Betting on divisional NFL games is a bad idea.
After a rather demoralizing loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week, the Kansas City Chiefs return home to play one of their fiercest divisional opponents in the Los Angeles Chargers.
Widely regarded as one of the fastest-rising teams in the AFC, the Los Angeles Chargers are not a team to be overlooked. Justin Herbert has bucked all expectations and is proving he has a bright future ahead of him. Brandon Staley is proving to be the best coaching hire of the 2021 offseason. Meanwhile, the Chargers’ skill players, who have been elite for several seasons, finally have an opportunity to shine.
The Chiefs’ recent dominance in the AFC West should not be overlooked, but their throne on top of the division is in serious danger. The Chargers are a huge part of the threat Kansas City faces.
This week will be an early measuring stick for these new Chargers, as well as a measuring stick for the coaching of the Chiefs. Are the Chargers competitive now? Are they close? Can the Chiefs’ coaching staff handle a motivated and young divisional rival? How will the Chiefs game plan for an extremely important divisional game?
Of course, where there is an extremely important matchup like this, there is quite a bit of betting interest. In order to help readers get an advantage against the bettors, we are going to look at the lines and give insight into which side seems favorable.
Bet at your own risk! This is not financial advice, and I am not your financial advisor! If you or a loved one has a problem with gambling, please contact 1-800-522-4700 for the National Council on Problematic Gambling!
Odds provided by WynnBet
Favorable Prop Bets
Anytime Touchdown Scorer – Austin Ekeler (+100) or Travis Kelce (-135)
Starting with the more obvious of these two picks, Travis Kelce is too easy of a pick to score a touchdown for the Kansas City Chiefs. Mahomes loves to find Kelce in the endzone (he also loves to run them in, which is at +180 right now), which makes him such an easy pick to score. Although, in the last few weeks the Chiefs have shown that Kelce is a threat to score from any part of the opposition’s side of the fifty.
Austin Ekeler is going up against a run defense that has been extremely porous the last few weeks. He is also a great receiving back (although he has not been used like that thus far this season) so he has plenty of opportunities to score off the wheel or the screen, which the Chiefs struggle against.
There is a concern about taking Ekeler to score, however. Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo stated in a press conference this week that the focus during this week’s practices was red-zone defense. The problems the Chiefs have had can not be fixed in a week, but if they can be slightly improved, the Chiefs have a chance to force some field goals in the near future.
First Touchdown Scorer – Austin Ekeler (+800)
Bet 100, Win 800, Sum 900
Okay, this may seem like an attempt at fortune-telling, but there is actual logic here.
The Chiefs defer any coin toss they win, the Chargers accept any coin toss they win. This means that the Chargers will get the ball first, barring an out-of-character exception.
The Chiefs give up first drive touchdowns often under Steve Spagnuolo. So if the Chargers are opening the game with the ball, and the Chiefs give up first drive touchdowns, the first team to score a touchdown is, logically, the Chargers.
From there, it is a bit of fortune-telling guessing which player gets the touchdown. Although going with the safest pick seems smart. Like I said in the previous section, Ekeler is extremely likely to score a touchdown, thanks to the Chiefs’ terrible run defense and his ability when catching the ball.
Rushing Yards O/U: Austin Ekeler OVER 54.5 (-115)
Bet 100, Win 15, Sum 115
The Chiefs are giving up 6 yards per carry.
Rushing Yards O/U: Clyde Edwards-Helaire OVER 56.5 (-113)
Bet 100, Win 15, Sum 115
The Chargers are giving up 5.6 yards per carry.