Andy Reid owes Kyle Shanahan a beer. After the 49ers blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead against the Rams in the NFC Championship, there was a lot of focus on Kyle Shanahan teams blowing games late. Whether talking about blowing a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl with Atlanta or the 49ers blowing a 10-point lead against the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, there are plenty of examples.
And they’re overshadowing the fact Andy Reid’s teams have blown a lot of big games too! Just yesterday, the Chiefs had a 21-10 lead on the Bengals before halftime with a chance to put the game away. With a first-and-goal in the final minutes of the half, the Chiefs could have put points on the board and then gotten the ball to start the third quarter.
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Instead, they got cute, failed to score despite having the ball at the 1-yard line, and then went three-and-out to start the second half. Thus, the Cincinnati comeback began. The Chiefs also abandoned the run game in the second half, which we’ve seen Andy Reid teams do too many times in big games, and we’ve seen it cost them. Reid is clearly one of the greatest coaches in NFL history and a brilliant offensive mind. He’s taken two different teams to four straight conference championship appearances. He’s won a Super Bowl.
But he’s blown the chance to win at least a few more.
Now let’s start the week like Kyle Shanahan and Andy Reid start games.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
The Pick: Notre Dame +5.5 (-110): I’m looking to take advantage of a Duke team that hasn’t been strong on the road this season and a Notre Dame team that’s not great but brimming with confidence at the moment. Duke is 17-3 on the season, but two of its three losses have come on the road. One of those was against another good team in Ohio State, while the other was against a Miami team at roughly the same level as the Notre Dame squad the Blue Devils will face tonight. Also, from a gambling perspective, Duke being weaker on the road isn’t a new phenomenon.
Going back to the start of the 2019-20 season, Duke is only 9-15 ATS on the road and 8-12 ATS as a road favorite. As for Notre Dame, the Irish aren’t a great team, and we see that based on whom they’ve lost to. The Irish have played nine games against teams ranked in the top 100 by KenPom, and, while they’ve picked up a couple of impressive wins (Kentucky and North Carolina), they’re only 4-5 in those nine games. Oh, and both of those impressive wins came at home.
That’s another trend we can’t ignore. Yes, five of Notre Dame’s six losses have come in limited games against top teams, but none of the six losses have come in South Bend. They’ve all been on the road or at neutral sites. The Irish are 9-0 at home straight up and 6-3 ATS at home. As home dogs, they’re 2-0 straight up and ATS (those Kentucky and North Carolina wins).
I wouldn’t pick the Irish to take Duke down tonight, but I like their chances of staying within this spread.
Key Trend: The Irish are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games overall.
Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: The SportsLine Projection Model is a bigger fan of a play on the total tonight.
💰 The Picks
Kings at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. | TV: NBA League Pass
The Pick: Kings +6.5 (-110) — Earlier this season, when I was betting under in Knicks games, I was giving New York and Tom Thibodeau the benefit of the doubt. The Knicks defense wasn’t nearly as good as expected, but I figured a Thibodeau team would figure it out. Well, it’s the last day of January, and the Knicks still aren’t very good defensively. They rank 15th in the league in defensive rating, and it’s a big reason they’re 23-27 and outside the playoff picture right now.
It’s also why I’m not willing to trust them as favorites. Not even against a Sacramento team that’s a mess because it’s Sacramento, and it’s always a mess. The Kings are one of the worst defensive teams in the league but are good enough offensively that they should be able to keep this one close. Plus, the Knicks are the slowest team in the league — one of the reasons those unders kept cashing despite the drop-off defensively — which makes it more difficult for them to pull away from opponents.
Key Trend: There aren’t any useful trends supporting this. I’m a visionary.
🏀 College Basketball
The Pick: Over 138.5 (-110) — San Diego State is one of the most deliberate teams in the nation. The Aztecs adjusted tempo ranks 267th on KenPom, and the average length of an opponent’s possession is 18.8 seconds, which ranks 355th out of 358 teams (that means they slow opponents down more than all but three other teams). The Aztecs also rank fourth nationally in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency on defense.
Combining that defense with an offense that does not shoot well leads to some depressed totals like the one we’re dealing with in this game. But that total is not accounting for how terrible New Mexico’s defense is! The Lobos are 8-13 overall and 1-7 in the Mountain West, with their lone win coming against an awful San Jose State team on Friday night. While New Mexico does a decent job defending the three, it doesn’t matter because they’re so terrible defending the interior that teams don’t need to shoot threes.
Making matters worse for New Mexico’s defense, its offense moves quickly and has no reason to stop because it’s effective enough. I foresee an evening in which the San Diego State offense has one of its best performances of the season, while New Mexico does just enough offensively to make sure we get past this number.
Key Trend: The over is 14-5 in New Mexico’s last 19 games as an underdog.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: We’re taking to the ice tonight for the SportsLine Projection Model’s favorite play of the day. It’s a moneyline play for tonight’s NHL matchup between the Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets.
🏀 Tonight’s Parlay
Tonight we have a simple three-leg parlay paying +121.