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Bettors Guide: Quarterbacks and tight ends big names in Chiefs-Pats matchup

After they lost road games at Jacksonville and Detroit, the demise at last of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots seemed closer than ever.

Emphatic victories over undefeated Miami and a solid triumph over Indianapolis changed that thinking.

Now the Patriots meet up with the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs in one of the most intriguing games so far in the NFL season.
It's Belichick, the master defensive schemer, going up against Andy Reid, one of the most respected offensive tacticians in the game (except perhaps in Philadelphia, where he has many critics).

Reid's teams have delivered routs of the Patriots (41-14 at home in 2014 and 42-27 in Foxboro last season), but overall the Kansas City coach is only 2-5 against Belichick including a playoff loss in 2015 and a Super Bowl defeat when Reid was with the Eagles.

Added to that is the QB battle between Brady and the Chiefs' impressive young Patrick Mahomes, who has blazed through the NFL like a comet this season. What schemes will Belichick come up with to frustrate Mahomes and keep him and the other KC offensive stars from taking over the game?

Also, it matches two of most productive tight ends in the NFL. Rob Gronkowski of the Patriots has 497 career receptions for a 15.1-yard average and 77 touchdowns. Travis Kelce of the Chiefs, who came into the league three years after Gronk, has 335 career receptions for a 12.9 average and 25 touchdowns.

This season Kelce has 28 catches for 407 yards and three TDs. Gronkowski has 23 for 308 and one touchdown.

For all the fun in store, many New England fans will either miss this game altogether or wear out their TV remotes switching back and forth between the Pats and the Boston Red Sox and their American League Championship Series game against the Houston Astros.

A capsule look at the Week Six NFL games:

Game of the week
Chiefs (5-0) at Patriots (3-2)

TV: NBC, 8:20 p.m.
The line: Patriots -3.
ATS: Chiefs 4-1; Patriots 3-2.
Over/under: 59 1/2.
Times over/under: Chiefs 4/1; Patriots 3/2.
The scoop: A wacky matchup. Here are undefeated Chiefs with defense that is giving up 461.8 ypg, worst in the league by far, going against the team that has won three of the last four AFC championships and seemingly is just hitting its usually dominant stride.
Outlook: Patriots favored in all five games so far and are 3-point favorite mainly because they are playing at home. Brady has Julian Edelman back from suspension and new weapons to work with in RB Sony Michel, WRs Josh Gordon and Cordarrelle Patterson. Patriots win entertaining offensive show, 42-34.

Top attractions

Steelers (2-2-1) at Bengals (4-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Bengals -2 1/2.
ATS: Steelers 2-3; Bengals 4-1.
Over/under: 53.
Times over/under: Steelers 3/2; Bengals 4/1.
The scoop: Pittsburgh has won six straight over Cincinnati. Last Bengals win was 16-10 at Heinz in first meeting of 2015, but Steelers came back to win in Cincy twice that season, once in playoff game. … Bengals, under much-maligned Marvin Lewis with much-maligned QB Andy Dalton, are one of surprise teams so far this season. ... It's the first game this season as underdog for Steelers. Bengals are 2-0 as favorites.
Outlook: It's rare that Pittsburgh isn't favored in divisional game, especially against Cincy. ... Over and under is usually in 40s when these two meets. Odd to see Steelers yielding 401.2 ypg. Pitt still has Marv's number. Steelers 31-24.

Chargers (3-2) at Browns (2-2-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Chargers -1.
ATS: Chargers 2-3; Browns 4-1.
Over/under: 44.
Times over/under: Chargers 4/1; Browns 1/4.
The scoop: Last time Chargers visited Cleveland is memorable because it was only Browns win (20-17 Christmas Eve, 2016) in 33 games until they finally got off the Schneid against the Jets in Week Three. ... Bolts won a snoozer against Raiders at StubHub last week while Browns were winning in OT over Ravens at home.
Outlook: Chargers are 2-2 ATS as favorite. Browns are 3-0-1 as underdog and relevant again. This won't be as easy as L.A.'s last road win (at Bills in Week Two). Browns, 24-21.

Bears (3-1) at Dolphins (3-2)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Bears -3.
ATS: Bears 3-1; Dolphins 3-2.
Over/under: 42 1/2.
Times over/under: Bears 3/1; Dolphins 2/3.
The scoop: When you think of Bears at Dolphins you have to recall a 1985 game when Miami spoiled Super Bowl Bears' perfect season, 38-24, much to relief of Nick Buoniconti and his 1972 Miami teammates. ... Chicago coming off bye after routing Bucs with six-TD passing game by second-year QB Mitchell Trubisky. Bears are 2-1 as favorites, Dolphins 2-2 as underdogs.
Outlook: Ryan Tannehill getting lot of grief again in Miami after his two turnovers for scores at Cincy were part of Bengals' comeback from 17 down to 27-17 win. ... Bears may be for real, but favored by three on the road? Dolphins, 17-14.

Rams (5-0) at Broncos (2-3)

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.
The line: Rams -7.
ATS: Rams 4-1; Broncos 1-3-1.
Over/under: 52 1/2.
Times over/under: Rams 3/2; Broncos 3/2.
The scoop: Already, observers are predicting demise of Denver coach Vance Joseph with 7-14 record in one season-plus. L.A. leads league in offense (468.4) and plus-15.0 scoring margin. Rams have been favored all games so far. Broncos 1-2 as dogs last three games.
Outlook: Last time Rams visited Mile High was in 2010 and they won by only 36-34. Temptation would be to expect same kind of margin today especially after Rams' close call (33-31) at Seattle last week. Instinct says look for ATS upset by Broncos, but Rams, 35-27.

Jaguars (3-2) at Cowboys (2-3)

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m.
The line: Jaguars -3.
ATS: Jaguars 3-2; Cowboys 1-4.
Over/under: 40 1/2.
Times over/under: Jaguars 3/2; Cowboys 1/4.
The scoop: Jaguars lost field goal duel (9-6) at home to Titans and 30-14 shootout at KC last week. ... Jaguars' five turnovers spoiled 502-yard offensive game against porous Chiefs defense last week. ... Lot of heat developing in Dallas Metroplex on coach Jason Garrett after decision to punt from Houston 42 in overtime ended up in winning FG by Texans. ... Leading rusher in NFL, Ezekiel Elliott (480 yards, 5.2 average) goes against league-leading Jaguars' defense (292.2). ... Decision to sign RB Jamaal Charles not a good sign that Jags' are expecting much help for a while from oft-injured Leonard Fournette.
Outlook: Dallas is 1-1 as home favorite. Jags were losing favorite at Tennessee, failing to score more than two FGs. Jaguars turn it over too much (minus-7) for a supposed Super Bowl contender. Dallas, 17-10.

Ravens (3-2) at Titans (3-2)

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m.
The line: Ravens -3.
ATS: Ravens 3-2; Titans 2-2-1.
Over/under: 41.
Times over/under: Ravens 2/3; Titans 2/2.
The scoop: Each team coming off disappointing loss in game when offense could not produce any touchdowns. Ravens lost, 12-9, in OT at Cleveland. Titans lost 13-12, at Bills.
Outlook: Line seems off with Titans as 3-point home underdog. They were 6-2 last season (under different coaching staff) and are 2-0 in 2018 at home with a much improved defense. May be a tease, but Titans, 16-14.

Best of the rest

Bills (2-3) at Texans (2-3)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Texans -8 1/2.
ATS: Bills 2-3; Texans 1-2-2.
Over/under: Off.
Times over/under: Bills 2/3; Texans 2/2.
The scoop: Question surrounding the health of Houston QB DeShaun Watson (foot) had Vegas handicappers holding off an over-and-under number for a while. ... Bills defensive performance in two wins has handicappers confused. Which Buffalo team will show up? ... Signing of Derek Anderson and Shady McCoy rumors this week have to be distractions in Orchard Park. ... Bills an underdog all five games. Texans 1-1-1 as favorite.
Outlook: Anybody want to volunteer as QB of Bills today with J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus coming after you? Key player will be Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins, who usually has his way against Buffalo, with TDs last two meetings. Hopkins leads league with 594 receiving yards and averages 15.2 per catch. Texans, 27-13.

Buccaneers (2-2) at Falcons (1-4)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Falcons -3.
ATS: Bucs 2-2; Falcons 1-4.
Over/under: 57 1/2.
Times over/under: Bucs 4/0; Falcons 4/1.
The scoop: After a bye week, Tampa Bay goes to Jameis Winston as the starter at QB. Thanks for your service, Ryan Fitzpatrick, but they are no longer required at this time. ... Tampa Bay coming off 48-10 rout at Chicago. Did that outcome foreshadow blossoming of the Bears or just Bucs coming down to earth after wins over Saints and Eagles. ... Last place Falcons are in trouble, already three games behind first-place Saints in division race.
Outlook: Bucs an underdog in all five games. Falcons 1-2 as the favorite. Time for Atlanta to wake up. Falcons, 41-20.

Cardinals (1-4) at Vikings (2-2-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Vikings -10 1/2.
ATS: Cardinals 3-2; Vikings 2-3.
Over/under: 43.
Times over/under: Cardinals 1/4; Vikings 2/3.
The scoop: Cards have been dreadful with 210.8 ypg offense which is even worse than the Bills. However, they are 3-1 ATS as underdog. ... Except for unproductive game against Bills, Vikings have got what they bargained for from Kirk Cousins (11 TDs-2 INTs) but they are one of the season's big disappointments. Win at Philadelphia last week gives Vikes a big morale boost.
Outlook: Josh Rosen led win at San Francisco last week, but passed for only 170 yards and one TD. He will get a test in Minny. Vikings 30-23.

Colts (1-4) at Jets (2-3)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Jets -2 1/2.
ATS: Colts 2-3; Jets 2-3.
Over/under: 45 1/2.
Times over/under: Colts 2/2; Jets 2/3.
The scoop: Indy coach Frank Reich will have to wait until next week against Bills for his first home win. He has Colts playing decent ball. They've been in every game except for Thursday night loss at New England in Week Five. ... Gang Green fans are Ga-Ga over home rout of Broncos with rookie QB Sam Darnold at the helm, but that was more a product of ground game which hammered Hosses for 323 yards including franchise record 219 by Isaiah Crowell. ... Andrew Luck comeback going well as Colts QB with 12 TD passes and 5 INTs.
Outlook: Colts are 2-1 as underdog, Jets 1-1 as favorite. Have to like very physical Jets team to handle Colts, 33-10.

49ers (1-4) at Packers (2-2-1)

TV: ESPN, Monday, 8:15 p.m.
The line: Packers -9 1/2.
ATS: 49ers 1-3-1; Packers 1-4.
Over/under: 46 1/2.
Times over/under: 49ers 4/1; Packers 3/1/1.
The scoop: This shaped up as entertaining MNF show before Jimmy Garoppolo injury. Packers haven't look like a Super Bowl contender so far. They easily could be 1-4. Best thing about 49ers has been unsung RB Matt Breida, who leads league with 7.5 rushing average.
Outlook: Niners 1-2 as dogs. Packers favored all five games, covered only once, against Bills (22-0). Green Bay, 33-17.

Dogs of the day
Seahawks (2-3) vs. Raiders (1-4) in London

Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Seahawks -3.
ATS: Seahawks 2-2-1; Raiders 1-3-1.
Over/under: 48.
Times over/under: Seahawks 2/3; Raiders 2/3.
The scoop: Jon Gruden must be yearning for ESPN broadcast booth after start his Silver and Black has gone through. Now he has to travel all the way Wembley Stadium to get pasted. ... Raiders one of four NFL teams (Chiefs, Bucs, Steelers) averaging more than 400 ypg on offense and giving up the same on defense. ... Seems like only yesterday when NFL media was raving about Derek Carr the way they rave about Patrick Mahomes now. Carr (7 TD passes, 8 INTs) gets slammed regularly now.
Outlook: Seattle plus-6 in turnovers and Raiders are minus-4. That helps explain why S-Hawks are 1-1 as favorite and Raiders 1-3 as dogs. Seattle, 23-16.

Panthers (3-1) at Redskins (2-2)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Redskins -1.
ATS: Panthers 2-2; Redskins 2-2.
Over/under: 45.
Times over/under: Panthers 3/1; Redskins 2/2.
The scoop: Drew Brees and Saints made it look easy against Redskins in Superdome on Monday night (43-19). Carolina blew 11-point fourth quarter lead at home against Giants but were bailed out by 63-yard Graham Gano field goal for two-point win. ... Second-year RB Christian McCaffrey becoming more dangerous week by week as Carolina weapon. He has 521 scrimmage yards as foil for Cam Newton.
Outlook: Carolina won't dazzle with a lot of flash, but keeps winning. First time Redskins have been favorite after they were pick game in opener. Panthers 0-2 as dogs, but they get this one, 17-14.

Last week: Betting favorites were 7-7-1. Counting the Colts-Patriots Thursday night game 9 games went over, 6 under.
Last week's record: 10-4 straight up; 7-7 versus spread.
Season's record: 34-27-2 straight up; 35-35-3.

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