Thursday Night Football: Chargers vs Chiefs Preview, Prediction & Best Bets

Our preview, prediction and betting picks for the second Thursday Night Football of the season between the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs.

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Following a fantastic Thursday Night Football matchup to kick off the season between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers, we get another excellent TNF matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Los Angeles Chargers.

The AFC West is shaping up to be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL. Many would speculate that the Chiefs and Chargers will lead the charge and make the playoffs relatively easily.

These two teams always play each other tough, and touching a combined total of at least 50 points seems close to a given.

There are some notable headlines to be aware of, though.

Note: All odds listed below are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

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Kansas City Chiefs Recap/Preview

For the home team Chiefs, they blasted the Arizona Cardinals on the road scoring 44 points. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for five touchdowns, and the Cardinals defense could not stop the gunslinger.

There was no pressure on Mahomes all game long as he threw for 360 yards while completing 76.9% of his passes.

Chiefs Betting Preview

The team looked to do just fine without wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who was traded in the offseason to the Miami Dolphins.

Los Angeles Chargers Recap/Preview

The opposing Chargers beat the Las Vegas Raiders—a fellow AFC West team—in Week 1, 24-19, covering their spread of 3 or 3.5 points, depending on where you looked.

Divisional games are always tough, but Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert still managed 271 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Heading into Thursday Night Football, the Chargers could be without star wide receiver Keenan Allen as he nurses a hamstring injury.

Keenan Allen Injury

A hamstring injury is categorized as a “soft tissue injury,” which, if you’ve played fantasy football long enough, you know these types of injuries don’t just heal up in a few days.

Thus, the team could be without Allen on a short week.

Even without Allen, the Chargers have depth at the receiver position, and Herbert’s three touchdowns went to a tight end, a fullback, and slot receiver DeAndre Carter—they’ll be just fine.

Chiefs vs. Chargers Prediction

The Chargers are only 4-point road underdogs. This could cause some eyebrow-raising after the Chiefs dismantling of the Cardinals in Week 1. But, the Chargers are simply a better team than the Cardinals.

Also, as we mentioned with the Raiders and Chargers, divisional matchups are tough. No matter the final score.

The Chiefs experienced minimal pressure all game long against the Cardinals, but that’ll change as Chiefs tackles Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie will match up with Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa.

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In the secondary, there are some questions at outside cornerback, but one of the Chiefs top receivers, JuJu Smith-Schuster, will battle with Chargers cornerback Bryce Callahan out of the slot, which could be a tough matchup.

Nonetheless, the Chargers have two safeties in Derwin James and Nasir Adderley that should do a good job of helping limit big plays from Mahomes and the Chiefs.

Big Points for the Chiefs

No matter the team, there’s no answer for Travis Kelce, so he’ll get his, but we expected the Chiefs to score points anyways.

Herbert is one of the best young passers in the league, along with Mahomes and his squad faces a pass rush that has Chris Jones in the middle and rookie George Karlaftis off the edge.

The Chargers offensive line is the definition of OK, though Trey Pipkins at right tackle is a bit of a concern.

Offensively, the Chargers should operate just fine. There are some nice secondary pieces for the Chiefs in safety Juan Thornhill and L’Jarius Sneed played great, but between Williams, running back Austin Ekeler, the host of options, and Herbert’s innate ability to play football, they’ll be just fine.

Thursday Night Football Betting Picks: Chiefs vs Chargers Best Bets

Pick 1: Chargers +4 (-110) at DraftKings

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In Week 1, the Chiefs could easily move up and down the field against the Cardinals. Against the Chargers, without cheat-code-like play from Hill at receiver, there could be long drives here.

The Chiefs brought Marquez Valdes-Scantling to help fill that big play void left by Hill’s absence, but we didn’t see much of it on display in Week 1.

On the offensive line, the Chiefs will have their work cut out against Mack and Bosa. This could lead to more errors from Mahomes than usual.

The Chargers are without Allen, more than likely. But again, their offense will operate close to the same with second-year wideout Josh Palmer stepping up.

In a clash between Herbert and Mahomes, this game should finish airtight. There’s a real possibility the Chargers win outright.

Thursday Night Football Best Bets

Pick 2: Mike Williams Any Time Touchdown (+145) at FanDuel

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At each of the top online sportsbooks, this game’s total is 54.5. Of all the totals during the NFL season, 54.5 will rank quite high, which means both teams should score plenty of points.

Without Allen, Williams steps into this no-questions-asked No. 1 role. Even with Allen in the lineup, Williams is typically heavily involved in the offense, though, sure, he wasn’t in Week 1.

This is a great spot for Williams to rebound, no matter if he finds himself covered by Sneed or fellow Chiefs cornerback Rashad Fenton.

Expect Herbert, who should float around 300 passing yards, to get Williams his first touchdown of the season. That is the second of our Thursday Night Football betting picks.

Thursday Night Football Betting Picks

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