Sunday’s matchup between the Chiefs and Dolphins pits two teams fighting for their playoff lives. The visiting Miami Dolphins have no room for error and still need lots of help to get in. Their loss last weekend just about killed any legit playoff chance. But, you can’t rule out a Christmas miracle for the Dolphins unless they lose this weekend. The Kansas City Chiefs need to win out to lock up the AFC West division. A loss to Miami could put them back into a tie with the Chargers for the top spot and into the crowd of teams fighting for the AFC Wild Card spots. Kickoff inside Arrowhead Stadium is at 1 PM ET.
Since 2002, these two teams have played each other 6 times with both teams winning 3 games apiece. Kansas City won their last head-to-head encounter back in 2014 by a score of 34-15. However, the Dolphins are 3-1 in the last 4 games between these two teams and have won the last 2 trips to Arrowhead.
Miami (6-8) is 2-5 on the road and needs a win badly if they want to stay on life support for the playoffs. Their loss last weekend to Buffalo really hurt any probable playoff spot. This came on the heels of a huge upset victory over the Patriots 2 weeks ago. Miami has lost 3 of their last 5 games and are a big underdog this weekend.
The Chiefs (8-6) are 5-2 at home and sit in the driver’s seat to take the AFC West divisional crown. If they win their last 2 games then they win the division. If they lose both games then they could miss the playoffs outright. The Chiefs are in a better position than the Dolphins, but they could easily end up on the outside looking in based on tie breakers. KC will need to win this game to cement a real chance at the playoffs.
The spread opened with Kansas City favored by 10 points. Since then, it has slightly risen to 10.5 points. The Over/Under opened at 45 points, but has come down to 43.5 total points.
Personally, I think this spread is just too high. The Chiefs are only 2-3 over their last 5 games and those 2 wins were against divisional opponents. Prior to the last 2 weeks, the Chiefs had lost 6 out of their last 7 games including their last 4 non-divisional games.
This week, I expect the Chiefs to keep the momentum going from their last 2 victories. But, I also see Miami playing like they did two weeks ago against the Patriots. Despite a poor record on the road, Miami has something electric in running back Drake. If he can get going this week against a KC defense that allows 122.9 rushing ypg, then the Chiefs are in trouble.
KC could be without stud tight end Travis Kelce who hasn’t practiced much this week due to an injury in their last game against the Chargers. If Kelce doesn’t play, KC will have a hard time passing the ball. I expect the front four of Miami to disrupt the line of scrimmage and stop Chiefs back Hunt from running on them like he did the last 2 weeks. If Miami can bring the pressure, then Alex Smith could revert to how he played throughout November where his MVP-like season went down the toilet.
On defense, KC will need to limit an inconsistent run game by the Dolphins and put pressure on Jay Cutler who has already thrown 14 picks this year. Miami will need a big game from Cutler to win on the road. As of now, KC is 1-2 against the AFC East and there is a chance that they could lose this weekend too.
I like that the Chiefs play better at home and that’s why I give them the edge in this game. But, they are not going to win by 11 points or more. In fact, I believe it will take some late-game points by the Chiefs offense to secure the victory. The Chiefs will need to win the battle within the trenches to win this game. If they can keep Smith safe in the pocket and open up running lanes, then this game can actually turn into a blowout. As for now, I choose to believe that Miami will play desperate football and give Kansas City all they can handle. Look for KC to win this game 27-23.
KC is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games. Miami is 7-3-1 ATS in the last 11 games against the Chiefs.