Chiefs vs. Chargers Picks for Week 11 Monday Night Football
Boy, am I still ticked off about this past Monday's game between the Seahawks and 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif. I split on my recommendations, missing on the Niners -6.5 but hitting on "over" the total of 46.5 as I projected a 27-20 San Francisco victory. Alas, Seattle won 27-24 in overtime. But had the 49ers won in OT, and they could have if field-goal kicker Chase McLaughlin hadn't choked like a dog, then I would have won big money in a Confidence Pool. Oh well. Felt pretty good about the Niners covering when they were up 10-0 late in the first half, but that offense just isn't Super Bowl-worthy yet.
This week we have our final international game of the 2019 season as the Los Angeles Chargers "host" the Kansas City Chiefs at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. The NFL plans to have one game a season down there through at least 2021 … and I'm sure some day a full-time team in Mexico City just like in London.
You may remember the Chiefs and Rams were supposed to play at Estadio Azteca on a Monday night last year in Week 11, but it had to be moved to Los Angeles because heavy rains in the area and too many events in that stadium completely destroyed the playing surface. That game turned out to be incredibly memorable from the L.A. Coliseum with the Rams beating the Chiefs 54-51. The NFL took extra precautions this year and made sure there were no soccer games or anything else held there for weeks before this game.
Might be a good thing the Chargers aren't at their home stadium, which is that 30,000-seat soccer building in Carson, Calif., that's always more filled with fans rooting for the opposing team. There was a report recently that the Chargers perhaps were interested in moving full-time to London (the Jaguars actually have dibs on that right first), but Bolts owner Dean Spanos shot that down emphatically. Still, it's pretty clear the Chargers should never have moved to L.A. as it's a Rams town. I don't see the Chargers still being there in, say, 2025.
Chiefs vs. Chargers Betting Story Lines
This writer believed the Chargers had a very realistic chance to win the first Super Bowl in franchise history entering the year, but they are teetering on irrelevance with a 4-6 record. They sit 11th in the AFC and probably have to win out to make the playoffs. Not sure I see that with games in Denver, Jacksonville and Kansas City (Week 17) and home to Minnesota and Oakland.
Injuries certainly haven't helped, including the loss of safety Derwin James to a foot injury back in the summer. He was spectacular as a rookie in 2018. The offensive line also has been gutted by injuries. Two more were hurt in last Thursday's 26-24 loss in Oakland: Sam Tevi underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and Russell Okung has a strained groin.
Not sure if you watched that loss in Oakland, but Philip Rivers had every chance to win that game with all three timeouts, only needing about 45 yards to get into field-goal range and about a minute left, but he was nothing short of terrible all night. The Chargers gained just 5 yards off an Oakland penalty as Rivers missed on every single throw. He was picked off three times (one returned for a touchdown) and should have been intercepted at least a few other times. Rivers is in the final year of his deal, and I'm not sure if I'm the Chargers I even want him back in 2020.
Kansas City has no quarterback worries for at least a decade barring injury as reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes returned from a two-game injury absence and threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns but couldn't lead a win at Tennessee, which prevailed 35-32. Harrison Butker had a 52-yard try as time expired blocked. The Chiefs outgained the Titans 530-371, but once again the Kansas City defense was a problem - especially against the run. The Titans rushed 26 times for 225 yards. Chiefs defenders were continually bulldozed by Derrick Henry, who had 188 yards and two TDs on 23 carries. That defense is why I don't think the Chiefs can win the AFC even though Mahomes is a freaking wizard.
That defense has lost end Emmanuel Ogbah to a season-ending torn pec. He leads the team with 5.5 sacks. Guard Martinas Rankin also suffered a season-ending injury in the loss to the Titans. He started five games.
Turnovers also are an issue as the Chiefs have now fumbled 17 times this season, the third-highest total in the league. Andy Reid made LeSean McCoy a healthy scratch because of some fumble concerns, and then Damien Williams lost one vs. the Titans that was returned 53 yards for a touchdown.
Chiefs vs. Chargers Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes, Kansas City is a 4-point favorite with a total of 52. On the moneyline, the Chiefs are -200 and Chargers +170. On the alternate lines, K.C. is -4.5 (-103) and -3.5 (-117). The Chiefs are 3-2 against the spread away from home and 3-2 "over/under." We're going to give the Chargers' away from home numbers too: 2-2-1 ATS and 2-3 O/U.
Kansas City is 3-0-1 ATS in its past four on Monday. It is 2-5 ATS in its past seven overall. L.A. is 8-2 ATS in its previous 10 in November and 6-2-1 ATS in its past nine after an ATS loss. The over is 5-2 in K.C.'s past seven after a loss. The under is 10-3 in the Chargers' past 13 vs. the AFC West. The Chiefs are 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings.
Chiefs vs. Chargers Betting Prediction
Teams split last season, each winning on the road and the losing team scoring 28 points in each. The one in Kansas City late in the season saw Rivers hit Mike Williams on a 1-yard TD pass with four seconds left, and the Bolts went for 2 points and made it to prevail 29-28 in a great game.
While Mahomes is miles better than Rivers these days, the Chargers' defense is also significantly better than the Chiefs'. I think L.A can win this game as it also is on extra rest and is hugely desperate. I'll take the 4.5 points, though, and go over the total. Something like 30-27.
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