Best bets for the Chiefs-Bills and Cardinals-Cowboys

Create: 2020-10-19
Update: 2020-10-19
Score: 3
Safe: Yes

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Monday, October 19, 2020
If you're like me, you find yourself a bit surprised by the fact that it's Monday afternoon, and we haven't seen a coach fired in the NFL yet. Like, what is there left for Adam Gase to do with the New York Jets to prove to those in charge that it's not going to work? I feel like the only reason Gase is still employed is that the front office realizes that firing him might jeopardize the team's chances of getting the No. 1 pick and drafting Clemson's Trevor Lawrence.
They can't risk some interim coach getting the team to believe in itself for a week and picking up a win. At this point firing Adam Gase might be dumber than, oh, I don't know, trading a player like Mookie Betts just as he's about to enter his prime. Nobody would be that dumb, right?
Anyway, while we don't have any MLB playoff games tonight, we're still being blessed with another Monday night doubleheader. We do not deserve it, but we will not be returning it, either. I have picks for both games coming up shortly, but before we get into that, check out what's going on in the world of sports first.
  • Titans coach Mike Vrabel is an evil genius.
  • Kirk Cousins is becoming self-aware.
  • Our MLB writers share their picks for the World Series.
  • Purdue's Jeff Brohm is the latest college football coach to test positive for COVID.
OK, let's make some money
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Chiefs at Bills, 5 p.m. | TV: Fox
The Pick: Chiefs -5.5 (-110): Ordinarily, you're not going to find me being the guy taking a road favorite in a primetime or spotlight game, but I don't see any other choice here. There are just too many things pointing to the Chiefs here. First of all, Kansas City is not only coming off a loss, but it's had extra time to prepare for this game. The last thing I want to give Andy Reid before facing him is more time to develop a game plan. More than that, though, it's concerns over how this Buffalo defense matches up against the Kansas City offense.
The 2020 version of the Buffalo defense isn't as good as the one we saw last season. The Bills rank 27th in the NFL in defensive DVOA. They haven't been good against the run or the pass and are particularly bad against tight ends. The Buffalo pass-rush has been virtually non-existent this year, which plays a role in the team's inability to stop the pass. Buffalo's sack rate of 5.1% ranks 21st in the league. If you can't pressure Patrick Mahomes and can't cover Travis Kelce, precisely what can you do to stop the Chiefs? Unless we see a mistake-laden performance that we just don't see from this Chiefs team, I don't see anything happening here, but a Kansas City win and cover.
Key Trend: Patrick Mahomes is 12-5-1 ATS on the road as a starter.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Advanced Computer Model is at it again, simulating games over 10,000 times to find out who is going to win. Here's what it has to say about tonight's game in Buffalo.
💰The Picks
🏈 NFL
Cardinals at Cowboys, 8:15 p.m | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Cowboys -1 (-110) -- 
Losing Dak Prescott for the rest of the season is terrible, but it's not like the Cowboys were left in an awful position without him. The Cowboys went and got a proven veteran backup in Andy Dalton for precisely this kind of situation, and while Dalton doesn't have the NFL MVP kind of ceiling that Dak has, he provides a high floor. Particularly when surrounded by all the skill position talent that the Cowboys have elsewhere. We can't forget that when Dalton came in to replace Prescott last week, he completed nine of his 11 passes for 111 yards. Plus, for all the problems the Cowboys have defensively (24th in NFL in DVOA), the Cardinals aren't much better (20th in DVOA). Nor does it help matters that the Cardinals lost Chandler Jones for the season. The Cowboys aren't as good this week as they were last week, but they're good enough to win this game more times than not.
Key Trend: The home team is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
Cardinals at Cowboys, 8:15 p.m | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Over 55.5 (-110) -- 
That's right! We're double-dipping! I mentioned above that both of these teams have bad defenses. I also mentioned that the Cowboys still have a ton of talent on offense. What I didn't mention is that Arizona's offense can be explosive, thanks to Kyler Murray and De'Andre Hopkins. Don't be surprised if a track meet breaks out at AT&T Stadium tonight, and we see a lot of points being put on the board. After all, the only Cowboys game to feature fewer than 55.5 points this year was the season opener against the Rams. The four since have included an average of 76.5 points per game.
Key Trend: The over is 11-3 in Dallas' last 14 home games.
🔒 SportsLine Picks of the Day: The SportsLine Projection Model remains on fire with its NFL picks: 14-6 on top-rated plays this season and up over $7,800 for $100 players since its inception. Here is how the model is playing both games today.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Must-Have
Patrick Mahomes -- Whether you're playing the single-game slate or the full-slate of both games, you want Patrick Mahomes tonight. As mentioned above, when explaining the Chiefs pick, the Bills defense has been bad this season, particularly against the pass. So load up on Mahomes as well as Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.
Value
Christian Kirk -- If you're spending up on Mahomes and his top targets, you have to save elsewhere. Christian Kirk is a perfect option. We're expecting a high-scoring game in the nightcap as well, and Kirk could provide a stellar game. He finally blew up last week against the Jets, but it wasn't just because the Cardinals played the Jets. The seven targets he saw were the most he saw so far this season, and with De'Andre Hopkins drawing the lion's share of attention from the defense, it provides Kirk a lot of room to work with. He's capable of exploiting it.
Full lineup advice
SportsLine's team of DFS insiders has you covered for daily fantasy sports. Mike McClure has won almost $2 million playing DFS and is one of the top MLB DFS experts anywhere. Check out his MLB picks here, and be sure to see what he's picking for NBA DFS here too. Use SportsLine's all-new DFS Optimizer to get optimal NFL DFS picks from 10,000 simulations.
 Monday Night Props
  • Travis Kelce TD (-138)
  • Travis Kelce over 6.5 receptions (+100)
  • Kyler Murray under 42.5 rushing yards (-115)
  • Michael Gallup TD +250
 
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