Free Picks Los Angeles Chargers vs Kansas City Chiefs

Chargers at Chiefs NFL
Los Angeles Chargers vs Kansas City Chiefs, NFL, Arrowhead Stadium

The Chiefs (14-1) might look a little differently on the field this week, now that they’ve locked up a first-round bye for the playoffs and have nothing of substance to play for. The Chargers (6-9) also have nothing to play for, aside from pride, as the postseason is now out of reach. Given these circumstances, the Chargers are slight road favorites.

Chiefs keep roster moves quiet ahead of meaningless game vs. Chargers

What do you do with a game in which neither team has anything to play for?

That’s the question bettors must ask when the Chargers head to Kansas City this week, where the Chiefs cannot plummet from the AFC’s No. 1 seed and the Chargers cannot ascend to a playoff berth.

It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Chiefs will rest some starters, which explains why they’re 3.5-point underdogs (-110 at 10bet) on various betting sites despite being a far superior team this season.

The problem is, Chiefs coach Andy Reid isn’t tipping his hand too much in terms of which players will rest, and for how long.

“There’s a good chance you might see (backup quarterback) Chad (Henne) somewhere in that game, if not the beginning then somewhere in there,” Reid said Monday. “I’m not telling you it’s not the beginning. I’m sorting through all of it.”

A Mahomes-less Chiefs team would be a boon for the Chargers, who allowed 302 yards and two scores to Mahomes in a Week 2 loss. With Mahomes, the Chiefs have the top-ranked total offense (425.7 yards/game) and second-ranked scoring offense (30.1 points/game).

What presents an advantage for the Chiefs is this secrecy regarding who will sit and who won’t. The Chargers should certainly game-plan for Henne to play most or all of Sunday’s game, but beyond that they won’t know who’s suiting up for Kansas City and who’s not.

Chargers star receiver Keenan Allen is doubtful, which is a factor to consider as well. But despite Allen’s absence last week (and his limited appearance in Week 15), the Chargers have won three-straight games against the spread.

Conversely, Kansas City has failed to cover in six of their past seven games against the spread. They aren’t usually the underdogs, but 3.5 points isn’t enough cushion with Mahomes and other Chiefs’ starters likely out.

Stats

  • Los Angeles is 5-5 ATS in its past 10 games
  • The OVER has cashed in six of the Chargers’ past 10 games
  • Kansas City is 4-6 ATS in its past 10 games
  • The OVER has cashed in five of the Chiefs’ past nine games

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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University). You can follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHorrobin

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