If you are a fan of the Atlanta Falcons, then you don't like to see the Kansas City Chiefs up next on the NFL schedule, whether it's a preseason or a regular-season game. Since the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, the Chiefs have proven to be a thorn in the side of the Falcons time and again. Atlanta has defeated the Chiefs just once in preseason play since 1978, but the good news is that win came in their last meeting, a 20-10 Falcons home verdict in 2010.
In regular-season play, the Falcons reached the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history during the 2016 NFL season, but en route there they suffered a 29-28 home-field loss to the Chiefs in Week 13. Two of Atlanta's three losses at home that season came against AFC West opposition, the San Diego Chargers being the other AFC West victor in Atlanta. But after that loss to the Chiefs, the Falcons would win six in a row up until their 34-28 overtime loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.
Zig Zag - If you are a proponet of the zig zag theory, then the Chiefs-Falcons showdowns are the series for you. The principle of the zig zag theory of wagering is to bet on the team that lost the previous game, and in this series, just once in seven preseason meetings has the same team won two in row, victories by Kansas City in 1987-88. In three home preseason games against the Chiefs, the Falcons have gone win-loss-win. You know what comes next in that equation.
Over And Under - There are different avenues at play on the total wager when it comes to the Falcons-Chiefs series. In the regular season, you'll want to be all over the over bet. Five of the last six Chiefs-Falcons games have gone over, and there's been some whoppers when these two teams clash on the gridiron. Kansas City blasted Atlanta 56-10 in 2004, 38-10 in 1985 and 30-10 in 1994. The Falcons crushed Kansas City 40-24 in 2012 and 38-14 in 2008.
When these teams meet in the preseason, though, defensive struggles tend to rule the day, although the last two meetings have seen an outpouring of points - well, an abundance of scoring that is in comparison to most Atlanta-Kansas City exhibition encounters. The Falcons were 20-10 winners in 2010, while the Chiefs took a 27-13 decision in 1988. Prior to that, in five games just once did the two teams combine for a total of 40, and on three occasions, the total was 24 or less.
The Waiting Game - The Falcons have twice been to the Super Bowl and twice they've come up short. Besides that loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI, the Falcons also fell 34-19 to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII. But at least they got there. For the Chiefs, the enduring wait for a Super Bowl encore to go with their win in Super Bowl IV continues. Kansas City lost Super Bowl I 35-10 to the Green Bay Packers, but since their 23-7 triumph over the Vikings in Super Bowl IV, they've never been back to the big game.
The sportsbooks aren't big on the Chiefs doing it in Super Bowl LIII, either. Oddsmakers at Bovada place the Chiefs at +3000 in their Super Bowl LIII future book, behind 13 other NFL teams including the Falcons, who were assigned odds of +2000, just two years removed from their Super Bowl LI setback. If you really want to gamble, you can play a wager on a Chiefs-Falcons matchup in Super Bowl LIII at MyBookie. You'll get odds of +18000 on that event happening.
Matty Ice Cold - Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was the talk of the NFL during his incredible 2016 season, which ended with him collecting the NFL's MVP Award. Ryan threw for a career-high 4944 yards and a career-best 38 touchdowns. He was picked off just seven times, a career low. He completed TD passes to 13 different receivers, an NFL record. It all served to get Ryan paid. He signed a $150 million contract extension in 2018, becoming the NFL's first $30 million a year QB and the highest-paid player in NFL history.
But how the mighty have fallen. In 2017, Ryan's TD pass total dropped to 20 and his passer rating plummeted from a career-high 117.1 in 2016 to 91.4. Ryan's stock also fell in the eyes of the oddsmakers. MyBookie gives Ryan odds of +1600 to win a second MVP award in 2018. Bovada likes Ryan even less at odds of +2200. BetOnline puts Ryan in the middle of those two books, listing him at +1800, while TopBet chimes in at +2200 on the chances of Ryan hauling away more MVP hardware in 2018.
K.C. And Sunshine - In terms of division races, one of the most wide-open is the AFC West, and that's good news for you if you are thinking of placing a wager on the outcome there. Are the Los Angeles Chargers the team that started 3-6, or the team that finished 6-1? Will the Oakland Raiders rebound to their 2016 playoff form under new/old coach Jon Gruden? The Denver Broncos certainly still have an elite defense, but can new QB Case Keenum bring his Minnesota magic with him to the Mile High City?
Amidst all these questions, we have the defending AFC West Division champion Chiefs. After another disappointment in the playoffs, they've jettisoned their veteran QB Alex Smith and opted to ride the rapids with 2017 first-round draft pick Patrick Mahomes. He's viewed as a budding superstar, but after just one start in the NFL, how quickly will his learning curve escalate?
If believe Mahomes is the real deal, then Bovada is offering the Chiefs as co-second choice to win the AFC West with the Raiders at +275. The Chargers check is as the future book chalk at +175, while the Broncos are the longshot on the board at +400.