NFL Week 1 Preview: Chargers Begin Season Without Familiar Faces, Still Favored 5 Over K.C.

September 10th, 2010 – by Alex

The San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs kick off their respective seasons this Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium. This game will conclude the Week 1 NFL Matchups as this is the second of the two Monday Night Football games scheduled this opening week of the season.

The Chargers are coming off four straight division titles in the last four years, with a particularly impressive 13-3 finish in 2009-10 to finish of the season. Unfortunately, they ended their season on a sour note when they were upset in the divisional round 17-14 by the New York Jets. The Chiefs on the other hand are coming off a disappointing 4-12 season that saw them have the fourth worst points allowed average in the league with 26 1/2 points per game in 2009.

The Chargers are looking to continue to establish themselves as an NFL powerhouse behind quarterback, Philip Rivers, who is coming off a sensational 4,254 yard and 28 touchdown year. The Chargers offense ended up leading the AFC with 28.4 points per game. This season though, Rivers will be forced to do without running back, LaDainian Tomlinson and receiver Vincent Jackson. As a result Rivers will go back to the basics and utilize the very effective tight end, Antonio Gates who is coming off a 79-reception, 1,157 yard and eight touchdown performance in 2009-10. San Diego will also look for quick development by running back, Ryan Mathews, who averaged 150.7 yards per game with Fresno State last year.

The Chiefs hope that quarterback, Matt Cassel will be able to build off his disappointing 16 touchdown/interception and 2,924 yard performance from last year. Cassel in turn will look to running back, Jamaal Charles for help who rushed an impressive 658 yards in the last four games of the season. He ended up having 1,120 yards in his 10 starts for the 2009-10 season, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. With so much emphasis during the offseason be placed on shoring up the offense, look for this area to be improved in 2010-11.

Game Line: In starting the 2010 NFL season, the San Diego Chargers enter this game with the Chiefs as 5 point favorites. In addition, oddsmakers from Bodog Sportsbook are advertising the over/under on this game at a total of 45 points.

Against The Spread Betting Trends: The Chargers are 5-1 against the spread in their last six road games. They’re also 24-10-4 against the spread in their last 38 games versus AFC West opponents. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are 7-18-1 against the spread in their last 26 home games. Further, they’re also 1-5 against the spread in their last six games in September.

Straight Up Betting Trends: In their last 20 road games against Kansas City, the Chargers haven’t been good during that stretch going just 6-14. That trend could be offset due to the fact that the Chargers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games as the road team. When combining that with the fact that Kansas City is just 1-5 SU in their last 6 games, NFL Betting Trends definitely lean the way of the Chargers when betting straight up.

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