Don’t tell the Los Angeles Chargers they are +3.5 underdogs against the host Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL Week 2 opener on Thursday night.
Chargers bettors may add, “Shhh, don’t tell anyone until I get my bets down.”
That’s because the Chargers have won three of the last four meetings against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. They have captured both matchups in the Justin Herbert era.
That included a 30-24 triumph last year.
How to watch on Amazon Prime
The game will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. This is the first NFL prime-time game to be broadcast on Prime Video. Prime costs $15 a month, and there is a 30-day free trial option.
The game will begin at 5:15 PT on Thursday night.
This is one of the league’s most entertaining matchups. If young gunslingers Herbert and Patrick Mahomes throw as many passes as the purists hope for, they will turn the venue into Air-O-Head Stadium, in honor of airing it out.
DraftKings has established Herbert and Mahomes as tied for second choice, +750, to win the MVP Award. This prime-time game should provide some separation between the two.
Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills leads the pack at +500.
As both players are likely to put up touchdowns, here are 7 points to consider regarding the Chargers and Chiefs.
Two of the best QBs in football
Herbert was masterful, targeting nine receivers, and throwing for 279 yards and three scores as the Chargers held off the Las Vegas Raiders 24-19. Combined, the QBs hit 639 yards. That included eight touchdowns and no picks.
Keep an eye on yardage props or both signal callers. Some books like to put them up for two marquee quarterbacks.
Did you notice? DraftKings moved Herbert’s over-under yardage prop to 284 from 279 during the week. He hit 279. How do they know?
QB props are a reasonable play at -110, although not the same bargain at -115, as is often the case. But they give a good barometer about how books see the game.
Bettors who see high-yardage props might throw some money on the over or on some touchdown possibilities.
Books Expect Shootout
This is the highest total on the entire DraftKings board for Week 2 at 54. That’s also a big number for a Thursday night game. Offenses don’t always have time to get in sync and teams are nursing injuries, sometimes to key players.
This will be a good category to evaluate throughout the year.
The “under” is 1-0 after the Buffalo Bills topped the Los Angeles Rams 31-10 last week.
The Chargers Come in Off Nice Win
That triumph over the Las Vegas Raiders was satisfying to Chargers fans who suffered through a long off-season after the Raiders booted them out of the post-season in last year’s season finale.
Something else happened with this victory. The Chargers covered at home. They have traditionally been a strong road play and unreliable home favorite, but they covered the -3.5 number at major sportsbooks.
Bettors who cashed that ticket can thank the stuffing of a fourth-quarter two-point conversion for the cover.
Welcome To the Show, Gerald Everett
The Chargers’ off-season pickup paid dividends with what became the game-winning touchdown.
Everett was good for the bettors too. The tight end returned +230 as an anytime scorer at DraftKings.
For Chargers fans, the way Everett scored on this 18-yard play was as encouraging as the tally itself.
He broke out into the flat but was initially short of the first-down marker. Herbert brought the ball down, allowed Everett time to go further downfield and gave him a short toss. Everett obtained position, caught the ball and muscled his way into the end zone.
It looked like he’d known Herbert all his life with that play. He also showed the good hands and instinct of a wide receiver.
The score was important because it capped a drive that followed a Raiders touchdown. It put the Chargers up 24-10 and they had just enough left to make it stand.
Mike Williams, the Chargers’ game-breaking receiver, had only one first-half target and finished with just two catches for 10 yards. This is an example of how coverage patterns impact players.
The coverage by the Raiders encouraged Herbert to compile yardage in small chunks, rather than hit Williams deep.
It would normally be alarming that Williams only had four targets. But none of the Chargers had more than four. In fact, seven players had four targets each. That’s unusual.
Williams will be chomping at the bit to be productive against the Chiefs. He’ll likely be targeted more, it’s just a matter of by how much. Don’t be surprised if Herbert takes a quick early deep shot with him.
Keenan Allen: More Doubtful than Questionable?
He left the opener with a hamstring injury. Hammies take weeks to fully heal. Some players rush their way back, but it’s an injury risk. Given the short turnaround, it would seem reasonable for the Chargers to sit him in Week 2, but that remains to be seen. In any case, it won’t be easy to trust him as a props target, because he can’t move full speed
Yes, that was the defense putting the game away for the Chargers against the Raiders. It’s been something fans have waited for and may be something bettors can rely upon.
Off-season pickup Khalil Mack showed why he can be one of the league’s most dominant defensive players. He notched three sacks in his Chargers debut and teamed up with Joey Bosa to snuff out the final Raiders fire.
With the Chargers up 24-19 with just over two minutes left, the Raiders had third-and-3 at their own 40. Bosa and Morgan Fox brought down Raiders QB Derek Carr and Bosa jarred the ball loose. The Raiders recovered but lost five yards.
And then Mack sealed the deal with a sack on the next play.
If the defense can close out games, and with the offense having Herbert, look out.
Chargers Updated Numbers
The win total has changed from 10 to 11 at DraftKings, now that they have one in the bank. Both the over and under are -110.
The Chiefs are the +165 favorite to win the AFC West, with the Chargers next at +195.
Will the Chargers make the playoffs? The book says “Heck, Yeah”, as in -250.