The first game Kansas City Chiefs quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy will work since his return to the organization will be at the stadium he called home for the last four years.
Since going 12-4 in his Chicago Bears' head coaching debut season in 2018, Nagy went just 22-27 in his final three seasons, eventually getting the boot from Chicago at the end of 2011 with a 6-11 record.
Now, both teams meet up Saturday afternoon from Solider Field in Chicago, as they kick off their preseason action from the lakefront. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has a career 42-45 record in the preseason, while Bears head coach Matt Eberflus makes his head coaching debut on Saturday after the last several years as the Indianapolis Colts' Defensive Coordinator.
Meanwhile, the Bears brought over another former Chief in Ryan Poles as their new General Manager after spending 13 years in Kansas City, most recently as their Executive Director of Player Personnel.
Here's how the oddsmakers have this Week 1 preseason matchup handicapped over at WynnBET Sportsbook:
Chiefs vs. Bears Odds, Spread and Total
- Chiefs +3.5 (-110)
- Bears -3.5 (-110)
- Chiefs +140
- Bears -170
- 35 (OVER -110 | UNDER -110)
Chiefs vs. Bears Prediction and Pick
The Chiefs are a well-oiled machine; AFC West division champions for six consecutive years; winning an average of 12 games per season. They have arguably the best quarterback in the game, the best tight end in the sport, and a record-setting offense at the controls.
And fans will see almost none of those stars play this Saturday in Chicago.
Andy Reid's coaching history in Kansas City is indicative of getting his players healthy through the preseason, putting a couple things on tape, and then going out and dominating the regular season. Conversely, Matt Eberflus is looking to set a new tone in his first game as the Bears' head coach, preaching his "H-I-T-S" principle of "Hustle, Intensity, Takeaways, and Smart."
Sounds like someone looking to get the message across to his young team in Year 1 of a rebuild.
Fans should expect see some familiar veteran names at quarterback between Chad Henne and Trevor Siemian on the lakefront for the bulk of the first half before Shane Buechele and Dustin Crum finish it out for KC, and Nathan Peterman takes over for Chicago. With the exception of Buechele/Crum, there's no real quarterback battle to mull over, and likely not much expectations for either to light up the scoreboard.
While I think Chicago will win due to starters playing longer, the -3.5 on the spread in a meaningless game is too much for me to risk. Instead, I'll back the under as Chicago looks to put their new 4-3, turnover-preaching defense to the test, all while the new head coach looks to make a statement.
LEAN: UNDER 35 (-110)
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