Editor’s note: This game was moved to Los Angeles due to poor field conditions in Mexico City.
One of the most anticipated games of the NFL season is set in Week 11, as the Los Angeles Rams (9-1) and Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) matchup features the two teams with the best records in the league.
Following the Week 10 games on Sunday, Nov. 11, the Rams are a 2.5-point favorite at many leading sportsbooks for the Monday, Nov. 19 showdown in Mexico City. The SuperBook has the Rams as 2-point favorites.
Record total for Rams vs. Chiefs
The buzz surrounding this showdown is the over/under, which was posted as a 64 total at the SuperBook.
With Monday’s 49ers-Giants game pending, teams have scored 7,070 points through 10 weeks of 2018 NFL action covering 147 games.
The scoring average is 48.1 points per game.
The Saints (36.7) now lead the league in scoring following their 51-14 blowout of the Bengals in Week 10. But the Chiefs (35.3) and Rams (33.5) are the next highest scoring teams in the league.
The total of 64 is the highest posted total for a regular season game in NFL history.
The previous highest total in ESPN’s Stats and Information database dating back to 1986 was the 2009 contest between the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers. The total was 62 and the Rams won 34-24.
Preparation, stats, and high-scoring offenses
This will be the third straight season the NFL has played a regular season game in Mexico City. The Raiders beat the Texans 27-20 in 2016 and the Patriots beat the Raiders 33-8 in 2017.
Azteca Stadium in Mexico City has an elevation of 7,300 feet, and the Rams are preparing for the high-altitude by practicing this week in Colorado Springs at the Air Force Academy practice facilities. Both the Rams and Chiefs played at Mile High Stadium in Denver in October, and both teams beat the Broncos in close contests but failed to cover the point spread. Broncos Stadium at Mile High is 5,280 feet above sea level.
Prior to the season, both the Chiefs and Rams made requests to play in Denver the week prior to their game in Mexico City, but each was denied by the league so either team would not be provided an advantage with the acclimation to altitude.
The Chiefs are a league-best 8-2 ATS this season. The Rams are now 4-6 ATS this season after starting 3-0 ATS. Eight Chiefs contests have had a betting total of at least 50 points, including Kansas City’s only loss of the season at New England (43-40) when the posted total hit 59.5. Five Chiefs games have gone over the total this year.
On Nov. 4, the Rams suffered their only loss of the season in a 45-35 shootout at New Orleans. That total hit 60 and was actually bet down to 57 at game time as those under bettors watched their money fly away in the Saints’ shootout victory. Rams games have gone over in 5 of 10 contests, including the last two weeks with 80 and 67 points scored.
Those results, combined with the Chiefs and Rams scoring and ranking No. 1 and No. 3 in points per play on offense, and each top 5 in passing yards per game with quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes (9.13) and Jared Goff (9.44) also top 3 in yards per pass attempt, have the sportsbooks prepared for another shootout.
Five quarterbacks are on pace to pass for at least 5,000 yards this season, including Mahomes (3,150) and Goff (3,134), who are the two leaders in passing yards through 10 weeks.
Will either defense slow down these two high-scoring, creative offenses? The Rams defense allows 355 yards per game and the Chiefs allow 410. Both teams have allowed 6.0 yards per play.
Despite record scoring this season with more passing and flying footballs, the Chiefs (17th) and Rams (28th) both rank in the bottom half of the league in passing play percentage with the Chiefs passing the ball 59.44% of its plays and the Rams 54.48%.
Whatever the result, the leadup to the Chiefs and Rams game is going to attract tons of sports talk, betting and totals action.
You can bet on it.