The Los Angeles Chargers are touchdown underdogs for Sunday’s AFC West showdown against the host Kansas City Chiefs. Can Justin Herbert and the Chargers strike an audible chord against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs at raucous Arrowhead Stadium? Find out as we preview the NFL odds.
|Game: Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-1)
Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City.
Time: 1 p.m. ET
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Over/Under||Team Total|
|Chargers||+7 (-120)||+240||55½ (-110o)|
|Chiefs||-7 (Ev)||-290||55½ (-110u)|
Head to Head
Justin Herbert’s first NFL appearance came against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season. Thrust into the game with little prior notice as the Chargers ruled out Tyrod Taylor (punctured lung) on game day, Herbert made his rookie debut and very nearly upset the Chiefs. For the better part of the game, the Chargers were in charge. Herbert outplayed, outmuscled and outgunned Mahomes and the Chiefs. But, Mahomes did what he almost always does and rallied the Chiefs to the 23-20 victory. All told, Herbert lost the game, but he won the starting job.
The Chargers and Chiefs split their meetings in 2020. Los Angeles clinched the second contest 38-21 in Arrowhead Stadium. However, the second contest came in Week 17, and Andy Reid rested most of his starters in that game. Chad Henne started for the Chiefs.
Kansas City has dominated the AFC West since Andy Reid took over the reins. And since Mahomes took over the starting job in 2018, the Chiefs are a league-leading 15-3-0 straight up against their division neighbors. They’re also 9-8-1 against the spread with a +3.2 differential against the spread and an average winning margin of 10.2 points.
Los Angeles Chargers
Next game: vs. Las Vegas Raiders
The Chargers lost to the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. It was a cracking game but a disappointing result for new head coach Brandon Staley in his side’s season home opener as the Chargers slipped to 1-1 SU and ATS.
The Chargers shot themselves in the foot with needless penalties, red-zone turnovers, overall sloppiness and a couple costly interceptions. The fatal blow came on an illegal motion call that wiped out a potential game-winning touchdown. Instead, the Chargers had to settle for a game-tying field goal, leaving Dak Prescott and the Cowboys with 3:58 on the clock to seal the deal. The Cowboys had plenty of time and Greg Zuerlein kicked a 56-yard field goal as time evaporated.
Staley, summarizing the performance in his postgame presser, said, “We didn’t play a clean enough game to win.”
Linebacker Kenneth Murray injured his ankle on the Chargers’ opening drive but returned later in the first quarter. As of Tuesday, their injury list reveals tackle Justin Jones (calf) and cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (shoulder) as questionable for Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs
Next game: at Philadelphia Eagles
Until last Sunday, Mahomes owned the month of September behind an 11-0 record. He was undefeated in the first month of the season since his debut in 2018. On top of that, his stats were breathtaking and, in some cases, record-setting. Well, that changed on Sunday night as Mahomes and the Chiefs succumbed to a narrow 36-35 road loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
It was a captivating contest from start to finish between the Chiefs and Ravens, two of the AFC’s legitimate Super Bowl contenders according to preseason NFL predictions. The Chiefs took the lead in the first half, looking certain for another commanding victory over the Ravens until they didn’t. The wheels came spectacularly undone in the second half. The Chiefs became wasteful with opportunities to put away the Ravens, Mahomes had an uncharacteristic interception late in the game, and ultimately the lead frittered away. The fatal blow came when Clyde Helaire-Edwards fumbled the ball on the Chiefs’ final drive. Although why Andy Reid would give the ball to his running back instead of Mahomes is utterly mind-blowing.
The postgame headlines widely focused on the Baltimore perspective. How Lamar Jackson and the Ravens finally beat the Chiefs, flipped the AFC script, rallied for a come-from-behind victory and diffused their kryptonite. However, not to take anything from the Ravens, but the Chiefs lost that game. They practically gift-wrapped it and put a lovely bow on it for Jackson to take home along with the game-winning ball.
All told, the Chiefs are 1-1 SU and ATS, falling behind the undefeated Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos in the AFC West standings. Looking up at the Raiders and Broncos has to be a first for Mahomes and the Chiefs, if not an oddity. It’s not going to sit well with them, either, so it’s unlikely that this will stay the case for much longer.
The Kansas City Chiefs have a modest injury list, with only guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (hand) listed as questionable for Sunday.
Betting on the Game
Lookahead Las Vegas NFL odds had the Chargers vs. Chiefs pegged on 7 to 7½ points with the host team to the good. Following Week 2, the NFL line held firm, although both the Chargers and Chiefs were coming off brutal losses at home,
At first glance, it doesn’t make sense to have the Chargers catching that many points. They’re an exciting team on the rise in the AFC West, and as the season plods along, Herbert and the Chargers’ offense is finding its rhythm under new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. They’ve made a fist of it before against the Chiefs, and they could do it again.
The Chiefs, however, are coming off a bitter disappointment that hasn’t gone down well. If there’s a lesson to be had from the loss to the Ravens, it’s not to let opportunities slip. As such, the Chiefs atoning for last week’s loss in a big way and showing the rest of the league that they were beaten but not broken is the established expectation.
Keep in mind that this is the first time Herbert will experience a full-capacity Arrowhead Stadium. Last season, the first meeting was played in a vacuous SoFi Stadium in Week 2 and then with limited attendance in Week 17.
The 36-35 loss to the Ravens wasn’t good optics, but the Chiefs are still the standard in the AFC West and the AFC. It’s going to take something special to beat them in back-to-back games, especially returning to Arrowhead. Herbert and the Chargers are an intriguing prospect and they could be in a value betting spot here as the +240 road underdogs. But it would be crazy to think the second-year quarterback could pull off what Jackson couldn’t for so long until last Sunday.
Thus, the Chiefs are the considerable home favorites on the moneyline. As per BetUS odds, the Chiefs are priced at -290 to win, meaning a bettor will need to fork over almost three times the potential payout ($290 to win $100). It’s hard to argue the value of betting the Chiefs at these odds, although the probability of winning the bet is high.
Perhaps, the best bet for the Chargers and Chiefs is going to be for totals. Mahomes and Herbert are pass-happy quarterbacks with plenty of firepower and weaponry around them to turn this game into a shootout. By all accounts, this is the marquee, popcorn game on the NFL slate for Week 3, and if both these teams live up to their reputations, this game should crack the 55-point total comfortably. Heck, it wouldn’t be surprising if they breach the game total before the first half concludes.