06 September, 2023
The Kansas City Chiefs were given 6.5 points as favorites over the Detroit Lions when sportsbooks released their opening lines for the NFL’s Week 1 matchups in early May. The line only moved once in the nearly four months following its debut, spending a few days in August at Chiefs -7. It then returned to Chiefs -6.5 and remained there.
Prior to Tuesday, after some significant news, it began to move once more.
The line changed to Chiefs -6 at BetUS when it was revealed that Chiefs all-world tight end Travis Kelce had hyperextended his knee and his availability for Thursday’s game was in doubt. If Kelce is sidelined for Week 1, that line will probably shift once again and away from -6, a significant wagering point in football.
What is Kelce’s value to the line? Though he hasn’t missed a game since his freshman year in 2013, maybe we’ll find out. It appears plausible that Kelce will try to play if there is no ligament injury and only pain management is required. But we don’t know, and we don’t know if Kelce, who injured his knee two days ago, will be productive.
Due to Kelce’s injury, the Chiefs could be without two key players on each side of the ball for extended periods of time. Chris Jones, a defensive lineman who is unquestionably the Chiefs’ top defender, has been refusing to play. According to Chiefs coach Andy Reid, there has been no advancement in negotiations with Jones, making it highly doubtful that Jones would be wearing a uniform and participating in a full game by Thursday.
More than any other team, the Chiefs are dependent on tight end Kelce. Patrick Mahomes’ main target has been Kelce since Kansas City lacks a standout No. 1 wide receiver. It is impossible to emphasize his absence from the Chiefs offense.
The line might change once more if Kelce is benched or if fresh information about the severity of his ailment emerges. It’s unlikely that the absence of another tight end would affect the point spread. The Lions-Chiefs spread for Week 1 has already changed due to the mere potential that Kelce would miss time.
The line is now down to Chiefs -4.5 points. 57% of the public is wagering on the Chiefs according to Oddshark.
The Chiefs are still a top notch football team. Its true that Kelce is an important player but two points is a lot to shave of for a tight end. Still, the Chiefs have a tendency to play down to competition early in the season. The Lions are the upstart team in the NFC an everyone’s Cinderella pick for 2023. The safe money is to take the Chiefs at home where the crowd will be totally pumped up and the excitement will be palpable.