AFC West rivals will square off on Sunday afternoon when the Los Angeles Chargers visit the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 3 action. Los Angeles is coming off a heartbreaking 20-17 home loss to the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday as a three-point favorite, and is now 1-1 overall. Kansas City is also off to a 1-1 start after losing 36-35 to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night as a 3.5-point road favorite.
These teams split two meetings last season, but Kansas City has still won 12 of the last 14 overall to take a 64-57-1 lead in the all-time series.
Line Movements & Weather
The Chiefs have stayed true at -7 all week while bringing in 55% of the bets.
The OU line has gone from 52.5 up to 54.5, which is rather consistent with the fact that the Over has brought in 66% of the bets.
Gametime Weather: Temps in the mid-80s with sunny skies and winds around 17 MPH.
Chargers can't quite complete rally against CowboysLos Angeles gave it a good effort last Sunday against Dallas at SoFi Stadium after being down double digits early, but ultimately lost on a last-second field goal as its offense couldn't finish off enough drives. With the Cowboys leading 14-3 early in the second quarter, Justin Herbert found Mike Williams on a 12-yard scoring catch for the only touchdown of the game for the Chargers, as it was all field goals for both teams the rest of the game with Los Angeles hitting the game-tying 29-yard attempt with 3:54 left only for the Cowboys to march down the field the next drive for the win from 56 yards out.
Herbert completed 31 of his 41 pass attempts for 338 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Keenan Allen made some big plays with four catches for 108 yards. It was a fairly even game as Dallas finished with a 419-408 advantage in total yards, but Los Angeles losing the turnover battle 2-1 while also missing a 44-yard field goal late in the first half made the difference.
Fundamentally we just had some calls and some penalties that got brought back, and some turnovers, and I can’t turn the ball over in the red zone like that and expect to win,” said Herbert via the Associated Press. “That’s a pretty good offense we’re going up against, so we’ve got to put up more points.”
The Chargers are off to a 1-1 start against the spread after winning outright against the Washington Football Team in Week 1 as a slight road underdog. Both Los Angeles games have gone under the betting total, as the matchup with Dallas didn't come close to clearing 55 points.
Los Angeles is off to a slower start offensively than most projected with an average of 18.5 points and 416 yards per game. The defense has made up for it so far, ranking seventh in scoring with opponents managing 18 points and 339 yards per contest.
Hebert has completed 62 of 88 pass attempts for 675 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions as he looks to build on a fantastic rookie season. Austin Ekeler has racked up 111 yards and a score on 24 carries, while Williams is off to a good start with 15 catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Derwin James has been a force on defense, recording a team-high 15 tackles plus half a sack and a pass breakup.
There are some injury concerns for the Chargers, as star pass rusher Joey Bosa has not practiced this week due to foot and ankle problems, making his status uncertain. Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. missed last Sunday's game with a shoulder problem and hasn't returned to practice yet. Defensive lineman Justin Jones is also sidelined by a calf problem. Starting offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga suffered a back ailment Week 1 and went on injured reserve.
Out - DT Justin Jones, DB Chris Harris Jr., OT Bryan Bulaga, and DB Ryan Smith
Doubtful - Joey Bosa
Chiefs lose wild shootout against RavensBoth Kansas City games this season have been exciting contests that came down to the wire if nothing else, and the defense just wasn't able to generate many stops in Baltimore last Sunday night in a surprising loss. Things got off to a great start with Tyrann Mathieu running in a pick-six just 50 seconds in, and Kansas City's lead would grow as large as 28-17 early in the third quarter with Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle each reeling in long touchdown passes from Patrick Mahomes. A 46-yard touchdown from Travis Kelce at the 6:50 mark of the third to go up 35-24 was the last scoring of the night for the Chiefs, as Baltimore rallied in the fourth thanks to two short Lamar Jackson scoring runs.
Travis Kelce has made countless great plays during his career. This one may top the list 🏹 pic.twitter.com/nbAy65QqQ7— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 21, 2021
Mahomes had another huge game, completing 24 of 31 passes for 343 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Kelce reeled in seven catches for 109 yards and the impressive touchdown on a long catch and run. All the problems for Kansas City came on the defensive side, with Baltimore piling up 252 yards on the ground as part of a 481-405 advantage in total yards.
“Lamar’s a heck of a football player,” defensive end Frank Clark said to the Associated Press. “He does everything that he can. ... They took it. They came in, beat us in the rushing attack. We missed tackles.”
The Chiefs are now 0-2 against the spread, as they had to rally from a big deficit late in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns and didn't win by enough to cover. Both of Kansas City's games have gone well over the betting total, with last Sunday's game clearing 54 points in the third quarter.
Kansas City again looks to have one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL with an average of 34 points and 401 yards per game in the early going. The defense has some questions to answer right now, with opponents putting up 32.5 points and 469 yards per game against the Chiefs, both bottom three marks in the league.
Mahomes looks like an MVP candidate again, going 51/67 passing for 680 yards, six touchdowns and one interception so far while adding a score on the ground. Tyreek Hill leads the team in receiving with 14 catches for 211 yards and a touchdown even with a down game last weekend. Daniel Sorensen has created some negative plays for the defense with 14 tackles including two for a loss, one sack, and two quarterback hits.
Clark (hamstring) and Chris Jones (wrist) have been limited in practice this week, a big concern as those are the two best pass rushers on the team. Every other active player practiced in full on Thursday, although guard Kyle Long (knee) and linebacker Willie Gay (toe) are on injured reserve.
Out - LB Willie Gay
Doubtful - DE Frank Clark,
Questionable - DB Charvarius Ward, DT Chris Jones, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and OG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
Los Angeles is:
- 5-1 ATS in its last six games overall.
- 7-3-1 ATS in its last 11 road games.
Trends via Covers.com. Kansas City is:
- 2-10 ATS in its last 12 games as a favorite.
- 1-5-1 ATS in its last seven games against the AFC West.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This is finally the year where the Chargers have closed the talent gap enough to compete with the Chiefs in the AFC West, and shouldn't be this big of an underdog based on what we've seen from Kansas City so far. There are legitimate problems on the Kansas City defense, and the Chargers can at least make this a close, back-and-forth shootout even if pulling off the outright upset on the road is a little too much to ask.
Revamping the offensive line was the offseason priority for Los Angeles and its efforts seemed to have worked, as first-round tackle Rashawn Slater looks fantastic and the Chargers have allowed sacks on just 4.35% of dropbacks so far despite playing the tough Football Team front in Week 1. Herbert should have plenty of time against this shaky Kansas City pass rush, and the Chiefs are last in the NFL by far with 7.6 yards per play allowed with opponents finding success both through the air and on the ground.
Los Angeles has to be pretty happy with holding a high-flying Dallas offense to 20 points last week, and no individual defensive player in the NFL has impressed more than the versatile James, who might finally be fully healthy. For all their success, Kansas City has not been a good team against the spread as a favorite over the last two years, and a touchdown is too much against the rising Chargers.
Full-Game Total Pick
Both of Kansas City's games have been shootouts so far, and no matter how talented the opposing defense is, Mahomes is always going to find a way to create some magic, particularly behind an improved offensive line to give him more time to find Kelce and Hill downfield. On the other side, Herbert looks like a superstar himself and this could be the matchup where he starts getting more help from the running game, as Ekeler is certainly good enough to take advantage of a Kansas City defense that is allowing 6.0 yards per rush so far.
The injury report becomes a concern here, with the combined three best pass rushers in this matchup in Bosa, Clark and Jones all out or limited in some capacity. Few quarterback matchups across the NFL this season will be better than this one, and both teams can score into the 30s here.