L.A. Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs (Odds provided by DraftKings)
I don’t think we could have asked for a better game to kickoff the second week of the 2022 NFL season, as these divisional foe’s square off in what is sure to be the first haymaker of their season-long battle for AFC West supremacy. No division made more headlines during the offseason than the AFC West, mixing blockbuster trades that altered the NFL landscape with splashy free agent signings. Make no mistake about it, this division is still the Chiefs to lose, barring any catastrophic injuries, but things are sure going to be entertaining along the way!
Spread: Chiefs -4 (-110) | Chargers +4 (-110)
Moneyline: Chiefs -190 | Chargers +160
Total: Over 54 (-110) | Under 54 (-110)
I grabbed the Chiefs -3.5 on Monday, but after learning the news that Butker will miss this game with an ankle injury, I feel as though the moneyline is the safer play here. Between Butker’s ankle, and losing their 1st round draft pick at cornerback, Trent McDuffie, to IR, Andy Reid did not sound very happy regarding the condition of the turf at State Farm Stadium on Sunday. The Chiefs signed former Jets kicker, Matt Ammendola, to their practice squad this week, and he’s expended to handle the kicking duties for them tonight, but how much trust can Reid really have in him after a few days of practice, compared to Butker, who still managed to make a 54 yard field goal on a sprained ankle? This could have an influence over Reid’s decision making on 4th down whenever the Chiefs are in FG range, making the outcome of this game much more unpredictable.
Fortunately for the Chiefs, the Chargers also come limping into this matchup a little, announcing that they’ll be without Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen. The Chargers offense definitely looked a little less potent after Allen left Sunday’s game in the first half, as Herbert lost the biggest safety net throughout his brilliant young career. One of the biggest free agent signings of the offseason, J.C. Jackson, is a gametime decision, but even if he plays, you have to expect there will be some rust.
I’m interested to see how the Chiefs offensive line holds up against the Chargers stellar pass rush, as we’ve seen Mahomes struggle a little when teams can get consistent pressure on him without blitzing, and in my opinion that will be the biggest factor in the outcome of tonight’s game. I was leaning on taking the over earlier in the week, but due to injuries the under is my favorite play here, as I can see Andy Reid wanting to slow things down and work the clock in order to limit possessions for the Chargers, and let’s be honest, Reid’s been known to struggle with clock management regardless. If this line creeps up to +4.5, which I’ve seen it listed on some other books, I lean towards grabbing the Chargers, but I’m confident Kansas City walks out of Arrowhead Stadium with a win tonight.
Under 54 (-110) 1.5 unit
Kansas City ML (-190) 1 unit
Austin Ekeler over 36.5 receiving yards (-130) 1 unit
Josh Palmer over 46.5 receiving yards (-140) .5 unit
Mike Williams anytime touchdown scorer (+130) 1 unit
Gerald Everett anytime touchdown scorer (+225) .25 unit
Juju Smith-Schuster over 5.5 receptions (+110) .5 unit
Patrick Mahomes under 296.5 passing yards (-105) .5 unit
Clyde Edwards-Helaire over 65.5 rushing + receiving yards (-115) .5 unit
JG is a New Jersey based football guru who has bet on all things sports over the last 15+ years.He is a creative and passionate writer who enjoys exploring new ideas and perspectives. You can find all of his picks and predictions on www.playonlinenewjersey.com/