September 17, 2015 (Posted at 2:00 PM ET)
There are two football picks tonight.
The college one was wisely released yesterday to get the best possible line.
1) Take Kansas City Chiefs at -3 spread against Denver Broncos for 3% of the bankroll.
We find it interesting that the Chiefs have not defeated the Broncos since the final week of the 2011 season and carry a six-game losing streak against the defending AFC West champions and yet the odds makers have listed them as a field goal favorite in this contest and we believe it is for good reason.
The Denver Broncos have a hall of fame QB in Peyton Manning at the helm, but in all honesty, age may finally be starting to catch up with the great one. Manning finished the game with just 155 yards, no touchdowns and 1 interception. Given that Manning currently holds the record for touchdown passes in a single season, this performance is somewhat alarming. The Broncos offense simply did not look good at all in their Week 1 contest against the Baltimore Ravens and that could be a problem for them tonight in Arrowhead.
The exact opposite seemed true for Kansas City in their week 1 opener as they had absolutely no problem scoring against the Houston Texans, jumping out to a 27-6 lead with three touchdown passes from Alex Smith. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Kansas City victory was the consistent pressure put on by their pass rush led by Justin Houston. The Ravens were able to put pressure on Manning in the pocket and we believe the Chiefs' rushers could provide the same problems for the Denver offense that the Ravens did on Sunday.
The Broncos are certainly a team that deserves the respect of their opponents and they are a threat to win nearly every game with Peyton Manning at the helm, but we believe this is the Chiefs game to win. Denver is currently riding a 12 game winning streak against the AFC West and we are calling for that streak to end tonight. Arrowhead is an incredibly loud and tough place for visiting teams to play and we believe that will be the difference in this contest as the Chiefs knock off the defending AFC Champs and cover this small number.
2) Take Louisville at +7 spread (buy half a point) against Clemson for 3% of the bankroll.
The Louisville Cardinals are arguably the country's best 0-2 team this season. Coming off a tough home loss to the Houston Cougars as double digit favorites, the Cardinals will no doubt be extremely motivated to defend their home turf and atone for last week’s performance. This is also the start of their conference schedule which makes this an extremely important game to them. A 0-2 start to the season is certainly not ideal, but a win in their conference opener is a step in the right direction towards salvaging their season. These two teams squared off last season at Clemson and Louisville put forth a strong showing in that game. Although they ultimately fell short, 23-17, they did manage to hold the Tigers to just 229 total yards in that contest.
Louisville Coach Bobby Petrino is not a coach that is used to losing often and has rarely lost two in a row in his coaching career. In fact, that has only happened a total of 9 other times in his illustrious career. The results of this situation have been an extremely impressive 8-1 (straight up) record! He certainly has shown that he knows how to motivate his team to come out and give it their all. With such a propensity for winning outright, to get a full touchdown in this particular spot shows a lot of value. With the extra added motivation of revenge on their side and the thought of potentially starting the season off 0-3, we feel that the Cardinals will be the more motivated team on the field especially at home and on a nationally televised weekday game.
Let's not forget that this particular matchup has a lot of disadvantages to the Tigers and they have not always performed there best in these situations as Clemson is just 1-4 ATS in their last five when laying 7 or less points against conference foes. They have also shown their struggles on the road, especially in these weekday matchups as they are just 3-8 ATS in weekday road games. As a team, the Cardinals are a respectable 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games when seeking revenge against a conference opponents. What is even more impressive however is that fact that their coach, Bobby Petrino is an ultra-impressive 11-3 ATS when seeking revenge at home in his career! Add to that the fact that the Tigers are a money-burning 0-5 ATS against conference opponents seeking revenge and that makes a strong case for Louisville to not only cover the touchdown spread, but possibly contend for the outright victory!
The Cardinals have no doubt shown some holes in their game during the first two games of the season and at the moment that has put their stock is at an all-time low. That being said, we also believe that is where the value in them lies. This is a team that has a lot of talent and upside and we expect all that talent and preparedness to shine through in this matchup. If there was one game this season that they put it all together and have a quality showing; it's this one. This will likely be the best Louisville team that we have seen this season and they should find a way to stay within this generous point spread.
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