Monday, October 31, 2011

San Diego Chargers vs Kansas City Chiefs: SD -3
KC remains one of the top picks in the Hilton Contest this week, but I can't buy it.  Sometimes sharps like to out-think themselves and twist a variety of factors into a plausible argument for the underdog.   I don't see this game playing out that way at all.

To start with let's look back at the last couple times these teams played.  Many are pointing to their week 3 matchup that began their resurgent turn-around.  I watched that game and from what I saw SD completely dominated an inferior KC team and played passive ball in the 2nd half.  Give credit to KC for not packing it in and making a game of it late, but when all the chips are in the middle SD easily handled things.  The other game people are pointing to is the MNF game from last season.  Once again SD dominated that game between the numbers, but gave up two big special teams TDs in the process.

You simply can't hide the fact that you are without guys like Charles, Moeaki, and Berry.  This isn't the GB Packers we're talking about here.  In the last 3 weeks KC beat MIN at home, IND on the road, and an OAK team that lost McFadden and started Boller/Palmer.   I have no illusions about this KC team.

Will they be amped up to make a splash in their division under the lights in prime-time?  Without a doubt--no question.  But at some point reality will set in and KC will realize that they are badly outmatched in the air on both sides of the ball.  Granted, Rivers hasn't looked like his typical self this year, but he's still Philip Rivers and he still has guys like Gates and Jackson to throw to. 

The benefit that SD have in this game is that KC isn't a squad that can exploit their weaknesses.  Largely thanks to turnovers and penalties, SD have been one of the worst teams in red zone offense and defense this year, but sooner or later those kind of factors regress to the mean.  The only way SD lose this game is if they defeat themselves.  Some people will argue that those kind of variance categories are part of the very fabric of this team, but I'm not convinced of that.  At some point the bad bounces are going to begin evening out--and it could start tonight.

There is simply too much value in the line to pass up in this game.  The whirlwind of factors leaning people on KC is largely fraudulent and transparent.  Prediction: Bank SD -3.

Bonus Player Props
Mathews -15.5 rushing/receiving yards vs Battle
Mathews O35.5 receiving yards

McCluster O15.5 receiving yards