Chargers vs. Chiefs Prediction
Two AFC West rivals meet up to start the 2016 NFL Season when the Kansas City Chiefs host the San Diego Chargers at 1PM ET on CBS.
According to the oddsmakers at BetDSI, Kansas City is favored at home, as the Chiefs are getting odds of -7 points against the Chargers on Sunday. The over/under total for the game is listed at 44.5 points. Kansas City has won four straight meetings with the Chargers and the two have hit the under in four straight encounters as well.
San Diego had a mess of a season last year, going just 4-12. The Chargers struggled to stop the run, giving up 125.3 yards per game on the ground. On the flip side, the Chargers couldn’t run the ball at all. San Diego ranked 31st in the NFL in rushing last year at just 84.9 yards per game. The Chargers are hoping Melvin Gordon can improve on his 641 yards as a rookie, but the offensive line must improve a great deal as well. Philip Rivers was sacked 40 times last year but still managed to throw for 4,792 yards and 29 touchdowns. This year’s offense has plenty of weapons for Rivers as Keenan Allen is back from an injury and the team signed Travis Benjamin in the offseason. Despite front line concerns, San Diego should still score points.
After a 1-5 start to 2015, the Chiefs won their last 10 games of the regular season and also picked up a Wild Card victory in the playoffs. The Chiefs were largely led by their defense, which ranked seventh in the league in total yards allowed. On offense, Alex Smith has been a good game manager. He had 20 touchdown passes with 3,486 yards in 2015 as Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin developed into reliable options in the pass game. This season, Jamaal Charles is returning from a knee injury, but isn’t expected to play quite yet. Spencer Ware should still help the offense this week and keep the Chiefs from having to rely solely on Smith.
If San Diego can’t run the ball, it is going to be a long day for it. The Chargers can pass the ball, but face a great defense in KC. I don’t suspect San Diego will have all their running issues solved, which means this should be a classic KC game. Not a lot of touchdowns will be scored, but the Chiefs will control the pace of play with their dink-and-dunk offense. The under should hit for a fifth straight time between these two.
NFL WEEK 1 PREDICTION: CHARGERS/CHIEFS UNDER 44.5