Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs Preview: Prediction, Best Bets, Odds, Depth Charts (11/20/23)
One of the most anticipated games of the 2023 NFL season is on Monday Night Football this week (11/20/2023) when the Kansas City Chiefs (7-2) host the Philadelphia Eagles (8-1). The Chiefs are the betting favorites at -2.5 in this Super Bowl LVII rematch, while the over/under is set at 45.5 total points.
This article provides Eagles vs. Chiefs analysis, predictions and betting recommendations and explains why the best bet in this matchup is the Chiefs’ team total over 24.5 points.
Eagles vs. Chiefs Prediction & Best Bet
The NFL scheduling gods have blessed us with the motherload of primetime games: a Super Bowl rematch on Monday Night Football right smack dab in the middle of the season. To make it even better, these two teams are currently the top teams in each conference and the betting favorites to return to the Super Bowl – a rematch and a potential preview? Can we do this every week?
Both teams look quite different now than they did in February.
The Eagles’ defense dominated against the pass last year but struggled against the run, and the opposite is true this season. They are the best run defense in the league (1st in yards allowed, 2nd in DVOA) but are struggling against the pass (28th in yards, 22nd in DVOA).
The Chiefs had the best offense in the league last season (1st in points, yards, and DVOA) and a solid but unspectacular defense (14th in DVOA). The offense has taken a step back this season (13th in points, 8th in yards, 6th in DVOA) but the defense has become one of the elite units in the league (t-2nd in points allowed, 4th in yards, and 3rd in DVOA).
That creates some very interesting matchups this time around, which we cover in more detail below. The short version is, we expect the Eagles to focus on establishing the run against the Chiefs, which is the weakest aspect of their defense. By contrast, we expect the Chiefs to focus on attacking the Eagles through the air, particularly over the middle of the field where they have struggled mightily.
The Eagles’ weak passing defense is the bigger concern there, particularly against Travis Kelce, as the Eagles have been torched by far less talented tight ends this season. The Eagles showed against the Rams and Dolphins that they are capable of slowing down explosive passing offenses, but we have our doubts that they can do it again against the best QB and the best TE in the league.
That one big mismatch has us leaning towards the Chiefs and laying the points, but this is such a tight matchup that it’s difficult to make that pick with confidence. We could just as easily see the Eagles putting together another stellar defensive performance and controlling the ball with their rushing attack, which is a similar formula to how the Broncos beat the Chiefs two weeks ago.
So instead of playing the spread, our favorite play in this game is betting on the Chiefs’ offense to move the ball effectively and create explosive plays in the passing game, leading them to go over their team total of 24.5 points. The Eagles have also struggled with turnovers this season, and if the Chiefs get one or two scoring opportunities off turnovers, that will make it even more likely they score at least 25 points.
If that happens, then the game total should also go over 45.5 points, but the Chiefs’ team total over is currently available at plus odds at BetMGM, making that bet a much better value.
Eagles vs. Chiefs Prediction & Best Bet: Chiefs win 26-21 | Best Bet: Chiefs team total over 24.5 (+110)
Eagles vs. Chiefs Betting Odds
PHI @ KC
Nov. 20, 7:15 PM
Odds updated November 20th, 2023, at 10:12 pm
The spread in this game is hovering right around the key number of 3, as it has moved between Chiefs -2.5 and -3 at every major sportsbook. It’s worth looking for the best number at different sportsbooks depending on the side you’re betting on.
The over/under is trending down after opening between 47.5 and 48.5 depending on the book. It’s now sitting somewhere between 45.5 and 46.5 at different sportsbooks.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Chiefs winning 24-21.
Eagles vs. Chiefs Key Injuries
This will be the Eagles’ first game without Dallas Goedert, who broke his forearm against the Cowboys before the bye week. They also lost LB Nakobe Dean to another injury in that game. Besides that, they should be as healthy as they’ve been all season coming out of their bye week. Starting RG Cam Jurgens and slot CB Bradley Roby return from injuries, and most importantly Jalen Hurts’ ailing knee should be much better after the extra rest.
The Chiefs are still missing LB Nick Bolton, but are otherwise looking good injury-wise.
Eagles vs. Chiefs Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Eagles vs. Chiefs below.
Travis Kelce vs. whoever is covering him
The Chiefs’ biggest advantage in this game is going to be attacking the middle of the Eagles’ defense, particularly with Travis Kelce. Of course, Kelce is always a huge part of their game plan, but that should be especially true this week. The Chiefs may not even bother trying to run the ball against the Eagles’ brick wall of a run defense, especially when they can throw over it so easily.
The Eagles have historically struggled when defending tight ends because their organizational philosophy deprioritizes linebackers and safeties. This season, they are allowing a 78.2% completion rate against tight ends (43 catches on 55 targets) and have allowed 5 touchdowns, tied for third most in the league.
They haven’t exactly faced a gauntlet of talented tight ends either. Aside from T.J. Hockenson, they have not faced a single tight end in the top 16 at the position in yards per game. The tight ends that have had great games against them include Jake Ferguson, Logan Thomas, and Hunter Henry.
Kelce is arguably the greatest tight end in the history of the game, and the Eagles will need to do everything they can to slow him down and force the Chiefs’ underwhelming wide receivers to beat them.
Eagles’ rushing attack vs. Chiefs’ run defense
The Eagles’ biggest advantage in this game should be exploiting the Chiefs on the ground. Kansas City’s run defense is 20th in DVOA and 30th in EPA and they are allowing 4.5 yards per carry (27th). Their pass defense has been much better, allowing just 176 yards per game (5th) and ranking 3rd in both DVOA and EPA allowed. They are also missing linebacker Nick Bolton, who was 2nd in the league in tackles last season and is one of their best run defenders.
The Eagles’ run game is top 6 in DVOA, EPA and success rate, but most of their production came in the first 5 weeks of the season, when they averaged 164 yards per game on 4.6 yards per carry. In their last 4 games, they are averaging just 87 yards per game on 3.1 yards per carry. The return of RG Cam Jurgens should help, as should a presumably healthier Jalen Hurts coming off the bye.
While we expect the Eagles to be able to find success through the air against that tough secondary, running the ball effectively will enable them to dictate the pace of the game and keep Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense off the field. It will also be key late in the game to protect a lead if they have one, which they failed to do two weeks ago against Dallas and it almost cost them the game.