Los Angeles Chargers (1-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
at Kansas City, Mo.
GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium
Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET
The Line: Chiefs -4 (-110); Total points 54.5 (-110)
Last meeting: December 16, 2021: Chiefs 34, Chargers 28 (OT)
On the dog: The Chargers are +175 to win straight up (Caesars Sportsbook).
Now Trending, plus context: The Chargers were 7-9 against the spread in 2021, but a lot has changed. Namely, the arrival of outside linebacker Khalil Mack and cornerback J.C. Jackson to bolster a defense that couldn’t get off the field in the second half of games last season. Mack already has 3.0 sacks, so good luck to those quarterbacks counting on a late game-winning drive against Mack and Joey Bosa.
Mack is a man after your trend-loving heart with at least 0.5 sacks in five career meetings with the Chiefs. Note DraftKings is offering a boost to Mack over 0.75 sacks at +140.
In total, the Chargers had six sacks and three interceptions last week and Jackson sat out while recovering from August foot surgery.
Then again, refer back to last week and the Chargers went from a 17-3 lead and borderline cruise control to a furious fight and 24-19 win.
The Skinny: Austin Ekeler was one of the most popular anytime TD scorer bets in Week 1 and he didn’t sniff the end zone for the Chargers in a win that featured scores by fullback Zander Horvath and wide receiver DeAndre Carter.
Those aren’t exactly household names — even in Los Angeles — but the exhibit shows the ability of Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes to flex in schemes that are limited more by imagination than personnel.
The Chargers hit Kansas City on a short week with a few key injuries of note factoring into investment opportunities.
Wide receiver Keenan Allen had four receptions for 55 yards in a little over a quarter vs. the Raiders, but he’s out with a hamstring injury. That means Carter, a third receiver behind 2021 TD machine Mike Williams, is again in play for Herbert.
Underline that name considering the Chiefs won’t have first-round cornerback Trent McDuffie (hamstring), who was hurt in a gold-star performance at Arizona in Week 1.
Spinning Props: A glance at the player props market with relevant intel to apply to your Thursday strategy.
–Austin Ekeler anytime TD
Best Odds: -120, Caesars Sportsbook
FLM’s few cents worth: Ekeler was quiet last week but here’s some noise for you: He has TDs in three games in a row vs. the Chiefs and a total of nine TDs in primetime games in 2021. … Chiefs allowed a TD run last week (James Conner).
–Patrick Mahomes over 0.5 interceptions
Best Odds: +105, DraftKings
FLM’s few cents worth: Breezing to a 44-21 win at Arizona, Mahomes had five TDs and the pocket might as well have been a hammock.
Kerosene Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa won’t be so kind on Thursday.
Mahomes had three picks in two games against the Chargers in 2021.
–Mike Williams anytime TD
Best Odds: +130, FanDuel
FLM’s few cents worth: We’d be equally confident pairing this in a single-gamer with Williams over 65.5 (-115) receiving yards at DK. He went for 100 and a TD in two of the past three meetings with KC.
–Field Level Media