The premier matchup of the Week 6 NFL schedule is this Sunday night. The Patriots host the Chiefs in a potential AFC Championship preview. For this game and every other primetime contest, we’ll break down the sports betting lines and recommend where to place your bets at DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook.
Keep an eye on injury news right up until kick off since things can change quickly in the NFL. Any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if they don’t respond well in warm-ups.
Week 6 Sunday Night Football Betting
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
The porous Chiefs defense showed signs of life last Sunday, forcing Blake Bortles into five turnovers to pull away early. Yet with elite pass rusher Justin Houston (hamstring) and secondary leader Eric Berry (heel) unlikely to play, Kansas City will be hard pressed to stop a Patriots offense that is firing on all cylinders.
Kansas City’s best bet to win in New England will be scoring in the 30s. That’s something the Chiefs have proven capable of under exciting new QB Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs trail only the Rams in points per drive (3.29), yards per drive (42.3), and they lead the NFL in PPG (35.0) this season. They also boast a wealth of skill players, headlined by Tyreek Hill, who should give New England’s slow and sizable defense issues.
Now, let’s look at the other offense. Incorporating Josh Gordon and rookie RB Sony Michel, while getting Julian Edelman back from suspension, the Pats have effortlessly dropped 38 points in consecutive wins.
Tom Brady hit his stride, completing 34-of-44 passes for three TDs and two unlucky interceptions in a dismantling of the Colts last Thursday. Now, he’ll face a Chiefs team that ranks 28th in DVOA defense. They’re also dead last in nearly every category of rush defense.
Brady hasn’t been sacked in two games, and the Patriots line leads the league in fewest sacks allowed per pass attempt (3.35 percent). With Justin Houston almost certainly out, he’ll have time to dissect a team that allows the third-most yards per play (6.5) this season.
That is why there is a massive 59.5-point Over/Under assigned to this game. That’s up from opening at 58 points. Moreover, that number could continue to grow with approximately 80 percent of bets and public money coming in on the Over.
The Patriots rank fourth in pace of play during neutral situations. KC ranks eighth. When leading by seven-plus points, the Chiefs play at the slowest pace in the NFL. But the Patriots are still fourth fastest in those situations.
And it’s more likely than not that the Patriots (-3.5), with an extra few days to prepare, will find ways to disguise coverage and slow down Mahomes and the Chiefs enough to build an early lead. Despite early season weaknesses in the secondary, the Patriots defense ranks seventh in points allowed per drive and 12th in opponents’ drive success rate.
The most intriguing options in this game for NFL DFS contests on DraftKings and FanDuel are the tight ends. Travis Kelce is challenging Rob Gronkowski for the title of best TE in the league. He’s being utilized creatively and has totaled 27 catches for 401 yards and three TDs over his last four appearances.
Since the Patriots often play man coverage and should send safety help toward Tyreek Hill, Kelce is the best bet to lead KC in receiving. New England ranks 28th in DVOA pass defense against opposing top receivers and 18th against TEs. Ultimately, they’re struggling a bit against the position with Matt Patricia no longer on staff.
For KC, Sammy Watkins is seeing his role increase. He’s garnered eight targets in consecutive games. Chris Conley is another red-zone threat to consider.
Kareem Hunt should be able to pile up yardage against a struggling Patriots run defense, but the Pats are tough on the goal line, allowing just one rushing TD so far. Consider Hunt as a high-floor option in DFS contests.
Gronkowski has faced double coverage throughout most of this season, but that’s not feasible now with Edelman, Gordon, and James White commanding attention in other areas of the passing game.
This is a potential blow-up spot for Gronk against a Chiefs team that’s allowed the most receiving yards (453) and third-most receptions (33) to opposing TEs this season.
White has become an elite play in PPR formats and is basically impervious to game flow given the Patriots’ aggressive tendencies. Sony Michel should also produce against the Chiefs’ league-worst run defense, but White is the player to target on DraftKings.
KC has also given up the most receiving yards (454) and second-most receptions (39) to opposing RBs this season. It’s worth noting that Michel was limited in practice with a knee injury and could cede more work to White as a result.
Wide receiver is more of a crapshoot on the Patriots, with Gordon’s growing role inevitable but uncertain at this point. He’s only played 38 snaps over two appearances but could see more work after a mini bye week. Gordon has the highest aDOT (14.7 yards) of Patriots receivers and is slowly overtaking Phillip Dorsett for playing time.
Then, Chris Hogan (thigh) missed practice Thursday and could be losing Brady’s trust after dropping a ball that turned into an interception last week. Finally, Edelman is the safest option. He returned to play 48 offensive snaps (68.9%) in an easy win over the Colts and should see more work in a potential shootout.
NFL Week 6 Picks
The rising point total makes it tempting to tease the Patriots (-3.5) and the Under, going against the grain to a degree. Approximately 70 percent of bets are coming in on the Over.
Patriots HC Bill Belichick is 5-2 against Andy Reid. His Patriots are 33-6 in October home games since 2000. Belichick is going to fit his defense to contain Reid’s offense and potentially force Mahomes into his first “rookie mistakes.”
KC is 11-3-1 against New England at home, but the Patriots are 4-1 against the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. This includes a 27-20 victory in the playoffs.
Both teams could look to establish the run early and exploit the opposition’s weaknesses in rush defense. That could lead to a shorter game and one in which the Patriots can control the clock throughout the second half.
New England (-3.5) is the preferred bet, and taking the Under would be a good way to double down on the track record of this dynastic team in big home games.
At the highest point total (59.5) of the season, the Over/Under may be a bet to avoid. Bets are split right down the middle, yes. But over 70 percent of the money is coming in on the Pats (-3.5). Clearly, the sharps aren’t convinced there will be a changing of the guard atop the AFC.