Both of these divisional foes picked up a win in Week 1, and plenty of fireworks are expected from these high-octane offenses. However, our NFL betting picks will look at defense, and specifically which QB will slip.
Week 2 of NFL betting kicks off in sexy fashion with an AFC West war on Thursday Night Football. The Los Angeles Chargers visit the Kansas City Chiefs in a divisional dance that could go a long way in deciding who comes out on top in this loaded group of contenders, and I’m here to browse point spread, total and give my best NFL betting picks and predictions.
Kansas City snuffed out any doubters in Week 1, blasting the Arizona Cardinals for 44 points en route to an easy win and road cover.
The Bolts appeared to earn a one-sided win over the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1, but lost a 17-3 halftime lead and took a 24-19 win as 3-way home favorites .5 dots.
Chargers vs Chiefs best odds
Chargers vs Chiefs Picks and Predictions
If this game’s total is any indication, Patrick Mahomes is going to throw – a lot. The Chiefs quarterback threw a modest 39 passes in the one-sided win over Arizona this weekend, completing 30 of those throws including five for touchdowns and zero for interceptions.
The Cardinals’ secondary was stale bread in the defensive backfield, so the front seven brought home, bombarding the bulk of the throwbacks in an attempt to disrupt Mahomes. All of those extra rushers resulted in a goose egg in sacks for Arizona. Mahomes broke the Cards’ man-to-man coverage, especially when Arizona had paired linebackers on KC’s fast WRs.
Enter the Chargers, with a far more stingy secondary than Arizona.
The Los Angeles defense did a solid job against the Raiders in Week 1, with an EPA allowed per drop of -0.148 — eighth-best in season openers. The Bolts’ peddling secondary also recorded three interceptions against Derek Carr.
Rounding out those picks, LA had six sacks (and five QB knockdowns), generating that pressure despite blitzing on just 16% of the dropouts. Los Angeles got an instant out of new addition Khalil Mack, who had three sacks, as well as 1.5 sacks from defensive teammate Joey Bosa.
With the Chargers able to get after the QB without the need for additional passers, this allows linebackers to drop into zone coverage, plug in anything below, and help the secondary with defenses leaning on Cover-2 sets against Mahomes. As the pocket shrinks, Mahomes will be forced into rushing throws, which gives good value at most 0.5 on his total interceptions at +105.
In the two meetings between the Bolts and the Chiefs in 2021, Mahomes threw three of his 13 total interceptions during the season, including two in a Week 3 loss to Los Angeles at home – one of which was a sloppy catch and an amazing dive choice from Asante Samuel Jr.
That said, this game could turn into a shootout and the Chargers’ ability to squeeze Mahomes with the front four and plug those passing lanes – as well as the potential return of CB JC Jackson (Brandon Staley says 50/50) – should stir up at least one wayward pass from Pat ending up in the arms of a Los Angeles defender.
my best bet: Patrick Mahomes Over 0.5 interceptions (+105)
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Chargers vs Chiefs betting overview
•Propagation analysis •Over/under analysis •Game Information •injuries •Time •Tendency to know
The anticipation line for this Week 2 primetime game was Kansas City -3 and most books opened around that key number on Sunday night. This quickly climbed to Chiefs -3.5 industry-wide.
Los Angeles will likely be without veteran receiver Keenan Allen, who suffered a hamstring injury in Week 1 – a difficult condition to overcome in a short week off.
Covers NFL betting analysis
That total opened as low as 54 points and has since climbed to 54.5 with early Over bets. Some books rate the most at 54.5 with extra juice, which could indicate a move to 55 points as we get closer to kickoff on Sunday.
The last time these teams met, Kansas City won 34-28 in overtime in Los Angeles on Dec. 16, 2021 — with the regulation score playing off the closing total of 54.5 points in that contest.
Chargers vs Chiefs game information
• Location: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
• Date: Thursday, September 15, 2022
• To start up: 8:15 p.m. ET
• TV: Amazon Prime
Chargers vs Chiefs key injuries
Weather Chargers vs. Chiefs
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Chargers vs Chiefs betting trend you need to know
The Chargers are particularly profitable as road underdogs, with a 14-6-3 ATS tally in that role over the previous five seasons, including a 3-1 ATS as road puppies in 2021. Find more NFL betting trends for the Chargers vs. Chiefs.