The defending Super Bowl champions are in a tight spot. The New England Patriots (12-4 SU, 7-7-2 ATS) host the red-hot Kansas City Chiefs (12-5 SU, 9-8 ATS) this Saturday in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs; the Patriots are 5.5-point favorites at press time with a total of 42.5 points, but Kansas City has won 11 straight games at a healthy 8-3 ATS. Kick-off is at 4:35 PM ET on CBS.
New England isn’t quite so healthy. Quartback Tom Brady (high-ankle sprain) and wide receiver Julian Edelman (broken foot) are just two of the Patriots who will be playing hurt on Saturday. Also, defensive end Chandler Jones was hospitalized on Sunday, allegedly after overdosing on pills at tight end Rob Gronkowski’s house. Gronkowski missed Tuesday’s practice, but both he and Jones were back on the field Wednesday. Despite these issues, the Patriots have drawn enough action to move from –5 at the open.
The Chiefs could be missing a pair of key players for this matchup. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and running back Spencer Ware both missed Wednesday’s practice with ankle injuries. Maclin reportedly has a “mild” high-ankle sprain similar to Brady’s, while the extent of Ware’s injury has yet to be revealed.