Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers face Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday (10/22/23). Get Chargers vs. Chiefs odds, predictions, and picks below; our best bet is Chiefs -5 points.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Prediction
Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
NFL • 2023-24 Week 7
10/22 3:25 PM
Bet with Braxton
Published on Oct 19, 2023 2:45 PM
Although it seems like Kansas City’s offense has regressed based on the eye test, they statistically remain extremely productive. The Chiefs are 4th in expected points added (EPA) per play, 5th in percentage of drives ending in an offensive score, 5th in yards per offensive play, 4th in first downs, and 9th in points per game. As long as Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Andy Reid are on the Chiefs, they can light up the scoreboard.
Kansas City faces a porous Chargers team that has bled points. Los Angeles’ defense is 27th in both opponent EPA per play and percentage of opponent drives ending in an offensive score. Their secondary in particular has been trampled, as opponents own the fourth largest net yards gained per pass attempt against them. Mahomes’ weapons are not extraordinary, but he can turn anything into gold. Look for Mahomes to shred this Chargers secondary via superstar Travis Kelce, ascending rookie Rashee Rice, and timely receptions from numerous other receivers. Plus, Chargers safety Alohi Gilman appears doubtful to return to action here, which further boosts Kansas City’s passing offense.
On the other side, their defense is in a far better position to slow down Los Angeles’ dynamic offense. The Chiefs rank 4th in opponent net yards gained per pass attempt due to their elite secondary. Cornerbacks Trent McDuffie and L’Jarius Sneed form one of the best duos in the league; they can eliminate both outside and slot receivers. With safety Justin Reid on the back-end, they limit explosive plays too.
Meanwhile, Chris Jones (7th) and George Karlaftis (23rd) both rank top 25 among defensive linemen in PFF’s Pass-Rush Productivity metric, which “combines sacks, hits and hurries relative to how many times they rush the passer.” The duo will harass Justin Herbert all game and force him to slash his time to throw.
Now, Herbert, Austin Ekeler, and Keenan Allen will assuredly still score at a respectable pace because they are too explosive. Their offense is 9th in percentage of drives ending in an offensive score and 7th in EPA per play. However, Kansas City’s defense will put up a much better fight than vice versa. Look for the Chiefs to win by 6 to 10 points and narrowly cover.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Prediction: Chiefs -5
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Best Odds
LAC @ KC
Oct. 22, 3:25 PM
67% of staff picked LAC to cover the spread
Odds updated October 22nd, 2023, at 6:17 pm
The Chiefs are favored by five points here against the visiting Chargers. It’s worth noting that the Chargers are 5-1 against the spread in their last six road underdog games. For Los Angeles’ +205 moneyline to hold a positive expected value, they must win this matchup about 32 percent of the time.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Key Injuries
A few of the most notable injuries include Chargers receiver Mike Williams, Chargers safety Alohi Gilman, and Chiefs receiver Justin Watson.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Key Matchups
Which team will win these key matchups?
Austin Ekeler vs. Chiefs Run Defense
Kansas City’s glaring weakness is their run defense. They are 25th in opponent yards per rush and 29th in opponent rush EPA per play. Los Angeles doesn’t field a top rushing attack, but Austin Ekeler remains a dangerous runner, especially outside the tackles. If the Chargers are going to cover, then it will likely be because they avoided third and longs and controlled the clock – both of those feats start with the run game.
Chiefs Red Zone Success
If there’s one noticeable area where the Chiefs appear sluggish, it’s the red zone. They have scored a touchdown 54.17 percent of the time when they enter the red zone, which is the worst mark of the Mahomes era. Kansas City cannot afford to leave points on the field with Justin Herbert waiting to respond, so it’s essential that they fix this issue immediately.
The Chiefs currently own their worst Red Zone TD% of the Mahomes era.
📍2018 = 73.08% (2nd)
📍2019 = 60% (11th)
📍2020 = 58.9% (16th)
📍2021 = 62.2% (11th)
📍2022 = 71.08% (2nd)
📍2023 = 54.17% (17th)
— Braxton Reynolds (@BReynolds200) October 19, 2023