LA Chargers: Game breakdown and prediction for Week 17 at Chiefs

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The LA Chargers wrap up the 2020 season on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Week 17 is upon us and the LA Chargers have the opportunity to close out their 2020 campaign on a 4-game winning streak that should give them huge momentum into 2021.

They have the Kansas City Chiefs in front of them to close things out in 2020 and the good news is this is a game where the Bolts are more than likely to win at this point.

The Chiefs have already cliched the AFC West and the number one seed in the conference throughout the playoffs, so this game here is but a formality at this point. No matter what happens in this game, the Chiefs will remain at the top of the AFC and will reap the benefits of home-field advantage in the AFC playoff picture.

Patrick Mahomes is out. So are Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. And you have to imagine Travis Kelce and Le’Veon Bell go on limited snaps as well.

I was actually pretty impressed with Vegas this week in having the “gumption” as some would say give the Bolts the favorite mark in this game. It may have moved since, but my last checkup on the spread for this game was -3.5 in favor of the Chargers with a total of 43.5.

It would have been easy to still go with the Chiefs as favorites in this game, but now the situation is much harder to try and predict.

We got the Chargers winning last week against the Broncos correct and got extremely unlucky on the spread of Bolts -3 as they blew yet another sizable lead to Denver (13-0) and nearly lost the game outright. We pushed in the spread thanks to that late collapse and didn’t even sniff the over 49, so now is the time to finish strong.

Here’s the deal with this week’s game- the Chargers SHOULD win this. It SHOULD go well under 43.5 points with KC’s big guns out of the lineup and the Bolts SHOULD ride a 4-game winning streak into the offseason. In my opinion, if they were to finish this year with 4-straight/5-2 in their final 7 games, look out for them in 2021 because Justin Herbert is going to be coming for that MVP.

Anthony Lynn should still be gone, but this Chargers team will be in fantastic position to get to the playoffs and win the division next year even if they do lose this game to KC’s backups.

It just seems too easy to me to go with the Bolts in this game. If they were underdogs somehow, I’d be more comfortable picking them. I may be a little off in my thinking because I had the Bolts going 6-10 this year at the beginning of the season and a loss here would solidify that, but when we look at all the numbers, the Chiefs absolutely crush it.

The Bolts are now 1-4-2 this year against the spread as favorites and when matched up with KC in recent history, it’s not even close for them.

The Chiefs go 12-1 in their last 13 overall against the Charger and 5-1 in their last 6 at home.The Chargers have covered 3.5 points in about 68% of their victories over the Chiefs and 67% of their wins at Arrowhead.

That 68% ranks 9th this week amongst 16 favorites and in the past 7 weeks, the 9th ranked favorite in that category of overall cover rates in matchup victories covered their spread only once in 7 tries If we narrow it down a bit to the past 3 weeks, the 9th ranked favorite covered in zero of 3 games.

Their 67% cover rate on the road also ranks 9th among the 16 favorites this week in the category of cover rates based on location of the game and in the past 7 weeks, the 9th ranked favorite covered in 3 of 7 games. In the past 3 weeks, that same 9th ranked favorite covered in 1 of 3 games.

When we average both of those percentages, the Chargers come out to be the 9th most likely favorite to cover this week, and when once again when we look back at 7 weeks, the 9th ranked favorite covered in only 2 of 7 games. In the past 3 weeks, they covered in zero of 3 games.

All across the board, the numbers say Kansas City covers this game. That can possibly mean a split with the Chargers winning and Chiefs losing by 3.5 or less, but something tells me if the Chiefs are going to be that close to the Bolts, they’re probably just going to win it outright.

Finally, I have this game going under 43.5 points. Kansas City backups are in. The Bolts just went under last week and they have always gone at least back-to-back in under hits this season. Plus, No Keenan Allen means Herbert’s best receiver won’t be there for him and we could see this game move at a rather slow pace dominated by the run.

37% of games between these two teams overall and 37% of matchups at Arrowhead have gone over 43.5 points. Just like in that process I just took you through the Chiefs covering dominated, the over dominates here.

But since both teams are shorthanded and neither are playing for much, I’m going to go with this to be a low-scoring game and for the Chiefs to actually get the upset even with their backups.

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It’s just too easy of a pick to go with LA in this game and the numbers say KC has it. Give me the Chiefs 20-16 in this game. LA goes to 6-10 and I’m right about them from my preseason predictions. KC goes to 15-1, but relax Charger fans because this team is about as nonchalant as you can be. I think they’ll get knocked off rather early in the playoffs.