The San Francisco 49ers hung on for a three-point win in their home opener against the Lions and will need to tighten up a bit if they want to hang with Patrick Mahomes and the offensive juggernaut of the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday. Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective.

When: Sunday, September 23rd at 10:00am PST (FOX)
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Odds: Kansas City -6.5, total at 56

Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs have exploded offensively for the second year in a row but this season it has been in record-setting fashion, as Patrick Mahomes has set a record for the most touchdown passes in his first two games with ten to go with zero interceptions. While some are calling for a regression as has occurred in past years, it's safe to say that Mahomes has way more upside than Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense is for real.

After two weeks, the Chiefs lead the league with 40 points per game and are 6th in yards per game with 405.5. They have a DVOA-Adjusted for Variation Early (DAVE) rating of 8.0 percent and 28.8 percent of making the Conference Championship game. Kansas City's defense is 32nd in the league in yards given up per game at 508.0 and 29th in points given up per game at 32.5. Patrick Mahomes is ranked 2nd in the NFL in defense-adjusted yards above replacement (DYAR) with 356 and 2nd in the league with a total QBR of 91.9. The Chiefs are 2-0 against the spread (ATS) so far this season.

San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers looked like they were rolling to an easy win and cover heading into the fourth quarter in their home opener against Detroit, but they could not generate an effective pass rush, the secondary could not stop Kenny Golladay and Golden Tate from getting chunk yardage and the Niners offense stalled, leading to a narrow victory that Richard Sherman said almost felt like a loss. Matt Breida was outstanding and should figure to be a more prominent feature of the offensive attack moving forward, but Jimmy Garoppolo had shaky pocket presence, taking sacks when he might have thrown it away and nearly giving up another pick-six that could have led to an outright loss.

After two weeks, the Niners are 17th in the NFL in points per game with 23 and 21st in yards per game with 336.5. The 49ers DAVE rating is -9.6 percent with a 3.5 percent chance of making the Conference Championship game. Their defense is ranked 23rd in giving up 385 yards per game and 20th in giving up 20.5 points per game. Jimmy Garoppolo is 25th in DYAR at -70 and 31st in total QBR at 22.7.

Prediction
We have correctly predicted the straight up (SU) outcome of both of the Niners first two games, but giving too much of the benefit of the doubt to Jimmy G and the Niners' defense has led to two ATS losses in our picks and the 49ers are now 0-2 ATS for the year. The Chargers and Steelers are considered contenders for the AFC in 2018, and Patrick Mahomes went into their houses and beat them by 10 and 5 points, respectively. Now they are going to the Chief's home opener in Arrowhead and we are wondering if the 49ers can keep it within a touchdown?

While it's likely that Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense will find a way to score on the Chiefs' porous defense in what we anticipate to be a high scoring game, it's hard to see them putting up enough points to keep up or the Niners' defense being able to stop the potent Chiefs offense in their home opener. Shanahan might try to control the game and keep the Chiefs' offense off the field by giving the ball to Matt Breida, but Mahomes is playing at a much higher level than Jimmy Garoppolo and has more weapons to boot.

Reuben Foster is set to return and help boost the defense, but who will play corner opposite of Richard Sherman and will it be enough to stop Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Kareem Hunt? The Chiefs' defense gave up a lot in its first two games but it was to two Hall of Fame quarterbacks playing at home in Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers, and the unit is likely to play better at home. While many believe Mahomes and the Chiefs will rest on their laurels at home and make it a closer game than predicted, there's no reason to overthink this one or get cute. We predicted the Chiefs to win this one straight up and don't expect it to be a one score game. Pick: Chiefs -6.5.

Season
0-2 ATS
2-0 SU

Poll

  • What is your best bet for 49ers at Chiefs on 9/23/18?
  • 49ers +6.5
  • Chiefs -6.5
  • Over 56
  • Under 56