Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5)
Thu. 12/13, 8:20 p.m. ET
Three things you need to know before betting on Chargers-Chiefs:
1. Red-hot division rivals clash Thursday at Arrowhead Stadium when the Chiefs host the Chargers. Los Angeles enters the week with nine wins in its past 10 games, and Kansas City has similar momentum with six wins in its past seven. The Chiefs' only two losses all season have both been by three points—43-40 at New England and 54-51 in Los Angeles to the Rams. Since 2009, NFL favorites that have won three of their four games are 30-7-1 against the spread when going up against an opponent that has won at least eight of its previous 10 games, which includes a 25-5-1 ATS mark when the favorite has been the home team. Kansas City comes into this one having won nine straight regular-season home games. In 2018, the Chiefs have won their six home games by an average margin of two touchdowns while holding opponents to an average of 18.7 points per game.
2. The Chiefs have dominated this series in recent seasons with nine straight victories over the Chargers, during which time K.C. has gone 7-2 against the spread. Only two of those nine games have been decided by single digits, with Kansas City winning the past four meetings by 10, 13, 17 and 10 points, with the last of those meetings having been earlier this year. L.A.’s Philip Rivers has a 114.5 passer rating that ranks second among AFC quarterbacks behind only the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes (115.2), but Rivers has thrown only two touchdown passes with six interceptions over his past four trips to Arrowhead Stadium while leading the Chargers to a total of just 50 points over those four games. When Mahomes faced Los Angeles in the 2018 season opener, he threw for 256 passing yards along with four touchdowns with no interceptions.
3. Los Angeles ranks ninth in the NFL in passing yards per game (268.8), and the team’s 8.8 yards per pass attempt is second only to Kansas City. The Chiefs defense, however, has matched up well in recent seasons against opponents that move the ball effectively through the air, going 9-1 straight up and 8-0-2 ATS since the start of 2016 when facing an offense that throws for an average of at least 260 yards per game. Kansas City is 20-1 straight up and 15-6 against the spread when facing AFC West opponents since the midway point of the 2015 season.
Pick:Kansas City -3.5
Confidence Level: Very High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)