After a doozy of a regular season, the playoffs are officially starting this weekend! Fans will be treated to marquee matchups, including this rematch between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs won their first meeting of the season, taking down the Dolphins in Germany, 21-14.
Both teams look slightly different now than they did across the pond, making this a challenging game to predict. They both have injured players who were slated to impact this game significantly, so it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.
As I write this on Wednesday morning, most sportsbooks have the Chiefs as four-point favorites. While conventional wisdom might indicate that this is good value for the Dolphins, we’re leaning with the Chiefs to win and cover the four-point spread.
This is slated to be one of the coldest games in NFL history, which doesn’t bode well for a Miami-based team. Tua Tagovailoa’s history in the cold is less than ideal, and he could struggle to adapt to the weather to outlast Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
The current over/under is set at 44. Despite this game being in cold weather, the Dolphins and Chiefs can score at will when all is clicking together. We might not expect Tagovailoa to have a massive game by any means, but when his back is against the wall, Mahomes figures it out. We’re leaning towards the over in this spot.
We love the +100 juice on this one for the Chiefs. They only scored 25+ points in six games this season, which might indicate that they would trend towards the under.
However, as previously mentioned, the Chiefs find a way in the postseason. Look for their offense to come alive against a banged-up Dolphins secondary, putting up 30+ points at Arrowhead Stadium.
Tyreek Hill is returning to Arrowhead for the first time since he left the Chiefs. Fans were a bit frustrated that they couldn’t see him at home, given the Germany game, but this should be a close consolation prize.
With Jaylen Waddle banged up, this could be an opportunity for Hill to have a massive game against his former team, hopefully falling into the endzone to cash this ticket.
We recognize that Travis Kelce has performed better in commercials lately than on the field. Kelce has not looked like himself recently, which we attribute to him being banged up throughout the season, unable to heal adequately given the season's demands.
However, playoff Kelce and Mahomes are a different beast. This duo will figure things out this weekend, resulting in a massive game for Kelce. Look for him to have closer to 100 yards rather than 55 this weekend, smashing the over in this spot.
Based on our analysis above, you might have seen this coming. Tagovailoa isn’t a fan of the snow, and we do not anticipate him overcoming that in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Tagovailoa only threw for 193 yards against the Chiefs earlier this season, a potential predictor of what’s to come. Given the weather and circumstances, we recommend that you take the under.
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