Chiefs, Mahomes Will Humble Jaguars In AFC Divisional Round

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Another year, another first-round bye for the AFC’s 1-seed, Kansas City Chiefs, who host the AFC South champion Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday in the AFC divisional round. Kickoff at Arrowhead Stadium is 4:30 p.m. ET.

Patrick Mahomes looks to lead the Chiefs to their fifth consecutive AFC title game since becoming the starter in 2018. Mahomes is the best in the biz and is a lock for the 2022 NFL MVP.

Kansas City had an AFC-best 14-3 regular-season record to earn its fourth first-round bye in the past five seasons. But, the Chiefs play with their food and are just 5-11-1 against the spread (ATS).

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes scrambles from defensive pressure by the Jacksonville Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes scrambles from defensive pressure by the Jacksonville Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (David Eulitt/Getty Images)

Speaking of “playing with their food,” the Jaguars fell into a 27-0 before rallying to beat the Chargers 31-30 with a game-winning FG as time expired in last week’s AFC Wild Card round.

Trevor Lawrence recovered from a 4-INT first half to throw 4 TD passes in the second half and led Jacksonville to scores on all five drives after halftime.

The Chiefs demolished the Jaguars 27-17 in KC earlier this season in a game far worse than the final score indicates. But, the Chiefs pushed as 10-point favorites, which is what this game opened at.

Jaguars-Chiefs Betting Board (DraftKings Sportsbook)

  • Moneyline: Jaguars (+350), Chiefs (-435)
  • ATS: Jaguars +8.5 (-105), CHIEFS -8.5 (-115)
  • Total — 53 — Over: -110, Under: -110

I have a theory for you to completely disregard: Sharps or betting syndicates steamed KC’s spread down to an advantage teaser-friendly number.

In a “teaser” you add 6 points to a line but have to combine at least two legs. An “advantage teaser” in the NFL is when you tease a team past the key number of +7 or below -3.

Once the Chiefs got down to -8.5, KC combined with the Eagles -7.5 (teased down to -1.5) hosting the Giants is “America’s Teaser” in the NFL divisional round.

What I’m getting at is let’s not worry about the line movement toward Jacksonville. My hunch is the Chiefs bounce back up to -9 before kickoff Saturday because they are clearly the right side.

Kansas City dump-trucked Jacksonville in Week 10 despite a -3 turnover margin. The Chiefs out-gained the Jaguars 7.8-5.2 in yards per play, converted nine more first downs (26-17), had no penalties and out-sacked the Jaguars 5-0.

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes prepares to launch one against the Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes prepares to launch one against the Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (David Eulitt/Getty Images)

Mahomes torched the Jaguars, connecting on 26-of-35 passes for 331 yards with a 4/1 TD/INT ratio and a 129.6 QB Rating. Chiefs All-Pro TE Travis Kelce caught 6 of those balls for 81 yards and 1 TD.

Also, casual NFL fans underrate KC’s secondary and Chiefs All-Pro DT Chris Jones will dominate Jacksonville’s offensive line. Jones led KC with 1.5 sacks and 2 QB hits vs. the Jaguars in Week 10.

Per Pro Football Focus, all of the Jaguars’ starting offensive linemen have below-average grades. Jacksonville’s three starting wideouts have a below-average WR/CB matchup as well.

If we are being real, it’s Mahomes’ and the Chiefs’ world and we are all just living in it. Sure, they don’t cover big numbers but Kansas City’s three losses this season were by a combined 10 points.

Most importantly, the Chiefs are 6-3 ATS in the playoffs since Mahomes became the starter and the Jaguars are at least a year away from competing in this game.

BEST BET: Chiefs -8.5 (-115) at DraftKings

The Kansas City Chiefs' odds for the full-game vs. Jacksonville Jaguars from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, Jan. 19th at 6 p.m. ET.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ odds for the full-game vs. Jacksonville Jaguars from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, Jan. 19th at 6 p.m. ET.

PS Player Prop: Kansas City RB Jerick McKinnon OVER 34.5 receiving yards (-110)

McKinnon’s role in KC’s offense has expanded as the season progresses. He has at least 36 receiving yards in seven of the last 10 games, including 6 catches for 56 yards in Week 10 vs. the Jaguars.

Furthermore, McKinnon is fourth in pass targets for Kansas City (71) and third in receptions (56). His reception prop is 4.5 and McKinnon averages 9.1 yards per reception.

Jaguars LB Chad Muma tackles Chiefs RB Jerick McKinnon at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Jaguars LB Chad Muma tackles Chiefs RB Jerick McKinnon at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (David Eulitt/Getty Images)

So even if he gets hooked and finishes with 4 catches, McKinnon can still finish with roughly 36 receiving yards based on his yard-per-reception average.

Jacksonville will have its hands full with Kelce, which will lead to opportunities for McKinnon. The Jaguars allow the second-most receiving yards to opposing running backs.

For the record, Kansas City’s spread is my favorite gambling look in this game. I’d only wager a quarter-unit or so on McKinnon’s receiving yards prop.

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jerick McKinnon's receiving yards prop from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, Jan. 19th at 6 p.m. ET.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Jerick McKinnon’s receiving yards prop from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, Jan. 19th at 6 p.m. ET.

Follow or fade my picks here, for not just the NFL but the NBA, NHL, PGA Tour, college football, and college hoops as well!

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Written by Geoff Clark

One Comment

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  1. If we are being real, it’s Mahomes’ and the Chiefs’ world and we are all just living in it. Sure, they don’t cover big numbers but Kansas City’s three losses this season were by a combined 10 points.

    THANK YOU

    Also, Chiefs 7-2 in postseason at Arrowhead in Mahomes Era. The two losses were in OT.

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