Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs NFL Player Props (9/15/22)

Get Chargers Vs. Chiefs player props for the Thursday Night Football game on 9/15/22. Patrick Mahomes welcomes Justin Herbert in a battle for the AFC West. Get the best Chargers and Chiefs player prop odds and picks.

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Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Player Prop Picks

The Thursday Night Football game in Week 2 between the Chargers and Chiefs might be the best matchup of the season so far, and we can’t wait to watch the action unfold between two high-profile divisional rivals. Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert are sure to bring fireworks to the table when they match up, and there are plenty of opportunities for exciting player props in this game. Let’s dive in.

Mecole Hardman Under 3.5 Receptions

We have enough of a sample size at this point to know Mecole Hardman isn’t very good. Patrick Mahomes is the rising tide that lifts all boats, but Hardman has only had four or more receptions in 15 of his 50 career games (30%).

You might think Hardman would have a larger role in the offense now without Tyreek Hill, but he only played on 40 of 65 snaps last week, which is just over 61%. He outpaced Marquez Valdes-Scantling in targets, but MVS and Smith-Schuster both played more snaps.

Skyy Moore only got on the field for 13 offensive snaps last week, but his 30-yard reception showed that he’s capable of producing in more of a full-time role. We should also expect to see a bit more Joe Fortson and Noah Gray in this game as the Chiefs turn to more two-tight end sets as a way to mitigate the pass-rush of Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa.

Patrick Mahomes is set at an over/under of 40.5 passing attempts this week. If we used Hardman’s career 67.2% catch rate, he would theoretically only need to get around five targets to hit this number. However, I see value in betting the under for Hardman here given his historical production and a tougher matchup.

Jerick McKinnon Over 35.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards

Jerick McKinnon played on 32 snaps compared to 27 for Clyde Edwards-Helaire and 27 for Isiah Pacheco. Now, some of that was due to the nature of the game being a blowout, but it’s clear that Andy Reid plans to utilize multiple running backs in this offense.

McKinnon also ran the most routes among the KC running backs last week with 17 total compared to 13 for CEH and four for Pacheco. I believe Pacheco only got the work towards the end since it was a blowout, and he won’t be as involved this week.

It’s worth noting that in the first half, Edwards-Helaire appeared to be the preferred option. He had nine opportunities (three targets, six carries), including his two touchdowns, while McKinnon had five and Pacheco had just two.

Nevertheless, McKinnon finished with 49 combined rushing and receiving yards, bringing his average over his last five games to 82.8 dating back to last year’s playoffs. That includes 43.6 receiving yards per game, which is well ahead of the over/under of 17.5 listed at sportsbooks.

Edwards-Helaire is the lead back in this offense, but it’s impossible for Kansas City to keep McKinnon off the field with his vicious pass-blocking and breakaway running capability. Let’s keep the train rolling with McKinnon’s total yardage prop in what should be a high-scoring game.

Justin Herbert Over 13.5 Rushing Yards

Everyone and their mother will be on Josh Palmer’s props on Thursday night, and while I understand the hype, I’m hesitant to follow the public on such a popular play. Instead, I like this angle on the Chargers offense as Justin Herbert is very capable as a runner when given the opportunity.

Per PFF, the Chiefs played quarters coverage most frequently (30.8% of snaps) and Cover 2 the second-most (24.6%). Those numbers will likely only increase as they face a better passer in Herbert, leaving open space underneath. With that in mind, I’d have some interest in Austin Ekeler and Gerald Everett props as the team’s underneath receivers.

However, I’m simply taking this Herbert prop as he has run for over 13.5 yards in 52% of his career games and is averaging 16.2 rushing yards per game for his career. Herbert also had 16 rushing yards in each of his games against the Chiefs last year.

I've been writing about sports for Lineups since the beginning of 2020 and on my own website since 2018. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. As the United States embarks on an exciting journey towards the legalization of sports betting, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to cover industry news, NFL and NBA odds, and more.

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