The Kansas City Chiefs seem to have all the elements necessary for a Super Bowl-caliber team. That is, except for the fact that they simply don’t play defense at a playoff level.
It’s likely to prevent them from competing with the league’s elite. They still lead the AFC West with a 6-4 record. But they are only a half-game ahead of the Oakland Raiders. So with Oakland going against winless Cincinnati, a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers might place the Chiefs in second place and only a game over .500.
It’s the Monday night football game on ESPN. And it is scheduled for an 8:15 PM ET start. The venue is rather unique this time – the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. But BetAnySports customers get the same great value as always, as they can receive a better deal on the odds with reduced juice.
Despite 530 yards of offense, the Chiefs fell victim to a couple of fourth-quarter Tennessee touchdowns in losing 35-32 to the Titans last week. One thing they absolutely could not do is slow down the run. Tennessee had 225 rushing yards, averaging 8.7 yards per carry. The Chiefs looked hopeless against former Heisman winner Derrick Henry, who had 189 of those yards.
The Chargers have had an up-and-down season. They came oh so close to a three-game winning streak, but allowed a late TD to lose to the Oakland Raiders last time out. With a 4-6 record, they have work to do to climb back into the division race, or even the wild card.
In the Monday Night Football odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Chiefs are the team laying points:
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers Odds by BetAnySports
|Chiefs||-4½ (-105)||52½ (-110)||-222|
|Chargers||+4½ (-115)||52½ (-110)||+186|
There were two high-scoring games between these teams last year – the Chargers won 29-28 at Arrowhead Stadium. And the Chiefs won 38-28 in Carson, in a game were Patrick Mahomes threw for 418 yards.
We wonder whether this particular game will follow that pattern.
Certainly, Mahomes is in form; he threw for 446 yards last week. And Tyreek Hill was on the other end for 157 of those yards. With 2626 yards, he could conceivably go over 3000 on this game. With nine yards per attempt, 18 touchdowns and just one interception, he’s MVP material.
Philip Rivers’ game has been choppy; he’s been intercepted ten times already. His offensive line has been a weakness, although Russell Okung’s return has offered encouragement. When Rivers is on his game, he has presented difficulties for opposing defenses, because he can spread the ball to a bunch of outlets, whether it’s wide receivers, running backs or tight end Hunter Henry.
The venue is something that could play a big role in this result. When you are in Mexico City, you are going to have to deal with an altitude situation. That becomes a potential problem as the game progresses.
If you know anything about Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, you know that what he would love to do more than anything else is run the ball. And this is the kind of opponent that can really accommodate that. Kansas City is allowing 5.1 yards per rush. When it comes to “stuffing” rushing plays (none or negative yards) or defending at the second level (5-10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage), they are dead last in those metrics. We can see the Bolts being able to put together lengthy drives and making this Chiefs’ stop unit tired. That’s one of the reasons we like the points in this one.
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