Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Miami +4½ over Kansas City
8:10 PM EST. The Dolphins are a nice story, but they are finding out what happens when you are godawful for over a decade or two because they are not a team that the media or the market are willing to trust. That contrast is even sharper now that the Fish are lined up with the defending Super Bowl champions and their future Hall of Fame quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. We’ll get to the Chiefs in a minute because there is much to pick away at when it comes to the situation Miami finds itself in this week.
The weather will not be warm in the Mid-West, as winter has finally found its way. The temperature is going to be below freezing in the -5°F range or -20°C at kickoff, and that does not account for the nasty windchill, which is expected to be bad enough that there has been a Wind Chill Warning issued, which could cause havoc on the exposed skin of those playing this game.
As a warm-weather team, there is already going to be a predisposition that the Dolphins are not well-equipped to compete in such conditions. However, we’re pretty sure the oddsmakers know that it's going to be colder than the back side of a penguin's ball sack and they still priced the Dolphins as less than a touchdown underdog here, which suggests not only do they have a chance to compete in the cold, but by golly, they just might have a chance to win. Incidentally, Kansas City opened up at -3½ before the inefficient market stepped in.
We appreciate the heat the Fish are under, as they had the opportunity to host a Wild Card game this weekend had they just held on against the Bills last Sunday night in Miami, where the Dolphins took a fourth-quarter lead (14-7) into the fourth quarter but gave up both the game-tying and game-winning majors to the Bills, ensuring the Fish would not be in the comfortable confines of South Beach. As for how Miami has prepared for this trip, the Dolphins packed up the portable heaters, the NFL-issued Nike parkas, tongues, and gloves and boarded the team plane for this business trip. What’s funny about the conversation about the weather is the complete overlooking of the fact that the Chiefs have to play in these conditions, too.
The Dolphins' last two losses were troubling, losing by 37 points to the Ravens and then being unable to keep the Bills from claiming the division again. Miami was awful last week in a primetime game that the market watched and took note of. Miami’s stock is extremely low and they have no playoff pedigree while the Chiefs have nothing but playoff pedigree. You know who else has back class and pedigree? Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and Arrowhead Stadium. Finally, the Chiefs have won two in a row and four of five heading into the playoffs while Miami has looked like anything but a playoff team for weeks.
So now the question is why did oddsmakers make Kansas City so appealing at -3½? You think they’re giving away money? You think they were not aware that the entire NFL betting world would swallow those points faster than the babysitter’s boyfriend moves when the car pulls up? This is a prime time Saturday night game. There is not a bigger market than an NFL playoff game. You think people in Vegas are flocking to the sportsbooks to bet on the Knicks/Grizzlies game? One in 10 people at every sportsbook in North America will be betting the Dolphins today and we’ll be in that minority. Before you pull the trigger, you should think about why the oddsmakers made K.C. (NFL royalty for the past six years) such a small favorite at home, against a team that looks like a dumpster fire. Dallas is -7½ over Green Bay, Buffalo is -10 over Pittsburgh but Kansas City opened at just -3½? Does that make sense to you? Oddsmakers are telling us that the Chiefs are the sucker bet of the weekend. Don’t ignore that.
Miami +4½ -104 (Risking 2.08 units - To Win: 2.00)