Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers: Prediction, Odds, Depth Charts (1/7/24)

It’ll be Blaine Gabbert vs. Easton Stick on Sunday in a matchup only Week 18 could bring. Let’s take a look at Chiefs vs. Chargers odds and predictions where our best bet is Chiefs +3.5.

Chiefs vs. Chargers Prediction

Though the Chiefs are expected to sit many of their key players on Sunday, this line might be a bit of an overreaction to that decision by Andy Reid. We have already seen backup quarterbacks pick up right where Patrick Mahomes has left off in this offense, and even with an underwhelming group of weapons, Blaine Gabbert has been around long enough to be a respectable fill-in against a pretty weak Chargers defense.

The Chiefs have won with their defense for much of the season, and it will be tough for Kansas City to sit all key defenders. The Chargers couldn’t do much offensively against the Broncos last weekend, and Easton Stick is dealing with exactly what Mahomes has dealt with — a thin, inexperienced receiving corps.

With the Chargers’ running game also experiencing prolonged struggles, it’s tough to see where the offense is going to come from for Los Angeles as long as Gabbert doesn’t give them multiple short fields to work with.

Chiefs +3.5 is a nice value in what should be a close game. Chiefs moneyline is attractive as well given the Chargers have shifted their focus to the offseason.

Chiefs vs. Chargers prediction: Chiefs +3.5 (-110)

Chiefs vs. Chargers Best Odds

The Chargers are 3.5-point home favorites on Sunday, entering at -190 on the moneyline. The over/under is 35 points.

The Chiefs are resting most of their key players, including Patrick Mahomes, but is there still something to be said for the Andy Reid system even with backups in place? The Chargers didn’t look very competitive with Easton Stick when facing the Broncos last week.

Chiefs vs. Chargers Key Injuries

Chiefs WR Rashee Rice (hamstring), CB L’Jarius Sneed (calf), OT Donovan Smith (neck), and WR Kadarius Toney (hip/ankle) have been ruled out for Sunday. TE Travis Kelce, DT Chris Jones, LB Nick Bolton, RB Isiah Pacheco, and DE George Karlaftis are all listed as questionable but could play in some capacity.

For the Chargers, OG Zion Johnson (neck) and LB Kenneth Murray (shoulder) have not practiced during the week and are questionable. WR Joshua Palmer has cleared concussion protocol and is on track to play.

Chiefs vs. Chargers Key Matchups

Here are some of the key matchups that could decide Chiefs vs. Chargers.

Chiefs Receivers vs. Chargers Secondary

Backup quarterbacks have stepped right in and found success in the Chiefs’ offense partly because of Andy Reid’s system, but also because they still got to work with Patrick Mahomes’ group of pass-catchers. That’s not a benefit this time, even if some key receivers play. Kansas City has a lackluster group of weapons, and Gabbert can’t just rely on them to make plays.

With that being said, how much of a downgrade can backups really be from the disappointing weapons who have been on the field all year?

The Chargers’ pass defense has been among the NFL’s worst this season, allowing 7.8 yards per attempt and a completion rate near 60 percent. While the unit has been a step better after Brandon Staley’s firing, these receivers aren’t exactly going up against an intimidating secondary.

Austin Ekeler vs. Chiefs Run Defense

This looks like the final game in a Chargers uniform for Austin Ekeler. Can he make it a memorable one? It’s been an inefficient year all around for Ekeler, who was bottled up the last time he faced the Chiefs and has only averaged more than 3.5 yards per carry in three of his last eight games. The running game has become even more critical for the Chargers without Justin Herbert, and its struggles are one reason this team isn’t winning games.

It isn’t clear which key run defenders will sit out for Kansas City – Nick Bolton is questionable – but Ekeler is going to need to find some ways to break through against a defense whose top priority is avoiding injury this week.

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Dan is a lifelong sports fan and graduate of Boston University. He’s covered several sports on Instagram since he was 12 and now writes about everything from betting trends to breaking news for Lineups.

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