For those old enough to remember, it was these two franchises that played in the very first Super Bowl over a half century ago. The big game was far from the spectacle it is today and it wasn’t even named the Super Bowl back then, rather it was called the AFL-NFL Championship. The Green Bay Packers were in the middle of a dynastic run under Vince Lombardi, who would later have the Super Bowl trophy named after him. The Kansas City Chiefs haven’t appeared in a Super Bowl since the league’s merged in 1970 and the first weekend in February is a long way from the Week 4 preseason matchup.
This matchup in Week 4 of the preseason will go down Thursday, August 30, 2018, at 8:30 p.m. ET at Arrowhead Stadium.
NFL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu
Green Bay Packers +3.5
Kansas City Chiefs -3.5
Two coaches with indifferent attitudes towards the preseason will make for a conservative game giving value to the under. Kansas City is favored by the value of home field advantage, opening as 3.5-point chalk with a total that seems a bit high for my liking at 38.
The Packers are still trying to determine who will play if something happens to Aaron Rodgers. The competition between Brett Hundley and DeShone Kizer will come down to the final preseason game and maybe last even longer. The two struggled last week against the Raiders, but that was because the Pack used a line made up of backups against Oakland’s No. 1 defense.
Hundley has handled the primary backup reps all preseason and will get the start on Thursday. He was 8 of 14 for 78 yards in Oakland and was sacked twice. Kizer completed 11 of 23 for 120 yards and has a better passer rating than Hundley. But Kizer has completed just over 50 percent of his throws. His accuracy was an issue last year in Cleveland. Tim Boyle didn’t get any snaps against the Raiders but is expected to play on Thursday. “We’ll definitely get him work,” Mike McCarthy said of his undrafted rookie.
The Chiefs are set with Patrick Mahomes as the starter and Chad Henne his backup. And because of that don’t expect either to play. Andy Reid typically sits his top two and leaves the last preseason game to guys further down the depth chart. That means we’ll see plenty of Matt McGloin and Chase Litton.
McGloin is a fifth-year pro who started seven games with the Raiders. He didn’t play last week but has solid numbers in two earlier games, completing 15 of 18 for 94 yards without a touchdown or interception. Litton has a big arm and hit 4 of 7 for 67 yards against the Bears. The undrafted rookie is 11 of 20 for 133 yards and a touchdown in limited action over two games.
McCarthy likes to get all his work done early in the preseason. He’s 28-22 all-time in the preseason, but his Week 4 record is his worst at just 5-7. The Pack saw its three-game preseason winning streak end in last week’s loss to the Raiders, but they are 9-3 SU and 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12.
Reid is more indifferent when it comes to the tune-up games. He has a 37-42 lifetime preseason record and is 8-11 in the final week. However, two of those victories have come against McCarthy and the Packers.
Free ATS Pick
The good news for the Packers is that they won’t be playing against KCs first-team defense, so maybe the line can block somebody. The group struggled last week, giving up five sacks and not allowing Hundley or Kizer much time to do anything. McCarthy hinted he would use the same rotation up front, so both QBs will have to make something happen outside the pocket to have success.
If they can do that the Packers will be in a good position to win this football game. Both QBs are gifted athletes and they have the ability to make things happen with their legs. And there remains a competition for the backup job, so performing well is a must to stay on the roster. Given Reid’s preseason history, don’t expect anything exotic from KC on either side of the ball, allowing the Packers to come away with a victory in a game that plays below the total.
NFL Betting Odds: Packers 20, Chiefs 12
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