NFL Preseason 2012 Odds: Kansas City Chiefs Shedding Label as Worst Bet ColumnistAugust 15, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 27:  Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel of the Kansas City Chiefs watches players warm up prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 27, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Perhaps it should have been expected, with three injured stars from 2011 making their preseason debuts after knee surgeries.

Perhaps it should have been expected, with head coach Romeo Crennel trying desperately to re-instill a winning attitude in the once-proud Kansas City Chiefs locker room.

But it wasn’t expected in Vegas, and now sports bettors who have relied on the Chiefs to lose almost every preseason game since 2005 are looking for a new patsy.

Kansas City beat Arizona 27-17 to open the exhibition schedule, a win that barely registered a blip on the league radar. But that victory represented their second straight against-the-spread triumph dating back to last year’s finale.

And those events broke one of the NFL’s longest and most hideous losing streaks at sportsbooks around the world.

“The Chiefs are on a nice 2-0 ATS run after a 3-25-1 ATS run over the previous seven preseasons,” said Jack Randall, a football and MMA analyst at “That’s not a misprint – they played 29 games and covered the spread only three times before this burst of good news.”

Indeed, the returns of running back Jamaal Charles, corner Eric Berry and tight end Tony Moeaki from ACL surgeries have injected some good feeling. And Coach Crennel’s recent comments should be taken as fair warning to anyone looking to bet against KC in Week 2 and beyond.

“I think with a young team if you can begin to develop the habit of winning that can help you win when the regular season starts,” he told the Associated Press.

Translation: We are not treating preseason games as meaningful, glorified practice—rather as important games that help build a winning attitude.

That translation plays directly into one of the main tenets of wagering on NFL preseason games, despite naysayers who believe such betting is folly. Successful August bettors point to the fact coaches will tell you their game plan and tell the media who will play and who won’t as part of their reason for trying to turn a profit at Vegas sportsbook windows.

Another is coaching philosophy. Some coaches couldn't care less about winning in the preseason. Andy Reid and Bill Belichick are examples of long-tenured coaches who feel zero pressure to win in August.

Coaches like Crennel, who are welcoming back injured players or trying to find chemistry with free-agent signings, are in the other group. New head coaches bringing in a new offense or importing new defensive schemes from their previous job (like Jeff Fisher in St. Louis) are also dangerous, although the Rams were crushed by Andrew Luck’s Indianapolis Colts in Week 1.

The Chiefs aim for a 3-0 ATS run when the visit the aforementioned Rams Saturday. Kansas City was a slight one-point favorite at most shops tracked by as of Wednesday.