The Chiefs experienced a huge turnaround under new head coach Andy Reid in 2013 and ended up making the playoffs.
The Titans hired a new coach, Ken Whisenhunt, this past offseason and will be looking for a new start after finishing last season on a 0-4-1 run against the spread.
Chiefs vs. Titans point spread: The Chiefs opened as 5.5-point favorites, but wagering on the Titans forced the number down to three points; the total was 43.5 (line updates and matchup report).
Odds Shark computer prediction: 28.7-20.8 Chiefs
Why the Titans can cover the spread
Tennessee suffered through a rough middle stretch of last season but was solid at the beginning and the end. The Titans brought in Whisenhunt to try to get some continuity from them—most notably, young quarterback Jake Locker, who only played seven games and missed the rest of the year after suffering a foot injury in Week 10.
Whisenhunt worked wonders with San Diego QB Philip Rivers as offensive coordinator of the Chargers last season, bringing his career back to life. If he can help Locker maximize the potential that made him a first-round pick in 2011, Tennessee could be a surprise team.
The Titans got off to a 3-1 start last year and went 3-0-1 ATS during that stretch before losing five of six, proving that they do have the talent to succeed.
Why the Chiefs can cover the spread
Kansas City saw how much a good coach could improve the team last season by starting 9-0 straight up, but it was the team’s finish that Reid has had to think about since getting bounced by Indianapolis in a wild playoff game back on Jan. 4.
The Chiefs blew a 38-10 lead in that Wild Card Game and lost 45-44, wrapping up a disappointing season with a 2-6 SU and 3-5 ATS run to end the year. Fortunately, they have a hard-working coach who has experienced this before. In Philadelphia, Reid went to three straight NFC Championship Games before winning the fourth.
While Reid likely will not lead Kansas City to another 9-0 start, his team will be ready to go against a Tennessee squad that should only get better as the season goes on. The Chiefs face a Titans team that has bled money against the AFC West in recent years (1-7-1 ATS, according to the Odds Shark NFL database).
The favorite is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
Tennessee is still working out some kinks in its offense, and it will probably take Whisenhunt a few games to get comfortable with all of the pieces. For example, Titans rookie running back Bishop Sankey, who was the first at his position selected in the NFL draft, may not start this game, even though he is expected to be a big contributor this season.
Reid and the Chiefs already know what they have to work with, and it worked pretty well for them most of last season. That’s why KC is the play here.
- Under is 8-1 when Titans open season the road
- All five meetings since 2004 played over the total
- Chiefs are 2-11 ATS past 13 games as home chalk
- Titans are 1-7-1 ATS past nine vs. AFC West teams