NFL Week 16 Sunday Night Football - Mahomes Faces Daunting Task Against Seahawks

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D.S. Williamson

December 22nd, 2018

The final NFL Sunday Night Football game of the season takes place on Sunday, Dec. 23, and, oh, man, it’s a doozy!  The Kansas City Chiefs head to Seattle to battle the Seahawks with a lot on the line. The Chiefs must win and hope the Ravens beat the L.A. Chargers to ensure an AFC West division title. Although KC’s locked down a playoff spot, they have yet to lock down the division. If they lose this game, which is possible given how tight the NFL Week 16 Sunday Night Football betting line is, they could also give up a chance for a bye week in the post season.

Seattle hasn’t yet secured a postseason berth and are reeling after a gut punching loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks are in a tough situation. They face the best team in the AFC in a must-win game, with the Chiefs also needing a victory. There's no doubt that Kansas City will score, but the good news here is that Seattle has the best counterpuncher in the NFL.

NFL WEEK 16 SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL BETTING Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks Sunday, December 23rd – CenturyLink Field – 8:20pm ET Odds: Chiefs -2.5 (53)

Mahomes Takes Center Stage Post Loss

Even in losses, Patrick Mahomes has a way of looking incredible. The former Texas Tech star has been much more this season than what so many believed he’d be. Some questioned Reid’s decision to trade the highly efficient Alex Smith during the offseason and go with Mahomes in 2018. Nobody even considers that a serious question anymore. Mahomes has been one of the top quarterbacks not only this season, but is putting together an all-time debut season. He’s thrown for 4,543 yards and 45 touchdowns and he’s got two games to play.

But, stats don’t even tell half the story. Mahomes doesn’t fit into any quarterbacking category. He uses his legs when he needs to. He has the ability to scramble,  and throw a frozen rope into a small space 30 yards down the field across his body. The term "arm talent" doesn't even begin to describe what this kid is physically capable of.

One of the reasons that the public never scoffs at the lines imposed on the Chiefs is that Mahomes gives exudes confidence. NFL Week 16 Sunday Night Football betting is no different, and an attractive spread as road favorites has to be generating a lot of interest. That's the impact of a quarterback who has very quickly approached being transcendent.

Even that doesn’t tell the whole story. The reason the Chiefs have had all the success this season is because Patrick Mahome’s isn’t just Dan Marino with Randall Cunnhingham's legs - he’s got that one intangible that all great quarterbacks possess. Simply put, Mahomes gets it. His quarterbacking instincts are unreal. When he gets into a duel with Russell Wilson on Sunday, he’ll have to use every one of those instincts for the Chiefs to gain the win.

Russell Wilson May Prove To Be Too Much

Before Patrick Mahomes, there was Russell Wilson. Every superlative NFL fans use for Mahomes, they had used - or continue to use - to describe Russell Wilson. The major difference? Wilson's simply been doing it longer.

Experience could be what helps Wilson lead his team over Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. Wilson’s stats aren’t close to being as great as Patrick’s. He has 3,025 yards and 13 touchdown passes so far. Russell’s got a lot less to work with, though, and that might be the understatement of the year.

No player on Seattle’s squad comes close to Mahomes favorite target, Tyreek Hill. It’s impossible to compare the Seahawks’ tight-ends to Travis Kelce while even without Kareem Hunt, KC can still move the ball on the ground. The talent differential between the two sides in NFL Week 16 Sunday Night Football betting is obvious.

Wilson’s not complaining. His skill-set works perfectly with Pete Carroll’s smash-mouth philosophy. The reason Carroll rushes the ball so much is because he knows that when push comes to shove, Wilson will step up and make the right decision. Seattle's overall ability to rush the ball with consistent, positive gains sets up Wilson for what he does best - produce big plays at the best possible times.

It's an ultimately agonizing quality to gamble on, but Wilson is as clutch in these types of moments as you can imagine, and he gets a Kansas City defense that has been out of sorts all year long. There will be chances for Wilson to counterpunch anything that Mahomes does on Sunday night.

Chiefs at Seahawks Betting Analysis and Pick

Most of the betting public continues to back the Chiefs against the spread even though they haven’t had recent success. KC is only 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games after starting the season going 7-0 ATS.

Other trends point to a Seattle cover. Kansas City is 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 following an ATS loss, 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game, and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 in Week 16. Seattle is 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 at home.

The trend concerning how bad KC is against the spread in Week 16 is particularly telling. Andy Reid’s teams often flounder in the second half of the season. That's a trend that's difficult to ignore, even with Mahomes in the fold. The candle, as they say, may have burned too bright early on. Kansas City is just 2-5 ATS in the last 7 years of Week 16 games.

Seattle’s tough to beat at home. I’m going for the value play. Instead of just backing the Seahawks to cover, I’ll back them to win SU.

Week 16 Sunday Night Football Betting Free Pick: Seahawks +110