Chiefs vs Dolphins Prediction: Pacheco can drive KC into Divisionals

 | January 12 | 

4 mins read

kansas city chiefs arrowhead stadium scaled

It's Super Wild Card Weekend in the NFL and that means blockbuster match-ups wherever we look. In the early hours of Sunday morning (01:00), the reigning Lombardi holders, the Kansas City Chiefs, attempt to run it back against the Miami Dolphins at Arrowhead. 

We've previewed this one and given you our best betting picks for the occasion.

Chiefs vs Dolphins Betting Tips

  • Kansas City Chiefs -4.5 Hcp - 10/11
  • First Touchdown Scorer Isiah Pacheco - 5/1

Two sides with identical 11-6 records face off on Saturday night as both KC and Miami have been inconsistent to say the least this season.

The Chiefs have struggled to find that offensive dynamism that has served them so well in recent years, in particular in the wide receiver area, where drops, mistakes and offsides have been a constant issue. Instead Head Coach Andy Reid has had to rely on Steve Spagnuolo and his defensive charges to dig them out of a hole on more than one occasion this term.

Here, they face a Dolphins side that started the season in tremendous form, racking up three straight wins, including a 70 point haul against the Broncos in Week 3.  However, each time they have stepped up against another Super Bowl contender, they have run into a brick wall. Losses against the Bills, Eagles, Dolphins, Ravens and of course the Chiefs have shown their frailties in the big games.

That 21-14 loss to the Chiefs in Germany will serve as motivation but also linger as a reminder of what firepower the Lombardi holders bring to the table. Can Tua Tagovailoa and the ex-Chief Tyreek Hill dig up some of that early season magic to deny Big Red another run at the Super Bowl title?

Team news

The Chiefs had some positive news this week, with the return of veteran left tackle Donovan Smith, who had missed the last five games of the regular season, with a troublesome neck injury. This was especially welcome, as his direct back-up Wanya Morris has been ruled out due to concussion protocols.

The Dolphins have only ruled out one player for this game in Xavien Howard, despite big question marks hanging over key players Raheem Mostert and Jaylen Waddle, as well as safeties DeShon Elliott and Jevon Holland. Tyreek Hill looks to be fully recovered for his visit back to his former home stadium.

Game odds

The Chiefs go into this one as the +4.5 favourite on the spread and are just 4/9 on the money-line. Miami are available to back at 9/5 straight up to make the divisional round.

The total points line is set at o/u 43.5, which would have been surprisingly low for these two offensively brilliant teams earlier in the season. However, it's cooooold in Missouri right now, at a balmy -21c and there is a blanket of snow on the Arrowhead field, meaning this could be a bit of a war of attrition.

Kansas City Chiefs -4.5 Hcp - 10/11

If you had asked me to predict this one six weeks ago, I would have taken the Dolphins every day of the week and twice on a Sunday.

However, since then the Chiefs have started to display a little bit of mettle and some togetherness. Gone is Patrick Mahomes petulance and instead there seems to be a communal drive towards reaching the latter stages of the NFL season. The rest week for the MVP and his trusty partner Travis Kelce will surely have seen them working on finding that psychic link they have displayed in recent seasons. And this defense is legit.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins are banged up and have slumped into the Wild Card weekend on the back of three straight losses, including a bruising one last week against the Bills. You have to ask yourself just how mentally strong Tua and Mike McDaniel are, knowing they have come up short in six previous games against title contenders.

It's a big ask to go into Arrowhead and snatch a win at the best of times but especially in the sort of conditions we will likely see on Saturday night. For me the Chiefs win by at least a touchdown and head into the Divisional Round.

isiah pacheco

First Touchdown Scorer Isiah Pacheco - 5/1

With such freezing cold temperatures, high winds and the chance of snow, a huge emphasis will surely fall on KC's ground game.

Isiah Pacheco's angry running style has spawned numerous memes, including an amusing Benny Hill one and the kid just seems to run on Duracell batteries.

The 24-year-old has 1179 total scrimmage yards and nine touchdowns this season and I think he could add to that early on here.

chiefs -=4.5 hcp

You can read all our latest NFL Betting Tips on our dedicated Insights hub... 

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