Playoffs?! Yes, playoffs, NFL style! The 2023 NFL season has come to a close and it’s time to begin whittling down contenders vying for a shot at Super Bowl glory. Tonight’s matchup is a Peacock-exclusive nightcap featuring the Miami Dolphins at the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here’s your open thread for Chiefs-Dolphins. Be sure to check out JSpenceTheKing’s full game preview and pick for tonight’s game.
Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs, 8 p.m. EST (Peacock)
The Miami Dolphins have had quite the roller coaster of a season, and their journey to the playoffs has been nothing short of eventful. With a regular-season record of 11-6, the Dolphins secured the six seed in the AFC and are now headed to Kansas City (11-6) to take on the three-seed Chiefs.
At DraftKings Sportsbook, the Chiefs are favored with a -4.5 spread. The over/under is set at 44, meaning that the total combined score of both teams is expected to be 44 points. The Moneyline is set at +145 for the Dolphins and -225 for the Chiefs, indicating the potential payout for a bet on either team to win outright.
The game will be streaming exclusively on Peacock, which has caused some frustration among football fans who are unable to watch the game without an active Peacock subscription. Many are disappointed by the decision to exclusively stream the game in an effort to encourage new memberships and recoup the $110 million spent on the streaming rights.
The Dolphins face some challenges as they head into the playoffs. Key players, including CB Xavien Howard, have been ruled out for the game due to injuries. The team has also struggled in recent weeks, losing their lead in the AFC East to the Bills and dropping from the two seed to the six seed. The offense has had difficulty against teams with winning records, and the recent struggles against the Bills have raised concerns about their ability to perform in the playoffs.
On the other hand, the Chiefs, despite winning the AFC West, have faced some challenges this season and were unable to secure the one seed. The team is relatively healthy and will need to play complementary football to backup their defense with a strong offensive game plan. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been consistent, but the Chiefs will need to ensure that their offense delivers and avoids turnovers that could shift momentum in the game. I’d expect running back Isiah Pacheco to be heavily involved and open up some of those passing lanes for Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce.
One key factor that may come into play in this matchup is the weather. The game is expected to be played in some of the coldest weather in both teams’ franchises histories, with a temperature of around 5 degrees and a wind chill of -10. This extreme cold may pose a challenge for the Dolphins, especially for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who has struggled in cold-weather games in the past. The signal caller has lost each of the five coldest starts of his career. He’s completed 57% of his passes for five touchdowns and seven interceptions in those matchups. The cold conditions may give the Chiefs’ defense an advantage and could potentially force the Dolphins to become one-dimensional in their offensive strategy.
The cold, physical nature of the game, coupled with the potential struggles of the Dolphins in extreme weather conditions, may give the Chiefs the upper hand in this matchup.
Given the circumstances, my game prediction is 24-13, Chiefs over Dolphins
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