The Los Angeles Chargers visit the Kansas City Chiefs in the first game of Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season on Thursday night at the GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
Both teams looked impressive in their season debut with the Chargers defeating the Las Vegas Raiders 24-19 as a 3.5 home point chalk and the Chiefs blowing out the Arizona Cardinals 44-21 as six-point road favorites. With both teams opening at 1-0 SU and ATS, the winner of this game will take the early division lead in the AFC West Division.
The total for this game opened at 51 but went up by two points to 53 after Mahomes and Herbert combined for 8 TD passes in Week 1. These two teams split their two meetings last season.
The Chargers narrowly missed the playoffs last season after finishing with a 9-8 record. Los Angeles dropped three out of their last four regular season games. This year, the Chargers are poised to be contenders with Justin Herbert among the betting favorites and most popular bets to win MVP honors.
LA won last week, defeating the Las Vegas Raiders 24-19 to spoil Davante Adams’ debut. Herbert threw for 279 yards with 3 TD passes and without an interception. Keenan Allen caught 4 passes for 66 yards while DeAndre Carter had 3 catches for 64 yards. Austin Ekeler is coming off a bad outing with only 36 yards on 14 rushes but he should have a better game with Kansas City ranked 27th in defense last season.
The Chiefs have plenty to prove this year. Kansas City was upset by the Cincinnati Bengals in OT during the AFC title game. If last week’s win over the Cardinals was any indication, the Chiefs are dead-serious about a revenge tour this year to prove their critics wrong. KC lost superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill during the offseason but the offense didn’t really miss him in Week 1.
Patrick Mahomes shot up to the top of the MVP betting boards after week 1. Mahomes threw 5 TD passes while completing 30 of 39 passes for 360 passing yards without an INT. Tight end Travis Kelce caught 8 passes for 121 yards with one TD grab while JuJu Smith-Schuster had six receptions for 79 yards. Meanwhile, RB Isiah Pacheco led the team with 62 rushing yards with one TD run.
The Chargers are 3-13 SU in their last 16 games played against the Chiefs. Los Angeles is 3-1 SU in their last four road games in Kansas City.
The Chargers are:
The Chiefs are:
The Chargers made several moves to upgrade their defense during the offseason. The most significant ones were the acquisition of pass rusher Khalil Mack from the Bears and cornerback J.C. Jackon from the Patriots. While Jackson did not play last week, Mack was a difference maker for the Chargers’ defense. He will be the key to winning the game on Thursday.
The Chiefs’ offense looked like it didn’t miss Tyreek Hill at all last week as Mahomes tossed five TD passes, including two to RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire. While Hill dominated the receptions last season, Mahomes threw at least three completions to six different pass catchers last week. New addition JuJu Smith-Schuster caught six of eight targets for 79 yards and finished only behind Travis Kelce who had 8 catches for 121 yards with one TD grab. If the Chiefs are to beat the Chargers, the wealth must be distributed well again against the Chargers.
Los Angeles upset Kansas City 30-24 in Week 3 of the previous season as seven-point underdogs. They did so by sacking Mahomes twice and recovering two fumbles. The Chargers’ offense can keep up with the Chiefs’ scoring machine but it will be the defense that makes the difference here. With the addition of Khalil Mack who had three sacks last week, the Los Angeles defense should help the team pull off the upset again.
Prediction: Los Angele Chargers
The Chargers are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games played against the Chiefs. Los Angeles is also 3-0-1 ATS in their last four games played in Kansas City.
Kansas City may have the edge in coaching and starting quarterback. However, the addition of Mack to the Chargers’ defense gives them a component that they have not had in recent years.
Justin Herbert continues to improve and with him, so does the Chargers’ offense. The running game headed by Ekeler and Michel will give Herbert a better opportunity to throw the football. Without McDuffie and Mathieu in the Kansas City defensive backfield, Mike Williams should have a big game.
There’s no question that Kansas City opened their season big against Arizona but that game was more about the Cardinals than the Chiefs. Kansas City’s offense still has the mojo even without Hill but with Bosa and Mack providing the Chargers defense a huge boost, Los Angeles should be able to make enough stops to at least cover the betting spread.
Prediction: Chargers +3
The total has gone over in two out of the last three head-to-head meetings between these two teams. The over is 7-3 in their last 10 meetings in Kansas City.
Los Angeles Chargers over/under trends:
Kansas City Chiefs over/under trends:
These two teams combined to score an average of 51.4 points per game in their last 10 head-to-head meetings and 58.33 points per game in their most recent three encounters. The Chargers and Chiefs were two of the best offenses in the league last season and are led by two of the top quarterbacks in the league in Mahomes and Herbert.
The Chargers are an outstanding scoring team and are expected to take a step forward as Herbert continues to improve. Meanwhile, there were questions on the Chiefs’ offense after losing Tyreek Hill but as they showed in Week 1, they are way more than Hill and they didn’t seem to miss him a bit. I like these teams to hit the over again on Thursday night.
Prediction: Over 53
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