Thursday Night Football Predictions & Best Bets

TNF Best Bets

After years of fans relegating Thursday Night Football games as the worst game of the week, the NFL is giving viewers two fantastic matchups in a row.

Last week was the season opener between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams.

We have the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Los Angeles Chargers this week.

Both teams are coming off victories in Week 1, so this game, even just two games into the season, could pay huge dividends for playoff seeding. The AFC West is a division that could have three teams alone make the postseason.

The two headlines here are the Chiefs absolutely dominating the Arizona Cardinals on the road posting 44 points. The other is not-so-good news is the Chargers will be without wide receiver Keenan Allen in this one as he nurses a hamstring injury suffered in Week 1.

With all these elements in mind, let’s look at the best bets this week for the point spread and over/under.

Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers +4 (-110) at Caesars

It’s safe to ask why we’re picking a Chargers team +4 after they scored 24 points in Week 1 and the Chiefs scored 44.

However, we have to look deeper than just one matchup to get the complete picture here.

As we saw in Week 1, the Chiefs dominated all facets of the game. However, a crucial part of their success was the complete lack of defensive prowess the Cardinals had.

Not only did they not sack Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, but they barely managed any pressure despite the team blitzing for most of the game.

Also, the Cardinals secondary had no answers as they allowed two of the five touchdowns. Only cornerback Marco Wilson could manage anything with two pass breakups (though he did have two missed tackles).

Against the Chargers, a divisional opponent, yes, the Chiefs will score points, but this is a far better team in all aspects of the game than the Cardinals.

The Chargers have some excellent assets:

  • Quarterback Justin Herbert, one of the best passers in the game.
  • Running back Austin Ekeler.
  • A receiving core that should be fine even with Allen out
  • A defense with two of the best pass rushers in the entire sport.

The Chiefs offensive line played well against the Cardinals. Still, the tackles—Orlando Browns Jr. and Andrew Wylie—will have their hands full against Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa.

Again, Mahomes will put points on the board and find tight end Travis Kelce early and often, but expect the Chargers to not only keep pace but potentially win the game outright.

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Under 54.5 (-110) at BetMGM

At 54.4, this line isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility, especially if you consider these teams’ more recent matchups.

  • December 16, 2021: Chiefs win 34 to 28 on the road
  • September 26, 2021: Chargers win 30 to 24 on the road
  • January 3, 2021: Chargers win 38 to 21 on the road

These two teams can score points on offense as they each possess an elite quarterback. Still, there are some notable differences to take into consideration.

The Chiefs no longer have wide receiver Tyreek Hill who could blow up the scoreboard. For the Chargers, they have an even better pass rush to create pressures, and they’ll be without Allen.

Both quarterbacks will perform well, but factoring in the quick three-days-or-so turnaround is another critical factor.

These intertwining variables have the makings of a 27-24 game, which still clears the 50s, but 54.5 might be just too much.

Collect a $1,000 risk-free bet at BetMGM today when you sign up using our link.

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Richard Janvrin

Expert on College Sports

After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.

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