The Kansas City Chiefs own the recent rivalry with the Los Angeles Chargers, winning the last eight meetings in a row straight up and going 6-2 against the spread. Can Kansas City make it nine in a row when the teams open their seasons Sunday afternoon in suburban Los Angeles?
NFL point spread: The Chargers opened as three-point favorites; the total was 47.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 27.9-14.5 Chargers (NFL picks on every game)
Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news.
Why the Chiefs can cover the spread
Kansas City finished 10-6 last season both SU and ATS and won the AFC West, before getting upset by Tennessee in a wild-card round playoff game. The Chiefs started 5-1 last year, inexplicably lost six of their next seven but won their last four to clinch their playoff spot.
Over the offseason Kansas City made a big move, trading away quarterback Alex Smith, choosing to now move forward with young slinger Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs averaged 375 yards per game last year on offense while allowing 365 YPG on defense. So they ranked 12th in the league in total yardage at plus-10 per game.
Finally, Kansas City swept two games from the Chargers last season by scores of 24-10 and 30-13. The Chiefs covered that first game as three-point favorites at home, then covered as one-point favorites on the road.
Why the Chargers can cover the spread
Los Angeles finished 9-7 SU and 8-7-1 ATS last season, and just missed the playoffs. The Chargers got off to their typical slow start again last year, losing their first four games, and later sat at just 3-6. They then won six of their last seven but fell victim to a playoff tiebreaker.
Los Angeles averaged 377 YPG on offense last year while allowing 328 YPG on defense. So the Chargers ranked sixth in the NFL in total yardage at plus-49 YPG.
Los Angeles lost twice to Kansas City last year, but both those games were closer than those final scores might indicate. The Chargers only trailed that first meeting by a touchdown late in the game, before the Chiefs iced it with a score with just over two minutes to go. And Los Angeles actually led that second meeting 13-10 late into the third quarter before allowing the last 20 points.
Smart betting pick
The Chargers begin this season with heightened expectations, but those can sometimes be a heavy burden. Meanwhile, the Chiefs might be starting a youngster at quarterback, but he’s got a nice arsenal of weapons to work with on offense. Smart money bets KC plus the points.
NFL betting trends
The Chiefs are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games against the Chargers.
The total has gone under in six of the Chiefs’ last eight games against the Chargers.
The Chiefs are 7-3 SU and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games on the road in September.