The National Football League kicks off a four day festival of football tonight when the Kansas City Chiefs visit SoFi Stadium and the Los Angeles Chargers. Two games this week will be played on Saturday, along with the Monday Night Football meeting and a full Sunday schedule.
This is the first week that all NFL teams are in action since the byes started more than two months ago. Tonight’s game is a good one, from all perspectives, and the winner will hold possession of first place in the AFC West Division.
If the Chiefs win, they will pull two games ahead of the Chargers for the top spot in their division race. If the Chargers win, they would become the leader based on a tiebreaker, each team having nine wins in 14 decisions, but the Chargers holding the edge based on beating the Chiefs twice in head-to-head meetings.
Los Angeles won at Arrowhead in September in third week regular season play, 30-24.
Most figure Patrick Mahomes and his suddenly surging Chiefs will win tonight … I’m not with most.
In recent weeks, Kansas City has put to bed their dismal point spread run that began last season. Over their final 11 games of the 2020 campaign, the Chiefs only lost straight-up twice, but were 1-9-1 versus the point spread.
A clear example of the books collecting on the same team they had been forced to pay the public while the popular defending Super Bowl Champions won seven of their first eight games and covered the point spread six times. The public betting love affair with the Chiefs endured the dismal results while continuing to back Kansas City right through their Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This season, the public was back on the Chiefs, and again endured consistent losses while Andy Reid’s squad only covered the point spread twice in the first nine weeks.
Then, four weeks ago, after narrow straight-up wins and point spread losses to the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers, a contest played while Aaron Rodgers was sidelined, the Chiefs caught fire. Their backers were rewarded with a rare lopsided win and point spread cover in Las Vegas against the Raiders, 41-14. Another double-digit Kansas City win and cover was recorded over the Dallas Cowboys before the Chiefs had their bye three weeks ago.
They have come out of their week away from game action with a pair of one-sided victories over the Denver Broncos and again the Raiders, 22-9 and 48-9 respectively.
Interestingly enough, those two easy wins for Kansas City mark the first two games in two years in which the public didn’t back the Chiefs. Public money was on the Broncos plus the 8½ points available on the spread two weeks ago, and they lined up on the Raiders last Sunday getting 10 points in the regular season rematch.
Tonight, they are back on the Chiefs, by a hefty 70% margin.
Some consider the Los Angeles Chargers unpredictable because they have had blowout wins and one-sided defeats. On my books, the Chargers are the perfect team. They are good enough to win when the situation is right, and not good enough to overcome a negative spot.
By my account, the Chargers have had only two positive point spread situations all season. That would be a fourth week home game against the Las Vegas Raiders, and their meeting in Cincinnati two weeks ago when they beat the Bengals. In fact, the Chargers won in those two situations by double-digits, 28-14 over Las Vegas and 41-22 against Cincinnati.
Tonight, the Chargers are in their third positive point spread situation of the season.
Wait? How about when they beat the Chiefs the first time they met this season? They must have been in a good spot there if they won at Arrowhead?
The Chiefs were coming home off a road loss to the Ravens in Baltimore. Good teams are consistently successful in games coming off losses, especially when playing a division opponent that had beaten them the previous season. Albeit, the Chargers victory last January was highly dependent on the game meaning nothing to the Chiefs before they advanced as the number one seed in the American Football Conference playoffs.
If the Chargers beat the Chiefs in a bad spot, or at least a neutral spot, how will they do tonight when they are in a good spot?
Seems simple to me.
Qoxhi Picks: Los Angeles Chargers (+3) over Kansas City Chiefs