How Kareem Hunt’s Release Affects Chiefs’ SB Odds
Prior to Kareem Hunt’s release from Kansas City, the Chiefs’ odds to win Super Bowl LIII stood at 5-1. A day later, those odds moved to 11-2. In the grand scheme of things, that is not significant movement, but in reality how much will Hunt’s release impact Kansas City?
From a Coaching Standpoint
Hunt, who was viewed in a video released by TMZ assaulting a woman, had recorded 1,202 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns prior to his release from the Chiefs. He was the team’s leading rusher with 802 yards and Hunt also caught 26 passes for 378 more. What Hunt brings to the Chiefs is a unique weapon that coaches can utilize a number of ways.
With Hunt out of the lineup, the Chiefs are forced to use Spencer Ware as the primary running back. Ware is similar in size to Hunt and is also a decent pass receiver – he has 20 catches this season. What he lacks is Hunt’s athleticism and speed. As a coach, do you trust Ware to run deep routes out of the backfield? Do you line up Ware out wide and isolate him on a linebacker or safety? These are things the Chiefs did with Hunt.
As a coach, losing a star player like Hunt limits some of the play calls you can make. Since Kansas City lost to the Los Angeles Rams 54-51 in Hunt’s last game, the Chiefs’ offense has been…different. Sure, they put up 40 points on Oakland, but remember…it’s the Raiders! Against a pretty good defense last week in the Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City had a tougher go of it and needed overtime to score 27 points and get a win.
From a coach’s perspective, no coach will ever say it, but losing a player like Hunt makes it harder to call plays. A sports bettor might want to take that into account when wagering on the Chiefs.
From a Player’s Standpoint
Remember that time you were playing Little League baseball and your team’s best player had to go on vacation? Yeah, you got stomped because no one else could hit the ball. It’s a far-fetched example, but it’s still relative.
Kareem Hunt was the best running back on the Chiefs roster. Now, he’s gone. The Chiefs can get by without him. Ware rushed for 75 yards in the win over Baltimore last week, but don’t let the rest of the Chiefs fool you – they miss Hunt. He scored 14 touchdowns. Who is going to replace that?
You know who loves the fact that Hunt is gone? The Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City’s Week 15 opponent. With Hunt out of the lineup, the Chargers can focus a little more on pressuring quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs beat the Chargers in Week 1. Los Angeles took Hunt out of the game – he had just 49 yards rushing and didn’t catch a pass – but Mahomes wound up throwing four touchdown passes. The Chargers mounted a huge comeback and stole the win in KC to even their record with the Chiefs at 11-3.
Should New England meet up with the Chiefs again, surely Patriots’ players will believe they can beat Kansas City again. They already did it once and that was with Hunt on the field. Houston players are probably thinking just like the Chargers. With no Hunt, Texans’ defensive ends J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney (19.5 sacks combined) can focus their attention on Mahomes.
Again, bettors would be wise to consider the impact of Hunt not being on the Kansas City roster before placing a bet. It could be the difference between a win and a loss.
Article written by Rick Bouch
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