What can we expect from a betting standpoint?
Betting analysts Eric Moody,Seth Walder, Tyler Fulghum and Aaron Schatz are here to provide their thoughts.
Note: Odds by ESPN BET.
Eagles at Chiefs (-2.5, 45.5). The Eagles are coming off a bye week, while the Chiefs are returning from a win in Germany and a bye of their own. Do any of these things factor into your handicapping and how are you betting this game between the two Super Bowl favorites?
Schatz: Both teams are coming off a bye week, so I don’t think that factors into handicapping this game. What matters is that the Chiefs have been the better team this year with underlying stats even if Philadelphia has more wins because of some close wins over below-average opponents. DVOA currently puts the Chiefs third and the Eagles ninth, while ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) has the Chiefs second and the Eagles seventh. Either way, advantage Chiefs, plus home-field advantage, so I’m going with Chiefs -2.5.
Fulghum: I think this is a good spot for the Chiefs -2.5. With both teams coming off a bye, that’s a wash. Kansas City, though, owns the home field advantage and the superior defensive unit. I trust Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes to perform well against an Eagles defense that sets up as a pass funnel. More Rashee Rice, please.
What type of game flow are you expecting in this one? Will offense or defense dominate this game?
Schatz: I would expect offense to dominate over defense because of the problems the Eagles’ pass defense and the Chiefs’ run defense have had this season. In addition, both the Eagles and the Chiefs play faster in situation-neutral pace than in total pace. Their total paces are slower because they often have late leads, but this game should be close, and so both teams will want to snap the ball more and run more plays. I like this game to go over 45.5.
Fulghum: It’s hard to bet against these quarterbacks. The two teams combined for 73 points when we last saw them in Super Bowl 57. That game closed with a total at 51.5. We’re looking at a full touchdown less in this game. Is that an overreaction to the prime-time under trend? Maybe. I’m passing on the total, but agree with Schatz that I lean more to the OVER 45.5.
Walder: I expect to see the Eagles leaning on their ground game. While everyone has been talking about the Chiefs’ defense — and rightfully so — it has really just been their pass defense that has been exceptional. Kansas City ranks 30th in expected points added (EPA) allowed per designed carry and 31st in run stop win rate.
Lamar Jackson (+275) has passed Patrick Mahomes (+300) and Jalen Hurts (+300) as the MVP favorite. Do you anticipate any of these three players distancing themselves from the pack, or do you think it will come down to the wire?
Fulghum: I think this race is going to come down to the wire. We’ve now seen Josh Allen take himself out of consideration. Joe Burrow is done for the year. That opened up this race to QBs like Dak Prescott, Tua Tagovailoa, Brock Purdy and even Jared Goff. Skill position players like Christian McCaffrey and Tyreek Hill could garner consideration, too. I believe the eventual MVP will be one of the QBs on the field Monday night (Hurts +300), but it’s very apparent that this race has really just begun.
The Eagles enter Monday with an 8-1 record. A fun prop bet has Philadelphia as +550 to win at least 15 games. Is this a bet you’d consider?
Schatz: The Eagles’ schedule gets a lot harder the next few weeks, with games against the Bills, 49ers and Cowboys following this one with Kansas City. Right now, the Eagles win 15 or more games in only 8.4% of my simulations, and that doesn’t even incorporate the fact that a 14-2 record going into Week 18 likely has the Eagles in a position to sit starters against the Giants. I’ll pass on this bet.
Fulghum: I would not make that bet. The Eagles’ schedule the next month is pretty brutal: at Kansas City, vs. Buffalo, vs. San Francisco, at Dallas, at Seattle. Those opponents are a combined 30-16 on the season and feature very capable to elite quarterbacks. Two losses can easily be found in that stretch, especially because QB Jalen Hurts’ knee is likely less than 100%.
What is your favorite prop bet on Monday?
Schatz: The analytics tell me that the Eagles’ defense ranks dead last in DVOA against tight ends. My reptile brain tells me that Monday night is allegedly the night thatTravis Kelce‘s parents will meet Taylor Swift’s parents. Come on, don’t tell me you wouldn’t want to impress your possible future in-laws, right? The odds aren’t particularly EV, but betting Kelce anytime TD (-125) is the most fun you can have Monday night.
Fulghum: D’Andre Swift OVER 13.5 rush attempts (-114). Coming out of the bye, Swift and the Eagles’ offensive line should be refreshed and ready to roll. Swift has cleared this threshold in seven of eight games since taking over as the starter in Week 2. Nick Sirianni and the Eagles’ coaches know it’s easier to run on Kansas City than it is to throw, and controlling the line of scrimmage and the football is the best defense against Mahomes — rendering him useless on the sideline. Add in Hurts’ knee issue and it’s possible Swift even steals a goal-line carry or two.
Moody:Rashee Rice OVER 43.5 receiving yards. Rice has surpassed this line in three of his past four games. The Eagles have one of the worst defenses in the league. Rice leads the Chiefs’ receivers in targets, receptions and yards. Coming off the bye week, this is the perfect matchup for the rookie to shine.
Walder: Chris Jones UNDER 0.5 sacks (-115). Jones’ numbers are a little bit down in 2023 with 5.5 sacks and a 15% pass rush win rate at defensive tackle, which ranks 11th at the position. His weekly projection is usually helped by the Chiefs being moderate to heavy favorites, but that’s not the case this week with Kansas City favored by just 2.5 points. I make this line -160.
Is there anything else you’re playing Monday?
Moody: DeVonta Smith OVER 55.5 receiving yards. A.J. Brown is likely to draw significant attention from the Chiefs’ coverage, given how he has performed recently, and especially with Dallas Goedert sidelined by a forearm injury. This situation presents a favorable opportunity for Smith. Also, he’ll be up against Chiefs cornerback Jaylen Watson, a matchup he should dominate. Smith has given up an average of 59.2 receiving yards per game this season.
Moody: Isiah Pacheco OVER 13.5 rushing attempts. The Monday night game could see weather as a factor, providing a favorable scenario for Pacheco to exceed this line. Despite the Chiefs leaning heavily on Mahomes and the passing game, I anticipate they won’t neglect the running game entirely. Pacheco has logged 13 or more rushing attempts in five of his past six games and also carried the ball 15 times in the Super Bowl LVII against the Eagles.
Moody:Rashee Rice anytime touchdown. The best way to attack the Eagles’ defense is through the air. Philadelphia ranks fourth in run stop win rate. The Eagles have allowed 14 receiving touchdowns to wide receivers this season. During his time at SMU, Rice thrived in contested catch situations. The rookie is one of the best in the draft class when it comes to controlling his body and adapting to football in the air. There is a strong chance Rice scores his fourth receiving touchdown of the season Monday night.
Walder: Trent McDuffie OVER 4.5 tackles + assists (-125). My model forecasts McDuffie for 5.4 tackles + assists in this one, and if I’m right about my aforementioned thesis that the Eagles will rely heavily on their running game, then this pick gets even stronger. Run plays result in (a lot) more tackles for slot corners like McDuffie.