Each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from July 12 through Sept. 2, we will take a look at the projected win totals for each team in the NFL, running one division per week for eight weeks.
NOTE: All over/under win totals are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
2021 record: 12-5
2022 bye week: 8
Most impactful additions: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, RB Ronald Jones, S Justin Reid, DB Trent McDuffie (first round of draft), DE George Karlaftis (second first-round pick), WR Skyy Moore (second round of draft)
Most impactful departures: WR Tyreek Hill, S Tyrann Mathieu
Easiest part(s) of schedule: There aren’t many of them. They don’t play a team that finished with a losing record in 2021 until Week 10 when they host Jacksonville. They don’t have another one until traveling to Denver to face Russell Wilson and the Broncos on Dec. 11 for a Sunday night game.
Really, the only “easy” stretch of schedule comes from Weeks 14 through 17 when after traveling to Denver, the Chiefs will go to Houston, host Seattle and then play Denver once more at Arrowhead Stadium.
Toughest part(s) of schedule: The schedule rankings say this is tied for the fifth-toughest in the NFL. I say it very well could be THE toughest.
As mentioned, Kansas City’s first half has nothing but teams that finished with winning records last season. In fact, the only two teams they play in that first half that didn’t make the playoffs are the Chargers in Week 2 (on a Thursday night) and the Colts on the road the following week.
After that, they have a run of at Tampa Bay (Sunday night), Las Vegas (Monday night), Buffalo, at San Francisco, bye week and Tennessee (Sunday night).
Caesars over/under win total: 10.5 – Over -115 / Under -105; Odds to win Super Bowl LVII +1000
Book it: VERY TENTATIVE OVER. If you watched the accompanying video, then you know Adam Chernoff (the expert) says there are quite a few bargains with the Chiefs, and I agree. However, I don’t think the bargains come with this over/under.
Ten wins could easily win this division because of the brutal schedules all four teams face, and you bet against the Chiefs at your own peril. That being said, it would be quite the surprise if this team found a way to a top seed and a bye in the opening week of the playoffs, so that could hinder their Super Bowl chances.
At +1000, you can’t quite call that a bargain, but it’s the best preseason number we have seen on the Chiefs in quite a while. And if they make it through that schedule gauntlet, it could make them even tougher than usual come January.
Losing Hill certainly hurts, but they have made enough other moves to offset the loss, and they still have some guy named Mahomes. Smith-Schuster and MVS will be a big deal to not only become key targets for No. 15, but to help this team become deeper at the wide receiver position (along with second-round pick Skyy Moore, who is dealing with a hamstring injury to start camp). Oh, and lest we forget Travis Kelce, who turns 33 this season.
On defense, I am no fan of coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, but one has to think they will move up from their NFL ranking of 27 with the addition of McDuffie and Karlaftis in the first round of the draft and Reid from Houston in the backfield to replace Mathieu and a solid defensive front (if they stay healthy).
One of my top values on all boards is Kansas City winning the division at +155, because in my mind they still are (by far) the best team in the West, despite the insane start to their schedule.
P.S. If they are 6-2 or better after hosting Tennessee, I will be buying Super Bowl futures, even if they are +500ish.
Projected finish: 11-6