The Chargers are losers of five in a row and will welcome the Chiefs, winners of their last three, to San Diego on Sunday. Let’s peruse what the NFL odds makers are offering & cash in our NFL picks.
Kansas City Chiefs (4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS)
The Chiefs were left for dead after the injury to superstar running back Jamaal Charles and after their 16-10 Week 6 loss to the Vikings they were staring down the barrel of a 1-5 record with any postseason aspirations just a pipe dream. But the Chiefs have gotten well recently by shocking the Steelers and thrashing the Lions, both in front of a raucous crowd at Arrowhead. The club then hit the road, venturing to Mile High last week and making life miserable for Peyton Manning and the Broncos, delivering a 29-13 beatdown of Denver which sidelined Manning before the day was done.
The Chiefs have not only propped themselves up in the AFC West standings but have also been a boon to those who have backed them in their NFL picks. Over the last three games the Chiefs have propelled themselves into second place, covered the number on all three occasions and now have a +29 point differential margin. There were no offensive standouts last week, save for kicker Cairo Santos who booted five successful field goals, but the defense was relentless and stymied the Broncos at every turn. After Manning was banished to the bench backup Brock Osweiler was marginally better but the Kansas City defense registered five sacks and five interceptions to lead the way to victory.
San Diego Chargers (2-7 SU, 3-6 ATS)
Gutless, heartless, emotionless – pick your favorite adjective to describe this season’s edition of the San Diego Chargers. They have held fourth quarter leads in three of their last five losses but always run out of gas when the rubber meets the road. In their last outing, before their Week 10 bye week, the Bolts yet again blew a fourth-quarter lead as they were in front 16-7 at home to the Bears. When it was all over San Diego watched their lead melt away and felt the sting of their seventh loss in eight opportunities by the score of 22-19.
One of the biggest areas of concern is the team’s failure to create turnovers. They rank tied for 28th in that category with only nine on the season. And couple that with a special teams unit that has exactly one yard on punt returns this season. Yes, you read that right - one yard. They rank 25th in kick return average and replaced kicker Nick Novak with Josh Lambo to provide a bigger leg on the kickoffs but he has only been 50 percent on touchbacks. The only player putting up numbers seems to be quarterback Phillip Rivers who leads the top ranked passing attack averaging over 328 yards per game.
The NFL odds makers are giving the advantage to the visitors in this one. Of course the public will be recognizing Kansas City’s recent winning streak while bemoaning San Diego’s ability to finish what they started. Personally I think it’s going to be more difficult than the average bettor believes for the Chiefs to come out of this one with a win. Yes, it’s a leap of faith to back the Dolts with your own hard earned money but they have a sensational passing attack by a quarterback who is among the best. The Chiefs rank in the middle of the pack defending the pass and own a top 10 run stop unit. But the Chargers will be throwing early and often with a rushing attack that continues to play second fiddle to the air assault. That’s where I believe this game will be won and lost.
Factor in that San Diego has had two weeks to heal, prepare and think about all those humiliating defeats. This is not a bad team but they are playing like one. Conversely, the Chiefs have caught fire no doubt but eventually teams regress to the norm and that’s exactly what will happen on Sunday in sunny San Diego.
NFL Picks: Play San Diego +3 at JustBet