Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
Saturday, December 16, 2017, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: NFL Network
Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, Missouri
Opening Line: Kansas City -1 (-105)
Current Line: Kansas City Pick
Opening Total: 45 1/2
Current Total: 46 1/2
Opening Money Line: Chiefs -120 / Chargers +100
Current Money Line: Chiefs -115 / Chargers -105
The Kansas City Chiefs began the season 5-0, while the Los Angeles Chargers started the season 0-4. Yet, both teams are 7-6 and tied for first in the AFC West with only three games left in the regular season. They meet Saturday night in Kansas City. Although the 6-7 Oakland Raiders are also in the mix, the winner between the Chargers and Chiefs will control their own destiny for the division title.
Kansas City leads the series 59-55-1 against Los Angeles/San Diego. The Chiefs have won seven straight games in the series. Kansas City won in California 24-10 in week three.
Los Angeles is coached by Anthony Lynn in his first year. The Chargers have road losses at the Denver Broncos 24-21, New England Patriots 21-13 and Jacksonville Jaguars 20-17 in overtime, plus home losses to the Miami Dolphins 19-17, Chiefs 24-10 and Philadelphia Eagles 26-24. LA has road wins over the New York Giants 27-22, Oakland Raiders 17-16, and Dallas Cowboys 28-6, plus home wins over the Broncos 21-0, Buffalo Bills 54-24, Cleveland Browns 19-10 and Washington Redskins 30-13 last week. The Chargers have won four straight games. Los Angeles was a 6 point favorite against Washington and the total was 46.5. The Chargers are 7-5-1 ATS and the total is 4-9 this season.
Kansas City is coached by Andy Reid. The Chiefs have road wins over the New England Patriots 42-27, the Los Angeles Chargers 24-10, and Houston Texans 42-34, plus home wins over the Philadelphia Eagles 27-20, Washington Redskins 29-20, Denver Broncos 29-19 and Oakland Raiders 26-15 last week. The win against the Raiders snapped a four game losing streak. Kansas City has home losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers 19-13 and Buffalo Bills 16-10, plus road losses to the Oakland Raiders 31-30, Dallas Cowboys 28-17, New York Giants 12-9 in overtime and New York Jets 38-31 . The Chiefs were 4.5 point favorites against the Raiders and the total was 48.5. Kansas City is 7-6 ATS and the total is 7-6 this season.
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Los Angeles is outscoring teams 23-17 this season. The Chargers are #2 in points allowed. The Chargers average 373 yards per game on offense including 273 passing yards and 100 rushing yards. LA is #24 in rushing, but in the top five in total and passing offense. On defense, Los Angeles allows 325 yards per game including 200 passing yards per game and 125 rushing yards. LA is #3 in pass defense, but #29 against the rush. The Chargers are #10 in total defense. The Chargers are 72/178 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 78/197. The Chargers have forced 37 sacks and has allowed 15 this season. LA is +11 in turnovers, and has scored four defensive/special teams touchdowns.
Quarterback Philip Rivers has completed 62.8% of his passes for 3,611 yards with 23 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He has been sacked 15 times this year. Kellen Clemens is the back-up.
Running back Melvin Gordon has 229 carries for 853 yards and 6 touchdowns, plus 43 catches for 307 yards and 4 touchdowns. Austin Ekeler has 45 carries for 247 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 26 catches for 273 yards and 3 touchdowns. Branden Oliver will also get a few carries.
Receiver Keenan Allen has 83 catches for 1,143 yards and 5 touchdowns. Tyrell Williams has 32 catches for 580 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Hunter Henry has 42 catches for 551 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is probable with a calf injury. Travis Benjamin has 29 catches for 464 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 9 carries for 89 rushing yards. Tight end Antonio Gates has 19 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown. Mike Williams has 10 catches for 87 yards. Eight defensive players and four offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.
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Kansas City is outscoring teams 25-22 this season. Kansas City is #7 in scoring. The Chiefs average 371 total yards per game on offense including 255 passing and 117 rushing yards per game. KC is #6 in total and #8 in passing. Kansas City allows 373 total yards per game on defense including 249 passing and 125 rushing. The Chiefs are #28 or worse in all three categories. The Chiefs are 61/165 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 81/187. Kansas City has forced 24 sacks and allowed 33 sacks this season. The Chiefs are +8 in turnovers.
Quarterback Alex Smith has completed 67.2% of his passes for 3,507 yards with 23 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, and has 53 carries for 329 yards and a touchdown. He has been sacked 33 times. Rookie Patrick Mahomes is the quarterback of the future.
Rookie running back Kareem Hunt has 218 carries for 1,046 yards and 5 touchdowns, plus 42 catches for 389 yards and 2 touchdowns. Charcandrick West has 2 rushing touchdowns, and also has 24 catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Spencer Ware was supposed to be the starter but tore his ACL in the preseason.
Receiver Tyreek Hill has 64 catches for 986 yards and 6 touchdowns, plus 16 carries for 60 yards. Tight end Travis Kelce has 73 catches for 945 yards and 7 touchdowns. Albert Wilson has 28 catches for 356 yards and 3 touchdowns. Demarcus Robinson has 17 catches for 181 yards. Chris Conley has 11 catches for 175 yards. he is out for the season with a knee injury. De’Anthony Thomas has 12 catches for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns. Eight defensive players are listed on the injury report along with two offensive linemen.
The road team is 5-0 ATS in this series recently. The under is 5-2 in this series recently. Although the Chargers are 4-1 ATS in Kansas City recently they are 2-6 ATS against the Chiefs overall.
Both these teams have gone in opposite directions. The Kansas City offense looked unstoppable early in the season, but now is struggling. So much so that fans are calling for Alex Smith to be benched in favor of the rookie Mahomes. Los Angeles wasn’t as bad as their 0-4 start would indicate. They lost so many close games, but will be dangerous if they can get into the playoffs. Still, Kansas City is tough at home. I like the Chiefs to win a close game at home.