Chargers Look to Unseat Chiefs Atop AFC West
The NFL Season kicks off on Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers meet at StubHub Center. This is a bitter rivalry and and good matchup for fans, and bettors, as the NFL kicks off its 99th season.
Oddsmakers have the Chargers as -3-point favorites versus the Chiefs, while the game’s total opened at 47.5.
The game kickoff at 4:05 pm EST and CBS will have the coverage.
The Chiefs begin their quest for a third consecutive AFC West title. They will also try for their ninth consecutive win against the Los Angeles Chargers. Last season pushed Kansas City until the final week and this year should be no different.
Chargers Looking to Sit Atop the Division
The Chargers were 9-7 in 2017. That was good for 2ND in the AFC West.
Los Angeles still has Philip Rivers at the helm of an offense that led the league in passing a year ago. They posted two of its five lowest-yardage outputs in its two meetings with the Chiefs.
After throwing a career-high 21 interceptions in 2016, Rivers was picked only 10 times last season. He passed for 4,515 yards and 28 touchdowns. His favorite target returns in Keenan Allen. He hauled in 102 passes for 1,393 yards and six touchdowns last year.
Running back Melvin Gordon is back as well. He is coming off his first 1,000-yard season.
The defense ranked third in the league in points allowed last season. It is led by two dynamic pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. They combined for 23 sacks in 2017.
Chiefs are Still King of the AFC West Until Beaten
One constant during Kansas City’s dominance over the Chargers has been under center. Alex Smith had been at the helm, but not anymore. Smith was traded to Washington in the offseason. Second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes takes the reins for the 2018 season.
Mahomes made his first start in Week 17 last year. He passed for 284 yards in what ultimately was a meaningless game. The stakes will be higher this time against a bitter division rival.
Mahomes takes over an offense that includes Kareem Hunt. He was the NFL’s leading rusher last season with 1,327 yards. He also has a reliable target in Travis Kelce. Kelce led all tight ends with 83 receptions for 1,038 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017.
A couple of dangerous receivers in speedster Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins are at his disposal as well.
The defense was one of the most porous in the league last year. They did force 26 turnovers as the Chiefs ranked second in the league with a plus-15 margin.
LB Justin Houston has registered six sacks in his last five games against San Diego.
PREDICTION: Chargers 27, Chiefs 23
NFL Betting Odds and Trends
Kansas City Chiefs:
Team record: 10-7 SU,10-7 ATS
Kansas City is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Kansas City is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Kansas City’s last 5 games
Los Angeles Chargers:
Team record: 9-7 SU,9-6-1 ATS
LA Chargers is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games
LA Chargers is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of LA Chargers’s last 5 games
Kansas City at Pittsburgh Sunday, September 16
Los Angeles at Buffalo Sunday, September 16
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