Chiefs vs. Chargers Odds & Pick: Back Andy Reid With Extra Time to Prepare For Week 2 (Sept. 20)
Peter Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes
- The Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2 of NFL action on Sunday.
- The Chiefs may hold value after having extra time to prepare for the Chargers.
- Check out Raheem Palmer's full preview with updated odds below.
Chiefs vs. Chargers Odds
After a dominant 34-20 victory over the Houston Texans, the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs take on the Los Angeles Chargers in their Week 2 matchup Sunday afternoon.
The Chiefs have won 11 out of the last 12 meetings, including the last six as a road team. This time, the Chargers play their first game at their new home, SoFi Stadium.
Will the Chiefs spoil the Chargers inaugural game in their new stadium, or can Los Angeles finally get off the snide against their divisional foe and stymie Patrick Mahomes and this high-powered offense?
Let’s find out.
Kansas City Chiefs
Dating back to last season, the Chiefs have won their last 10 games, opening the 2020 season with a 34-20 victory over the Texans on Thursday Night Football.
It’s hard to imagine it stopping here. The Chiefs have owned the AFC West, going 29-2 in their past 29 division matchups including 6-0 against the division straight up and 5-1 against the spread (ATS) in the 2019 season.
Andy Reid’s reputation with extra time to prepare speaks for itself, as his teams are 17-3 straight up and 14-6 ATS after a bye. Given the three extra days to rest and prepare, the week after a Thursday Night Football game is essentially a mini-bye and Reid-led teams are 26-9 (.743) when he has 10 or more days to prepare for his next opponent.
Mahomes is leading one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, but in Week 1 we saw a Chiefs operate with a more run-heavy script with the emergence of Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The Chiefs ran on 51% of their attempts (up from 39% in 2019) as Edwards-Helaire rushed for 138 yards on 25 carries with one touchdown.
Whether the Chiefs continue this game script remains to be seen, but we can expect their offense to remain efficient.
Defensively, the Chiefs appear to be thriving in the second year of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s system, and their strength is the pass rush. Chris Jones is first in the NFL in total pressures (hurries and sacks) with seven, and Frank Clark is in the top-10 with four. With the suspension of cornerback Bashaud Breeland and the absence of Charvarius Ward this week, Kansas City’s pass rush will need to get to Tyrod Taylor as the receiving duo of Mike Williams and Keenan Allen will be a tough challenge for L’Jarius Sneed, Rashad Fenton and Antonio Hamilton.
Even with the absence of DT Khalen Saunders and Alex Okafor, this shouldn’t be a problem facing a Chargers team that lost center Mike Pouncey for the year and is missing guard Trai Turner.
An interesting caveat to note in this matchup is that Spagnuolo is familiar with Taylor from his time in Baltimore as defensive assistant and assistant head coach in 2013 and 2014.
These two matched up once in 2015 during Spagnuolo’s time as defensive coordinator of the Giants while Taylor was the starting quarterback of the Bills. The Giants defense held Taylor to a 18.2 QBR (ESPN) and the Bills to three points through the first three quarters on their way to a 24-10 victory.
Los Angeles Chargers
After watching the Browns’ performance against a lackluster Bengals defense on Thursday Night Football, we should be very concerned about the Chargers offense.
Despite having having weapons like Williams and Allen in addition to running backs Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley, they could only muster 16 points with a 39% offensive success rate, which ranks 26th in the NFL.
Although the Chargers are healthy at the skill positions, their offensive line is banged up. Pouncey is out for the year after having hip surgery and Turner is out for with a knee injury. The Chargers struggled to protect Taylor in Week 1, and he was pressured on 23.5% of his drop backs against a Bengals defense that was missing Geno Atkins and Mike Daniels in addition to losing DJ Reader in the second half.
Taylor was downright abysmal, finishing 16-of-30 with a league-low 53% completion percentage for 208 yards. To make matters worse, one of Taylor’s biggest strengths in his mobility appeared to be missing in action, finishing with just six carries for 7 yards with a 17% success rate. If he can’t complete passes accurately or run efficiently, what can he do?
The Chargers finished just 6-for-16 on third down, which is a disaster waiting to happen against the Chiefs. After watching the Browns put up 434 yards on offense and 35 points, you have to wonder if the Chargers will be making the move to Justin Herbert sooner rather than later.
The Chargers defense has two of the best pass rushers in the league with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. It’s no surprise they’ve done a solid job containing Mahomes and this Chiefs offense in the past. Nonetheless, their defensive performance against Cincinnati was concerning.
Despite signing defensive tackle Linval Joseph to be a run-stuffer, they still gave up 4.4 yards per carry with a 54% success rate against one of the worst offensive lines in the league. In addition, Joe Burrow — in his first career start — drove down the field effortlessly for the game-winning drive before an A.J. Green touchdown was called back for offensive pass interference.
I see no reason to fade the Chiefs in this matchup.
Super Bowl 54 showed us that even a top-tier defense eventually has to score to keep up with this Kansas City offense. Even if this Chargers defense can slow down Mahomes, based on their performance against the Bengals, it’s hard to have any faith that they can keep up offensively or, at the very least, keep them off the field.
My model makes the Chiefs -10.03, and while it’s tough to lay close to double digits on the road in a divisional matchup, the Chargers haven’t had home-field advantage since they moved out of San Diego.
Lay the points on Kansas City early in the season while you can, because we’re a week or two away from there being no value on the Chiefs for a while.
PICK: Chiefs -8