The Surest Bet of 2020: Take the Chiefs minus all the points at New Orleans

Sunday, 20 December 2020 11:26 EST

NFLbets knows we say (write?) this probably far too often for our own goods, but this line we simply don’t get, namely

Kansas City Chiefs -3½ at New Orleans Saints, over/under 53½ points

Odder yet, most sportsbooks haven’t seen a deviation of more than ½ point since the line opened on Sunday night. NFLbets believes that bookmakers and bettors alike are putting far too much faith in a guy one month short of 42 years old who broke 11 ribs – particularly as the wounded Drew Brees is now without his favored WR Michael Thomas.

If you figure that the My Bookies of the world still factor in the now mostly irrelevant homefield advantage for 2½ to 3½ points, do they really believe that the rolling Chiefs, looking to solidify the no. 1 seed, are winning this game by a touchdown?

The facts are these:

•  The Saints defense is top-7 in most statistical categories and is top-5 against the pass; however, New Orleans has faced a top-10 offense just three times this season (vs Tampa Bay, vs Green Bay, at Tampa Bay), the last occasion in week 8.

•  Meanwhile, on offense, the Saints are seeing diminishing returns: After averaging 30.6 points per game over the first five, they’re at 26.8 per since and 24.8 per over the last five games.

•  Despite a 5-game winning streak, the Chiefs are 0-5 ATS in the same span and haven’t covered since giving 20 points to the New York Jets. The Saints had been on a 5-0 SU/ATS run until last week’s loss at Philadelphia.

•  Sean Peyton’s teams have a slight edge over Andy Reid’s at 3-2 SU/ATS. The over is 4-1 in these games, but all four overs were hit in Saints-Eagles games between 2006 and ’09.

•  Finally – and this may have been mentioned before – the Saints’ starting quarterback is almost 42 with almost a dozen ribs healing.

It’s this last bit that NFLbets really cannot get past. New Orleans’s so-called homefield advantage is in actuality an invitation for the fastest team in the NFL to participate in a track meet. Can the slowing-down Saints keep up if Mahomes & Co. get out to a, likesay, 14-0 lead in the first quarter? Along the same lines, Mahomes threw 3 interceptions at Miami last week after doing so just twice over the whole season to that point; are we really expecting a repeat of week 14 Mahomes rather than weeks 1-13 Mahomes?

And if Jameis Winston, slated as Brees’s backup for the game, has to fill in, just bang the in-game live betting and considering hammering the over and, if you can get, the over in an “interceptions thrown” prop.

Essentially NFLbets believes that the Saints do not want this game this week and may inexplicably be rushing Brees back for the sole purpose of gambling on winning out the season and grabbing the bye week in round 1 of this year’s playoffs – when they probably want the no. 2 spot and a home date against the Buccaneers, who appear to be the only contender they can beat this season.

To us, this looks like the surest of sure bets in 2020 (after Joe Biden’s election win, that is): Take the Kansas City Chiefs -3½ at New Orleans. We’d even recommend that bettors cover the prop “Kansas City wins by 14 or more” at +440, but this is no bet for the foolhardy – only those who are wiling to realistically assess the Saints’ chances here…

–written by Os Davis