Game: Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Odds: Chargers +4, Chiefs -4
In their victories in Week 1, Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers both displayed they have what it takes to win the AFC West. The two teams will now compete to gain an advantage in the division competition. Three or more of the teams in the division are among the top 10 betting favorites to win Super Bowl LVII, making it the toughest division in the NFL this season.
Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes will be a challenge for the Chargers after a stellar performance last Sunday. He completed 30-of-39 passes resulting in 360 yards and five touchdowns. The Chiefs’ ability to function without WR Tyreek Hill had raised some concerns. Those concerns faded with Mahomes’ touchdown passes to TE Travis Kelce and RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first quarter. Kansas City would go on to defeat Arizona 44-21 in Week 1.
After being ravaged by injuries last season, Los Angeles set to improve its defense in the offseason. The Chargers completed 2021 with the NFL’s 30th-ranked run defense. In terms of scoring defense, they were tied for 29th, allowing 27.0 points per game. When the Chargers defeated the Raiders 24-19 in Week 1, their defense displayed the improvement head coach Brandon Staley was looking for. Three of the Chargers’ six sacks on Sunday were the work of Khalil Mack, an offseason acquisition. Additionally, the Chargers pressured Raiders quarterback Derek Carr the whole game and intercepted him three times.
On Thursday night, the Chargers are optimistic they can accomplish the same. As a seven-point underdog, L.A. defeated the Chiefs in Kansas City last season. In a contest when the defense did apply some pressure on Mahomes and was successful in forcing four turnovers, the Chargers prevailed 30-24. In that win last season, the Chargers sacked Mahomes twice, picked him off twice, and forced two fumbles.
Kansas City will try to start quickly and build up a sizable lead, which is what it does best. In their game with Arizona last weekend, the Chiefs built a 14-0 halftime advantage and a 23-7 halftime lead. Prior to the start of the fourth quarter, Kansas City was ahead 37-7.
The Chiefs are currently 8-1 SU in their last nine games at Arrowhead Stadium and 11-2 SU in their last 13 contests overall. Additionally, Kansas City is 8-3 ATS in their previous 11 games, and seven of their last eight games have had the total go Over.
Only three of the Chargers’ last 16 contests with the Chiefs have ended with a win. Kansas City has dominated the series. Additionally, Los Angeles has a 4-8 ATS record over its last 12 games. The team’s run of six consecutive Overs was snapped last week during Week 1. The Over is also 4-1 in the Chargers’ last five road games. The last three games in the series have averaged a combined total of 58.3 points per game.
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