The Kansas City Chiefs (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) will try to take sole possession of first place in the AFC West on Thursday Night Football when they host the Los Angeles Chargers (1-0, 1-0) as small home favorites at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.
Both teams looked very impressive in season-opening wins last Sunday, with the six-time defending division champion Chiefs crushing the Arizona Cardinals 44-21 as 6-point road favorites and the Chargers topping the Las Vegas Raiders 24-19 as 3.5-point home chalk.
Chargers vs Chiefs Opening Odds
The only real line movement so far has involved the total, which has risen two points up to 54.5 at some books in early wagering action. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles quarterback Justin Herbert combined to throw for eight touchdowns in Week 1, so the betting public apparently likes them to air it out again.
Los Angeles Defense Improved Despite Missing Jackson In Secondary
The Chargers made some significant improvements to their defense in the offseason, acquiring pass rusher Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears in a trade and signing cornerback J.C. Jackson away from the New England Patriots as a free agent.
While Jackson (ankle) did not play in the season opener and watched Las Vegas wide receiver Davante Adams take advantage with 141 yards on 10 catches, Mack wreaked havoc on the opposition’s offensive line with three of the team’s six sacks.
Mack will have his sights set next on Mahomes, whom the Chiefs did a great job protecting against the Cardinals. The Los Angeles defense also picked off Derek Carr three times and was definitely the difference in keeping the total way UNDER the closing number of 52.5.
Kansas City’s Offense Looked Better Than Ever In Rout Of Arizona
No Tyreek Hill, no problem for the Chiefs in Week 1. Mahomes was not impacted negatively in any way, tossing five touchdown passes at Arizona, including two to running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Hill was their leading receiver a year ago with 111 catches for 1,239 yards and nine touchdowns, but Mahomes spread the wealth in Week 1 with six different players totaling three receptions or more.
New addition JuJu Smith-Schuster hauled in six of eight targets for 79 yards to finish second on the team behind All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce, who had a team-high eight catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. That aerial assault by Mahomes helped the total cruise OVER the closing number of 54.
Chargers: Keys To Win
Putting pressure on Mahomes is essential for Los Angeles. The Chargers upset the Chiefs 30-24 as 7-point road underdogs in Week 3 of last year by sacking Mahomes twice, picking him off twice and recovering two fumbles. Los Angeles has the offensive firepower to keep up on the scoreboard, but the defense needs to be the difference.
Chiefs: Keys To Win
A fast start and strong finish will be the biggest keys to victory here. The Chargers jumped out to a 14-0 lead at Arrowhead last season and then outscored their opponent 16-7 in the fourth quarter to win.
Kansas City is always at its best when the team can score quickly, just like what happened at Arizona with an early 14-0 lead. The Chiefs then found themselves up 23-7 at halftime and 37-7 after three quarters. It’s hard to rally back from that.
NFL Computer Pick: Chiefs -3.5
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