Chiefs vs. Chargers Week 18 Opening Odds Suggest KC Will Rest Starters

Patrick Mahomes isn't expected to participate in the full game against the Chargers in Week 18
Patrick Mahomes isn't expected to participate in the full game against the Chargers in Week 18 / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Chiefs will be the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs and host a Wild Card game no matter what happens against the Chargers on Sunday.

Last week's win over the Bengals sealed that fate, so there's little reason for the Chiefs to treat this as anything other than a preseason type of game. The Chargers theoretically would benefit from losing to get a greater draft position, so this will be the rare Chiefs game that shouldn't be particularly tense.

Sportsbooks certainly don't expect a thriller. In fact, the Chiefs are underdogs, heavily implying the starters will rest for a majority of the game.

Let's take a look at the opening odds below.

Chiefs vs. Chargers Week 18 Opening Odds

When NFL schedule-makers first slotted this matchup for Week 18, it was expected the Chargers would compete for the AFC West title and surge toward the playoffs.

That didn't quite work out. Los Angeles is in last place in the division with a 5-11 record. The team admittedly played a tough game against Buffalo after firing Brandon Staley, but promptly fell flat against the Broncos in Week 17.

So, there's not a lot of juice here. Oddsmakers have the Chiefs as 2.5-point underdogs with +116 odds on the moneyline and a total set at 35.5, implying a low-scoring, defensive slugfest.

The Chargers are just 2-6 against the spread (ATS) in their last eight games and lost by two TDs to the Chiefs earlier this season.

With Justin Herbert on the shelf for the rest of the year due to injury, I don't aniticpate many points on Sunday. Get through the game healthy and let's get set for a Super Bowl repeat.

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.