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Chargers vs. Chiefs Betting Preview


By

John J. Raspanti



The first place Chiefs (8-4) tangle with the Chargers (6-6) in a do or die game for San Diego. The Chiefs snuck by Denver last week 10-6. The Chargers saw their four game winning streak halted by a motivated Raiders team, 28-13. Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel has blossomed this year, hitting 60 percent of his passes, and throwing 23 touchdown passes. However, Cassel underwent an appendectomy Wednesday and his availability for this game is uncertain. If he can't go Brodie Croyle will see his first action of the season.

If Cassel is sidelined, the Chiefs, winners of three in a row, will likely rely on a ground game that averages an NFL-best 175 yards per game. Running back Jamaal Charles is having a monster season, rushing for 1137 yards and averaging 6.2 yards per carry. He's also scored 11 big touchdowns. Veteran Thomas Jones has picked-up 765 yards and earned the title of mister dependable. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is target number one. The fourth year man from LSU has caught 58 balls. Bowe is 2nd in the league in touchdowns with 14. Tight end Tony Moeaki has grabbed 36 passes.

Defensively Kansas City is ranked 16th. Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson has recorded 90 tackles and a sack, while strong safety Eric Berry has 69 tackles. Outside linebacker Tambi Hali has collected an impressive 10 sacks. 

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The Chargers need to rebound after their shocking lost to the Raiders last weekend. Entering the game as hot as any team in the NFL, San Diego was soundly beaten by Oakland. Quarterback Phillip Rivers played well enough but couldn't put many points on the board. Rivers is stall having an outstanding season, throwing 24 touchdowns and completing 65 percent of his passes. Running back Mike Tolbert has rushed for 625 yards and scored nine touchdowns. Rivers favorite target is wide receiver Antonio Gates. The 6'4, 260 pounder has grabbed 50 passes and scored 10 touchdowns. When Rivers goes deep, which is often lately, he looks for Malcom Floyd. The speedy wide out has caught 31 passes for an average of almost 20 yards. On the defensive side of the ball, the 2nd ranked Chargers will be keying on stopping the Chiefs running attack. Inside linebacker Kevin Burnett leads the team with 74 sacks and five sacks. Free safety Eric Weddle has 66 tackles, while sack master Shawn Phillips has 10 sacks.

This game is off the board at most sportsbooks due to the status of Cassel. The last line we saw was San Diego favored by -6.5. With or without Cassel we like the Chiefs here. Sure, it's a big game for the Chargers, but it's equally as big for the Chiefs. A win here can virtually eliminate the Chargers from the AFC West race leaving only the Raiders for the Chiefs to deal with. We simply think the Chiefs are the better team. The Chiefs only lost one game by a significant margin this year and that was to the Broncos a few weeks back. Their other 3 losses were games that were not only close, but were right there for them to win, including their 19-10 loss to the Colts. We'd gladly take +3 or better with the Chiefs here.
 

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