Pick Details

CLE
at
KC
(305) Cleveland vs. Kansas City (306) 3:05 PM | Sun, Jan 17 2021
Sport: NFL | Star Rating: 10.0 Evaluation: Loss (-1100) - Final Score CLE 17 at KC 22
Pick
-9.5 KC (-110) @ Draftkings

My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the KC Chiefs at 3:05 ET.

The Browns scored 14 seconds into their game at Pittsburgh last Sunday and led 28-0 at the end of the second quarter! Cleveland was without head coach Kevin Stefanski, who tested positive for COVID-19, and assorted other coaches and players because of protocol related to the pandemic. The Browns had limited practice time NONE of that mattered. The Browns were playing their first playoff game since 2002 and walked away with the team's first playoff victory since beating the Pats on New Year's Day 1995 (1994 season), 48-37. However, as a reward Cleveland (No. 6 seed) will travel to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the defending champion KC Chiefs, who earned the AFC's No. 1 seed by going 14-2.

Baker Mayfield matured this season and threw for 263 yards with three TDs and no interceptions last week in Pittsburgh. He has not thrown an interception in his last FIVE games. Cleveland averaged 148.4 YPG on the ground, the most for the franchise since 1978. Browns RB Kareem Hunt (841 yards) will face the Chiefs for the first time since they released him but the star RB is Nick Chubb, who is the first player since Miami's Mercury Morris in 1972 to rush for at least 1,000 yards (1,067) and score 12 TDs (he had 12) on 190 or fewer attempts. However, when one talks about offensive stars, Patrick Mahomes shines as bright as any. He was second in the NFL with 4,740 yards passing and fourth with 38 TD passes despite sitting out Week 17. Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire was fourth among rookies with 1,100 yards from scrimmage despite missing three games to injuries. Tyreek Hill was second among WRs with 17 total TDs this season and unanimous All-Pro TE Travis Kelce had 1,416 yards receiving in 15 games (catches), the most in a season by a TE in NFL history.

Neither team had a good ATS record this season (KC was 7-9 and Cleveland 6-10) but I have ZERO interest in bucking Mahomes, who has 13 TDs and ZERO interceptions in four postseason starts at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs scored at least 31 points in each of their three postseason wins a year ago and while Cleveland FINALLY won a postseason game, it came over a Pittsburgh team that after opening 11-0, lost FIVE of its final six games. The lone win came 28-24 over the Colts, a contest in which Pittsburgh trailed 24-7 late in the fourth quarter.

KC is NO Pittsburgh. The Chiefs tied a league-high with SEVEN players picked for the Pro Bowl, led the NFL in total offense Kansas City (415.8 YPG) and even the oft-maligned defense ranked fifth in the AFC in allowing 22.6 PPG. The Browns are coming off their first playoff win since the 1994 season and COVID-19 has wreaked havoc with the Browns in recent weeks. More injuries came in the win at Pittsburgh and let's NOT forget Big Ben did throw for 501 yards against the Browns VERY shaky secondary. Think Mahomes noticed anything in that game film? With a win, the Chiefs would be the first AFC team to host three consecutive conference championship games. Book it, as Sunday's win comes "with room to spare!"

Good luck...Larry

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