The Los Angeles Chargers (6-9) head to the Midwest to take on the Kansas City Chiefs (14-1). For the Chargers, a win today against the Chiefs could save head coach Anthony Lynn his job moving forward. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are looking to become the fifth team since 2000 to lose no more than one game.
The Chargers likely will see most of their starters play in the season finale as quarterback Justin Herbert looks to put the finishing touches on an invigorating rookie season. Herbert has thrown for just over 4,000 yards, 28 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions this season. On top of this, he has also completed 66 percent of his throws. The rookie quarterback has undoubtedly made his case for Offensive Rookie of the Year, but he will be without his favorite target today in Keenan Allen, who was placed on the COVID-19 list earlier this week. Allen leads the team in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. The Chargers’ offense will also be down Bryan Bulaga at offensive tackle.
Defensively, the Chargers will be down several players, including edge rusher Joey Bosa, cornerback Casey Hayward, linebacker Malik Jefferson, and safety Rayshawn Jenkins. With several key players out this weekend for the Chargers defense, this game is a crapshoot. The Chargers have been competent against the pass pulling in at 9th in yardage allowed and 13th in yards per attempt. However, teams have been able to score on their defense much easier than others allowing 7.74 points per 100 yards allowed (DPA/100).
There is not much to play for the Chiefs in this game, with the first-round bye locked up. Per the injury report, five starters are listed as out this week in wideouts Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, linebacker Ben Niemann, and offensive lineman Mike Remmers. Earlier this week, the Chiefs announced that Chad Henne would start at quarterback as Patrick Mahomes is resting this week. Mid-season signing Le’Veon Bell is also listed as questionable this week, so third-string back Darwin Thompson will likely be getting the bulk of the touches.
Defensively, akin to 2019, this team has picked up the pace late in the season. Just in time, as well as the offense has dealt with some struggles. Safety Tyrann Mathieu leads the team in interceptions with six, and defensive tackle Chris Jones leads the team in sacks with 6.5 thus far. Say what you want about the red zone defense, which ranks 32nd in the NFL. What you also must consider is how little teams get there against them. The Chiefs are third in the NFL in red-zone drives against them with 41. Not to mention that they allow just 21.6 points per game and have a DPA/100 of 6.09, suitable for top-3 in the NFL.
Date: January 3rd, 2021
Start time: 4:25 P.M. ET
Location: Kansas City, MO
Stadium: Arrowhead Stadium
TV Info: FOX
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Point Spread: LAC -4.5 (-110) | KC +4.5 (-110)
Moneyline: LAC -230 | KC +185
Over/Under: O 42.5 (-110)｜U 42.5 (-110)
With the Chiefs missing several starters this weekend, it makes sense that the Chargers would be the favorite. However, the likelihood of making this a game that finishes by more than a field goal isn’t likely. Of course, most would recommend staying away from a game like this with so much unpredictability. If you’re feeling dangerous, take the Chiefs at +4.5. Know for sure that they could still win this game but also because the Chargers haven’t done a whole lot of winning in Kansas City.
Of course, with starters on both sides sitting out in this one, books are projecting the point total lower than it would be in most Chiefs games. However, feel confident in taking the over in this one, with both teams likely reaching the twenty point mark.
This game will be a slow burn for both sides, with the Chargers taking on a tougher Chiefs defense. Meanwhile, the Chiefs offense will dink and dunk their way down the field, contrary to what they’ve done all year. However, it’s a close game till the end, and Harrison Butker hits the go-ahead field goal to secure the Chiefs victory.
Final Score: Los Angeles 20, Kansas City 23