The Patriots Line: Can Pats cover as historic underdogs vs. Chiefs?


If the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs play Monday night at 7:05 p.m. ET, we'll have another excuse to bring up Super Bowl XXXVI.

The Patriots are set to visit the Chiefs on Monday without starting quarterback Cam Newton, who was placed on the team's COVID-19/reserve list Saturday.

That means journeyman backup Brian Hoyer, who hasn't won an NFL start since 2016, likely will lead New England against Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champions.

The Patriots already were 7-point underdogs before the Newton news. Without Newton sidelined, that number has jumped to 11 points. (Odds provided by our partner, PointsBet.)

Spread: Chiefs -11 (-105), Patriots +11 (-115)

Moneyline: Patriots +480, Chiefs -670

Total: Over 50 points (-110), Under 50 points (-110)

When is the last time Bill Belichick's Patriots have been double-digit underdogs? You guessed it: Feb. 2, 2002, when they upset the St. Louis Rams as 14.5-point underdogs in Super Bowl XXXVI.

Hoyer reportedly replacing Newton obviously makes a New England upset much more challenging against a Kansas City team that just beat the Baltimore Ravens by 14 points.

How soon can Newton return from COVID-19/reserve list?

For betting purposes, though, there's plenty of intrigue about whether the Patriots can cover that 11-point spread.

Here are three betting trends to consider for Monday's game, courtesy of Rotoworld's EDGE Finder:


Trend No. 1: The Patriots are 8-1-1 against the spread as seven-point underdogs or greater in the Bill Belichick era. Their lone loss against the spread came on Oct. 7, 2001, in a 30-10 defeat to the Miami Dolphins.

Trend No. 2: New England is 7-2 against the spread in its last nine games as an underdog and has won seven of those nine games straight up.

Trend No. 3: Hoyer has lost his last 16 starts straight up dating to Oct. 9, 2016, but his teams have gone 14-9 against the spread in games he's appeared in during that span.

So, can Belichick continue his hot streak as an underdog, or is the talent gap with Hoyer under center too wide to overcome?

Here's our game pick for Patriots-Chiefs:

Our pick: Patriots +11

All odds are stacked against the Patriots: They're traveling the morning of the game, are starting a journeyman QB and are facing the best team in the NFL. But the Chiefs' biggest weakness is one of New England's greatest strengths: Kansas City is allowing 153 rushing yards per game. The Patriots aren't winning this one, but their ground-and-pound approach can keep it within 10. Chiefs 30, Patriots 20.