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Thursday Night Football Week 1: Lions at Chiefs - Trust Patrick Mahomes in Prime Time

Target Moore in fantasy if Kelce misses Week 1
Matthew Berry explains why fantasy managers who drafted Travis Kelce shouldn’t make a panic move in the wake of his last-minute knee injury.

After what felt like an eternity, the wait is finally over; the NFL IS BACK!

The season kicks off Thursday at 8:20 PM ET on NBC when Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions head to Arrowhead to take on the defending Super Bowl champions Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs (Thursday, 8:20 PM ET on NBC)

Spread: Kansas City -4.5 | Total: 52.5

The line opened with the Chiefs being a 6.5-point favorite and the total set at 54.5. That line fluctuated a little before settling around -6.

However, on Tuesday, it was reported that superstar TE and security blanket for Mahomes, Travis Kelce, has suffered a hyperextended knee and is in jeopardy of missing the Thursday night game. After the news, the spread bounced between -4 and -5, and the total from 51 to 53. They look to have settled in at -4.5 and 52.5.

Bet the Edge is your source for the day in sports betting. Get all of Jay Croucher and Drew Dinsick’s insight Tuesday through Saturday at 6AM ET right here or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Best Bet: Patrick Mahomes OVER 17.5 Rushing Yards (-115)

Mahomes is a player who always seems to step up when the lights are the brightest. He’s a killer in primetime, and he lives for the highlight moments. He isn’t necessarily known for his legs or his blazing speed on the ground, but when his team needs him most, he does whatever is necessary to move the chains and keep his team in the game.

Mahomes’ rushing total opened at 14.5 and quickly moved to 16.5 before settling at 17.5 on Wednesday afternoon. Even with the drastic line movement, I like Mahomes to go over his rushing total. In his five regular season primetime games last season, Mahomes went three for five on this line, averaging 24.2 yards per game. The two games where he did not cover were against the Broncos, who were second-best in QB scramble yards allowed, and the Chargers, who were ninth best.

Last season, the Lions’ defense allowed the most rushing yards to opposing QBs. Sure, the number is slightly inflated, with Justin Fields running for over 100 yards on them twice last season. But they allowed Carson Wentz to rush for 23, Geno Smith to rush for 49, and Trevor Lawrence for 32, hell, even Sam Darnold ran for 19 against them.

If Kelce were to miss this game, it would be the first time since 2013 that he’s out due to injury. Since Mahomes entered the league, he’s leaned on Kelce heavily. There’s a strong possibility we could see Mahomes rely on his legs more to move the chains.