Wednesday, September 21, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread: Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers (Week 3, 2011-2012)


The San Diego Chargers are hurting after a East-Coast trip that ended in a 35-21 loss to the New England Patriots. The Kansas City Chiefs are nowhere near the win column. This could get ugly real fast.

The early spread on this game is Chargers (-14.5). Here are some of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for when betting. All lines from Cooper's Pick and Injury Reports from covers.com as of September 21, 2011. Always keep yourself updated with injury lines because they’ll unexpectedly change throughout the week.

#1: Injuries
The Chiefs have lost three of their five best players to injury as TE Tony Moeaki, S Eric Berry and RB Jamaal Charles were placed on IR with torn ACLs. 

The Chargers could be without WRs Vincent Brown, Patrick Crayton and Malcom Floyd. DE Luis Castillo is definitely out. Rivers has had to overcome injuries and holdouts from his receivers before so I wouldn't expect it to be too much of an issue against the Chiefs.

#2:Chiefs at Chargers: December 12, 2010
The Chiefs won the regular-season opener on Monday Night Football. However, that was in Arrowhead. When they met at Qualcomm Stadium, the Chiefs were without Matt Cassel. The Chargers won 31-0. 

I'll let you review the box score HERE. Now that was without Cassel. This time, they won't have Tony Moeaki, Eric Berry or Jamaal Charles. The Chargers actually had more penalties and turned it over two more times than the Chiefs did in that game. 

#3:Home-Field Advantage
The Chiefs were 3-5 on the road in 2010. The Chargers were lethal against weaker opponents who played in Qualcomm Stadium last season. Those wins included the Jacksonville Jaguars (38-13), Arizona Cardinals (41-10), Denver Broncos (35-14), San Francisco 49ers (34-7) and Chiefs (31-0).

It's also worth noting that six of the Chargers' nine victories were by 21 or more points.

#4 Chiefs' ineptitude
The Chiefs have lost four consecutive games dating back to 2010 (eight if preseason is included). They've been outscored 89-10 this season by teams that I'd consider as less talented than the Chargers. The Chargers are coming off a loss to the New England Patriots and could really use this victory.

Final Predictions:
I don't know why anyone would pick the Chiefs. Familiarity due to being a divisional rivalry game is the only reason that I can think of for this being within three touchdowns. Rivers would have to go down with an injury for them to have any realistic hope of winning. I'd be confident in the Chargers winning this (and probably covering) with Billy Volek starting.

Against the Spread: San Diego Chargers (-14.5)
Straight: San Diego Chargers 41, Kansas City Chiefs 14

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