Chiefs vs. Saints prediction and odds for NFL preseason Week 1 (Chiefs with first-Half Value)

This trend suggests the Chiefs are a sure-fire first-half bet
Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes have dominated the first half of preseason games together
Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes have dominated the first half of preseason games together / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs open their Super Bowl defense with a preseason tilt against familiar foe Derek Carr and the New Orleans Saints.

Kansas City is a short underdog in the game as Carr dons a new uniform for the first time. Saints' head coach Dennis Allen has said his starters will play, which likely explains the current odds.

Andy Reid has a history of playing his starters in preseason games as well though, and that creates value for one particular bet early on.

Let's check out the latest odds for the game before I explain the one Chiefs bet you NEED to make in Week 1 of the preseason.

Chiefs vs. Saints odds, spread and total for NFL preseason Week 1

Much has been said about Andy Reid's mediocre preseason against the spread (ATS) record, but that narrative ignores one critical component of his tenure with the Chiefs: Andy Reid DOMINATES the first half of preseason games.

As I explained in my betting preview on KC Kingdom, the Chiefs are as sure of a first-half bet as you'll get in the preseason. Since Reid plays his starters longer than other coaches and Kansas City has one of the league's best rosters, we can capitalize on the moments those players are on the field.

In the Chiefs' last eight preseason games, Kansas City is 5-1-2 outright in the first half. Despite that, New Orleans is a 1.5-point first-half favorite. We would have covered that spread in seven of our last eight preseason matchups, with the only loss coming by a half-point.

If you see lines for the first quarter pop up on any sportsbook, that's even better. We've won six consecutive preseason first quarters and have won or tied the first quarter in every preseason game since 2018.

For now, the first half will do. The Saints are adjusting to a new signal caller and have a thin roster due to lousy front-office decisions that punted on draft picks. Kansas City is a well-oiled machine with a deeper roster and the game's best player, giving a clear advantage to the good guys.

Even if Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce only play one series, I expect that series to result in a touchdown. That alone might be enough to cover the first-half spread.

Expect the Chiefs to improve to 6-1-2 outright in the first half of our last nine preseason games. Derek Carr knows better than anyone how to lose to Kansas City; Week 1 of the preseason will be no different.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.