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Chiefs Playoff Hopes Hinge on Stopping Ryan

Posted by: Charlie Smith
Chiefs vs. Falcons Betting Week 13

As we draw closer to the end of the 2016 season, it has become abundantly clear to NFL sportsbook fans that the AFC West is the toughest division in the NFL. No other division in the league has three teams with 7 or more wins and no other team in the NFL has 3 teams that are in such a good position to make the playoffs. 2016 has been rough on all of us with the killing of a peaceful gorilla, rising tensions across the globe, and the most vicious election cycle in US history, but it has certainly been good on the AFC West.

Heading into Week 13 the Oakland Raiders are the team leading the competitive West. The Raiders secured their spot with a hard earned win over the Carolina Panthers this past weekend. Oakland wasn’t facing the easiest football betting lines at the start of the season, but their success has been one of the best surprises of 2016. Surprisingly enough, the Kansas City Chiefs are the team behind the Raiders, not the Denver Broncos. That’s all thanks to the Chiefs upsetting the Broncos this past Sunday. That contest was extremely competitive, to the point where the game had to go into overtime, but ultimately it was the Chiefs that came out on top. One game behind the Raiders, Kansas City still has a legitimate chance of winning the West. However, they cannot afford any slip-ups and the team they face in Week 13 is no pushover. Are the Chiefs a worthy pick over the Atlanta Falcons for a bet on NFL games?

NFL Odds – Week 13 – Sunday, December 4th 

Kansas City Chiefs +4 (-115) 49 (-110)
Atlanta Falcons -4 (-105) 49 (-110)

According to the football betting lines, the Falcons are more likely to come out on top this Sunday; but is that really the case? The Falcons will be coming into this contest with one more loss on their record than the Chiefs as well with the league’s worst passing defense. Of all the players in the MVP discussion, Matt Ryan has indubitably done more for his team than any other candidate. Yea Tom Brady has been phenomenal this season, but he has one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, a great running game, and a defense that can pull its own weight. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot’s NFL debut has been sensational, but they too have an awesome offensive line and a defense that consistently puts them in a spot to win football games. But Ryan, he has none of that.

Heading into Sunday’s game, the Falcons will have the NFL’s worst passing defense, and the 15th worst rushing offense in the league. Essentially, Ryan has had to put the Falcons on his shoulders and lead them to their 7-4 record. Although Ryan has one of the best receivers in Julio Jones, his 114.3 passer rating is at the heart of Atlanta’s success. The football betting lines don’t give Ryan the best odds to take home the MVP award at the end of the season, but there’s no question that the Falcons’ success is all thanks to their quarterback.