, but I'm laying the points this week and taking the home-team.

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

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