This week’s edition of Sunday Night Football features two AFC teams trending way down.
The Kansas City Chiefs are a mess, as their hapless defense and the underwhelming offense have led to a 5-4 SU record and a 2-7 ATS record. Meanwhile, the Raiders just took a tough loss against the Giants to fall to 5-3.
Both these teams will be hungry for a win, especially as the AFC playoff race heats up.
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However, I’m not expecting the Chiefs to drop 50 points in this game. Kansas City should continue to struggle, and our team has come up with a SNF prop for Chiefs Raiders in response
Travis Kelce Under 6.5 Receptions (-125 @ Bet365)
There are three main reasons why I’m making this play.
Let’s dive into them.
Kansas City’s Offensive Struggles
The Kansas City offense is broken right now.
Nothing is working for Patrick Mahomes and co. The Chiefs have scored a combined 36 points over the last three games. Per PFF, Mahomes has made two Big Time Throws to six Turnover Worthy Plays during this stretch, averaging just over five yards per attempt.
Well, the Cheifs’ offensive ineptitude has resulted in the entire team being overvalued in the prop betting market. Honestly, you could make an argument for taking the under on any Kansas City player at this time. But fading Travis Kelce is my favorite play.
After dominating for the first three weeks of the season, Kelce’s production has fallen off a cliff.
Travis Kelce receiving yards per game this season. Image credit: Props.cash
Kelce’s receiving yards tell the story of his decline better than the receptions totals do. But, Kelce hasn’t hit this receptions number much. He’s recorded seven or more receptions in four of his nine starts this season — three of those times he recorded exactly seven — and has cashed this number just twice in the last six games.
Moreover, Kelce has gone over his reception total line just once in those nine starts. All three times he managed seven receptions, the O/U was set at 7.5.
Travis Kelce reception totals vs. opening and closing lines. Image credit: Pro Football Focus
Las Vegas’ Defense
The Raiders aren’t very productive against TEs. But there are two reasons I’m optimistic.
Last week, Green Bay held Kelce to 68 yards on just five receptions. Green Bay ranks 23rd in defensive DVOA vs. TEs, and the Raiders are right there with the Packers, at 25th. The Raiders are allowing 7.9 receptions per game to opposing TEs, but the Packers are allowing 7.4.
My point is, the Raiders’ TE defense is right in line with the Packers’ TE defense. The Chiefs offense is so broken, Kelce can’t take advantage of either team right now.
But the second reason for optimism: The Raiders have been holding opposing TEs under this number. Over their past four games, the Raiders have allowed:
- Two receptions to Cole Kmet (2.5 O/U)
- Nine receptions to Noah Fant (4.5 O/U)
- Three receptions to Dallas Goedert (4.5 O/U)
- Three receptions to Evan Engram (3.5 O/U)
So, three of the last four TEs to play against Vegas went under their receptions total. That gives me optimism for Sunday Night.
The projection market is low on Kelce for Sunday Night Football.
I’ve hunted around and found some projections for Kelce’s receptions total on Sunday Night. All-in-all, the projection market paints a pretty picture for Kelce’s under.
- The Action Network’s Sean Koerner’s projections: 5.9 receptions for Kelce
- The Action Network’s Chris Raybon’s projections: 6.1 receptions for Kelce
- Awesomeo’s NFL Player Props tool: 5.7 receptions for Kelce
- Betting Pros’ NFL Player Props tool: 6.58 receptions for Kelce
- RotoWire’s NFL Player Props projections: 6.7 receptions for Kelce
All-in-all, the consensus projections have Kelce going under this number, and my research indicates he likely won’t hit the over.