Update, 3:30 p.m. ET — The line is down to Chiefs -5.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook an hour or so after the Kelce news dropped. If we see it continue to move in favor of the Lions, that could be a precursor to Kelce being closer to doubtful than questionable. Either way, be on the lookout for updates or further movement. If it keeps going in favor of Detroit, that’s where the money is trickling in. Following the money isn’t a bad idea here.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that TE Travis Kelce sustained a knee injury during practice and his status is unknown for the 2023 NFL season opener on Thursday Night Football vs. the Detroit Lions.
On DraftKings Sportsbook, the Chiefs had been 6.5-point favorites on the spread for most of the offseason and past week. Now, Kansas City has dropped to -6 on the spread, which was -5.5 at one point following the news. We could see this type of back-and-forth leading up to inactives. Chances are Kelce will have a questionable or doubtful tag depending on the extent of the injury. So once we know whether or not he’s playing, that’ll be what moves the line again.
If this was nothing, we have to assume Reid wouldn’t have brought it up, at least not saying Kelce’s status is unknown. A hyper-extension of the knee can be serious or something Kelce can play through. This late in the week with the game a few days away has to concern bettors and fantasy football managers.
Looking at how the line opened at -6.5 and didn’t move at all is a testament to the Lions and some of their hype this season. Going into K.C. and beating the defending champs on this stage seems outlandish. The more you look at these two rosters, the more you have to lean on Detroit. In a perfect world you’re getting Lions +7 but that’s just Vegas being sharp. If Kelce sits, that puts the Chiefs at a big disadvantage. Right now, Lions +6 (-110) and Lions ML at +210 feel like good plays. You could also queue up Detroit before Kelce news hits and try and beat the book that way (which is tougher).
The Chiefs receiving core shouldn’t be difficult to defend if Kelce sits. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore, Kadarius Toney and Jerick McKinnon would see most of the targets. Also keep in mind the Chiefs likely won’t have DT Chris Jones, who is holding out for a new contract. Sure, it’s still Mahomes and Reid, but OC Eric Bieniemy isn’t around and this might be the most underwhelming offense K.C. has had on paper in their time together. So there was reason to doubt the Chiefs against a tough Lions squad to begin with. Kelce just complicates things further.