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Chiefs vs Chargers Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Jan 2, 2024

Some games won’t mean anything during Week 18. One will be when the Los Angeles Chargers host the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have locked up the third seed in the AFC, while the Chargers are 5-11 and limping toward the finish line.

With this not being the most exciting matchup, let’s try to spice things up and highlight some wagers to consider. Also, check out our NFL Week 18 predictions and best bets for the rest of the busy slate.

Chiefs vs Chargers Odds

NFL odds used for this Kansas City vs Los Angeles preview were found at DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of Jan. 2, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. ET.

  • Moneyline: Chargers (-155) • Chiefs (+130)
  • Spread: Chargers -3 (-105) • Chiefs +3 (-105)
  • Total Points: Over 36 (-110) • Under 36 (-110)
  • Implied Score: Chargers 19.5, Chiefs 16.5

Chiefs vs Chargers Predictions

Score Pick: Chargers 17, Chiefs 13

With the Chiefs having locked up their playoff seeding, they will likely rest several starters. Even if quarterback Patrick Mahomes starts, he will probably be pulled early. The same can be said of tight end Travis Kelce, although Kelce might stay in the game until he gets the 16 necessary yards to reach at least 1,000 receiving yards for the eighth straight season.

The Chargers have lost four straight with injuries piling up. In two of those games, they scored fewer than 10 points. This probably won’t be pretty, but with the Chiefs likely mailing it in, it would not be a surprise for the Chargers to break their losing streak.

Chiefs vs Chargers Best Bets & Props

Race To 25 Points: Neither (-170)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

Even with Mahomes and the rest of their starters playing, the Chiefs have scored fewer than 25 points in six of their last nine games. They have scored at least 25 points only six times all season.

The Chargers have not scored more than 24 points in a game since Week 10. They have scored 22 or fewer points in all three games with Easton Stick as their starting quarterback. Don’t expect either offense to be productive in this matchup, making this our NFL bet of the day.

First Score: Field Goal (-120)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

Since Stick took over at quarterback, the Chargers’ first points have come via a field goal in two of three games. They have eight field goals and just one touchdown in their last two games.

The Chiefs backup quarterback behind Mahomes is Blaine Gabbert. He spent the last three seasons with the Buccaneers and has not started a game since he was with the Titans in 2018. In three starts that year, he had just four total touchdown passes. This could be a field goal fest on both sides.

Chargers (-155)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

It’s difficult to envision the Chiefs putting many points on the board with Gabbert at quarterback. With all of the injuries that they have dealt with at running back, Isiah Pacheco might not play much, either. That could mean a significant workload would be given to La’Mical Perine.

For as bad as Stick has been, at least the Chargers should be deploying all of their healthy regular starters. That gives them the edge in this matchup.

Chiefs vs Chargers Same Game Parlay

Chiefs vs Chargers SGP (+365)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 units

  • Race To 25 Points: Neither (-170)
  • Chargers To Win by 1-6 Points (+310)

Let’s go big here. We’re already on neither team to score at least 25 points, so we’ll add that to the parlay. A potential matchup between Stick and Gabbert has the makings of a low-scoring affair.

With points potentially difficult to come by on both sides, this has the makings of a close game. We’re playing the Chargers to win, so let’s take a narrow margin of victory, between one and six points. When we combine those two wagers, we get appealing odds worth throwing half a unit on.

Author

Doug Bonjour

Doug covered college and prep sports in Connecticut for more than a decade, including stints as the UConn women’s basketball and UConn football beat reporter for Hearst Connecticut Media. During his time reporting on the 11-time national champion Huskies, he covered three NCAA Final Fours. He also has written for the Associated Press and New York Times.

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