When the Chiefs (12-1) march in to New Orleans to battle the Saints (10-3) on CBS’ national game in Week 15 (4:25 p.m. ET), the race for the top playoff seeds in the AFC and the NFC will be on the line.
Kansas City is trying to stay a game ahead of Pittsburgh, which plays on Monday. New Orleans is trying to keep pace with Green Bay, which won on Saturday.
The Chiefs have a red-hot Patrick Mahomes about to secure his second NFL regular-season MVP award in three seasons. The Saints will be getting Drew Brees back at quarterback to duel him, instead of dual-threat supersub Taysom Hill.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Chiefs vs. Saints, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for the NFL’s Week 15 game.
Chiefs vs. Saints odds
- Spread: Chiefs by 3
- Over/under: 52.5
- Moneyline: Chiefs -159, Saints +139
The Chiefs have stayed around this number all week and even the news of Brees starting over Hill moved the number only a half-point away from the initial 3.5-point spread in favor of Kansas City. New Orleans’ offensive hopes stay the same while the Chiefs remain strong with Mahomes.
Chiefs vs. Saints all-time series
The Chiefs have won two a row, in 2012 and 2016, to move up to a 6-5 advantage all-time as the teams meet once every four seasons. They could easily meet again in Super Bowl 55.
Three trends to know
— 62 percent of bettors are with the Chiefs to cover the small number as road favorites to win by a more than a field goal.
— 75 percent of bettors think the point total is too low with these talented offenses and are taking the over.
— The Chiefs are 6-7 against the spread with six games going over. The Saints are 7-6 against the spread with eight games going over.
Three things to watch
Brees with no Michael Thomas
So the Saints are going back to the offensive situation they have had for most of the season: Brees starting under center but without his go-to wide receiver. Thomas (ankle-IR) has been shelved again, which will prompt the Saints to be focused on getting running back Alvin Kamara the ball often. Brees, coming off his battered ribs, needs to keep the Chiefs’ honest by getting the ball downfield a few times to Tre’Quan Smith and Emmanuel Sanders.
Mahomes with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce
Mahomes has interchangeably gashed pass defenses with his two dynamic go-to guys. Will the Saints try to take away the big shot plays to Hill with zone coverage? Or will they take their chances with their pass rush and double coverage vs. Hill and not let Kelce beat them consistently on intermediate routes? Most teams struggle with both players, but it’s important to contain one to limit Mahomes’ damage.
Tyrann Mathieu back on the Bayou
The Chiefs will see it be a tough homecoming for rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire against a top run defense. But their start safety, aka “The Honey Badger” can be a massive factor in this game, reading Brees’ eyes and being a beast in inside coverage and a few blitzes.
Stat that matters
10. That’s how many sacks the Saints have give up in the past three games with Hill. Brees can change that by getting the ball out more quickly, but if he can’t stretch the field and the Chiefs can blitz more freely, he will need to be on point under pressure. Not only is he facing a good Chiefs’ inside-outside pass defense, but also the heat to match what Mahomes does with a lot of help from his supporting cast.
Chiefs vs. Saints prediction
Mahomes won’t be denied here even though Brees and Kamara make this an offensive-minded fight through the end with the right combination of ball control and big plays. The Saints’ defense, sill picking up the pieces from the loss to the Eagles, won’t do enough to slow down Mahomes, down to his final possession in fourth quarter.
Chiefs 27, Saints 24