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Chiefs Will Knock Chargers Back To Earth

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Dec/15/2021

The Kansas City Chiefs try for their seventh straight victory Thursday night as they visit the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. The Chiefs are coming off one of the most thorough beatdowns of this NFL season last Sunday, as they destroyed the Raiders 48-9 in a game that was essentially decided just moments after the opening kickoff. 

Meanwhile, the Chargers have won two games in a row in decisive fashion, remaining within hailing distance of the Chiefs in the AFC West. Justin Herbert is taking the leap from exciting rookie quarterback to star signal-caller, taking full advantage of all of his teams’s weapons. 

Kansas City is a three-point road favorite and can extend its division lead to two games with a win. The Chiefs also can prevent the Chargers from winning the all-important season series tiebreaker, as LA won the season’s first matchup, 30-24, at Arrowhead in Week 3. 

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers 

Chiefs’ Defense Makes Big Plays 

Kansas City’s defense — which is usually the Chiefs’ top concern — has been playing lights out during this winning streak. The Chiefs have allowed exactly nine points in each of their last three games and haven’t surrendered more than 17 points since October 24. 

As the Raiders unfortunately learned a week ago, the Kansas City defense is physical, aggressive and possesses a knack for big plays. The Chiefs stripped Vegas’ Josh Jacobs on the first play from scrimmage and Mike Hughes brought it back for a touchdown, giving Kansas City a lead before many fans were even seated. 

If you’re making NFL predictions, look for Kansas City to get a score on defense once again, perhaps a pick six. The Chargers should be playing from behind for a lot of this game, meaning Herbert might need to take some bigger-than-usual risks and thus right into the hands of the Chiefs. This prop bet covers both teams and includes special teams as well as defensive ones, so the range is pretty broad. 

Pick: There Will Be A Defensive/Special Teams Touchdown (+215) 

Mahomes And Herbert Are As Good As It Gets 

It’s rare to get two high-caliber quarterbacks within the same division, but that’s exactly the case in the AFC West this season and — hopefully — going forward with Patrick Mahomes in KC and Herbert in LA for the long haul. 

For the purposes of this game, there should be a lot of deep throws and, considering how many good pass-catchers are on both sides, there’s a solid chance that one of the touchdowns scored will be over 43½ yards. Plus, when Herbert can throw the ball over 60 yards in the air on the fly, it’s even easier to expect a long score.  

Pick: Longest TD Over 43½ Yards (-115) 

Game Should Be Very Close 

As the NFL betting odds indicate, the sportsbooks expect the Chargers to stick with the Chiefs and not get torched as the Raiders did. A three-point spread favoring the road team is a sign that Kansas City should definitely win, but not in a rout.

So, for really good value, you can take “no” for whether or not a team will score three unanswered times. Basically, this is a bet saying that the teams might not necessarily alternate scoring, but that neither side rolls off multiple scoring drives in a row without the other team responding in kind.

Kansas City has been the class of the AFC for years at this point and there’s no reason to think that will change anytime soon. However, the Chargers are certainly knocking on the door of contention with Herbert and the roster around him. A close, tight Thursday game — regardless of the outcome — goes a long way toward proving that. 

Pick: Neither Team Will Score Three Unanswered Times (+215) 

Chiefs Will Get Revenge For Week 3 

The Chargers stunned the Chiefs in Week 3, winning in Missouri. The Chiefs certainly won’t forget that game as they prepare for Thursday’s rematch and it’s going to be hard for Los Angeles and its mediocre defense to stop an angry Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Jason Kelce, Clyde-Edwards Helaire, etc.

With how good Kansas City has been forcing turnovers and keeping its opponents off the board, it’s just too hard to bet against the Chiefs.

Mahomes and Co. will take an early lead and not look back, even if the Chargers can stick around and make it a game until late into the fourth quarter. It’s a pretty small spread so the Chiefs should be able to cover it thanks to their dynamic offense and suddenly stingy defense. 

Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -3 (-110)

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