The NFL playoffs kick-off Saturday afternoon when the AFC West champion Chiefs battle the wild-card Titans at Arrowhead Stadium (4:35 pm ET, ESPN/ABC). Kansas City is favored by almost double-digits, but is that too much?
Most of the NFL playoff betting market opened this game with Kansas City favored by seven points, the total offered at 44.5. Most books have since bumped the Chiefs to -8.5, and dipped the total to 44.
Sagarin’s PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com say the Chiefs should be favored by 9.5 points.
AFC Wild-Card Match-Up
Tennessee (9-7 SU, 8-7-1 ATS) started this season 2-3, then won six of its next seven games, taking advantage of a weak stretch in the schedule. The Titans then lost three in a row to put their playoff hopes at risk, but fortunately beat Jacksonville in the season finale 15-10 to secure their first playoff berth in nine seasons.
Tennessee is 3-2 SU, 4-1 ATS this season against teams that made the playoffs.
Kansas City (10-6 SU, 10-6 ATS) started 5-0 this season, with wins over both top conference seeds, New England and Philadelphia. The Chiefs then inexplicably lost six of their next seven games, including decisions to the Raiders, Giants and Jets. But on the verge of going in the tank Kansas City righted itself and won its last four in a row to win the AFC West for the second straight year.
KC is also in the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons under Coach Reid.
The Chiefs, locked into playoff positioning, rested starters in Week 17 and still beat Denver 27-24.
Kansas City is 2-2 both SU and ATS against playoff qualifiers this season.
These teams just met back in December of last season, a 19-17 Tennessee victory in KC. The Chiefs, favored by six points, actually led that game 14-0 early and 17-10 late. But the Titans scored twice in the last four minutes and won on a 53-yard field goal at the buzzer.
That game played under a total of 43.
The overs are 9-7 in Titans games this season, which are averaging 43 points.
The totals are split 8-8 in Chiefs games, which are averaging 47 points.
Free NFL Wild-Card Betting Picks
This one could turn ugly, with lots of hand-offs and punts. And in games like that eight or nine points can be a ton. Plus, 10 of Tennessee’s games this season were decided by six points or less. Kansas City will probably win this game but we’re taking the points with the Titans.