One thing I never get to do with my method of handicapping the National Football League is ride a bandwagon. I don’t get to jump on a team with the popularity of a squad like the Kansas City Chiefs.
They looked so good in their Thursday night opener. Seemingly the Chiefs only challenge is choosing between exploiting an overmatched defense with their running or passing game. No bandwagon in the NFL took on a larger amount of weight than Kansas City’s did after they downed the Houston Texans in their season opener, 34-20.
If the Chiefs backup their first Super Bowl win in 50 years with another championship campaign that includes blowout victories, all those bettors laying the points on their games will collect like bandits.
My method of operation does not illuminate teams that are going to pile on win after win. My work is bent on finding those underdogs that are due to win on a particular day. Sometimes, my work comes head-to-head in opposition with a team generating a capacity crowd on their wagon.
It’s lonely over here, backing a team up against one that comes to town with the swagger of a growing group of admirers.
Thing is, I’m one of those admirers.
The Chiefs are special. Patrick Mahomes is among the best I’ve ever seen play his position. They have a rookie runner, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who ran through the Texans defense like he was late for an appointment across town. They are well coached, and Andy Reid is both capable and liked.
Thing is, while all those people are riding the Chiefs bandwagon, I’m looking at a Los Angeles Chargers squad with a new quarterback and few press clippings. Not too much is expected from the team in Los Angeles that has to play second-fiddle to the more highly regarded Rams. The Rams were in the Super Bowl just two years ago, and they opened “their” new five billion dollar stadium last Sunday night with pomp and circumstance before beating the Dallas Cowboys.
The Chargers play in SoFi Stadium too, but they are the stepchild in this arrangement. The Rams organization owns the spectacular new stadium while the Chargers are a tenant paying rent.
Can’t you just see the Chiefs coming in and dominating the Chargers on both sides of the ball?
So can I, but if I was riding with the group on the Kansas City bandwagon, I would be telling anyone who would listen that this one isn’t going to be as easy as one might think.
The Chargers were good enough to win on the road last week and come into this matchup not thinking that win was the first of two, but rather only an opening day victory with a greater challenge up next. Contrast that with the Chiefs mindset, they know how good they are and fully expect to do to the Chargers what they did twice last season … beat them.
After all, the Chiefs won both games last year while Los Angeles featured one of the best quarterback’s in the League, Philip Rivers. The longtime Chargers starter is now playing for the Colts in Indianapolis, and Los Angeles is forced to rely on Tyrod Taylor until rookie Justin Hebert is ready to step into the starting role.
The bandwagon comes in with confidence, and this is why I don’t get to join them. I’ve got a Chargers team totally on alert and with a point spread that dramatically shifts the advantage to their side.
It’s lonely rooting for the Chargers while everyone is yelling for the Chiefs. It will also be lonely when you are one of the few collecting at the payout window after this game.
Qoxhi Picks: Los Angeles Chargers (+8½) over Kansas City Chiefs