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San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs - 9/11/16 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

San Diego Chargers (4-12) at Kansas City Chiefs (12-6)

NFL Football: Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 1:00 pm (Arrowhead Stadium)

The Line: Kansas City Chiefs -6.5 -- Over/Under: 44.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: CBS

The San Diego Chargers head to Arrowhead to take on the Kansas City Chiefs as both teams kick off their respective 2016 NFL regular seasons.

The San Diego Chargers look to improve on a disappointing 2015 season that saw the Chargers finish 4-12, good enough to finish in the basement of the AFC West. Philip Rivers returns as the team’s starting quarterback, and is hoping to build on his 2015 campaign that saw Rivers throw for just under 4,800 yards and 29 touchdowns, but also 13 interceptions. Melvin Gordon is projected to lead the backfield for the chargers in his sophomore season, but the big question on the mind of Chargers nation is who is going to catch the balls thrown by Rivers? It’s fair to say that this year’s Chargers receiving core is the weakest it’s been in years with Keenan Allen leading the charge, no pun intended, but after Allen there’s a major dropoff, as the teams #2 receiver looks to be Travis Benjamin who has only recently started to show signs of life and is hoping that a change of scenery from Cleveland to San Diego will be a good thing. On the defensive side of the ball, the big story is defensive end Joey Bosa. After all the drama involving Bosa’s contract holdout, he will be unable to play week 1 due to an injury, which does not help a Chargers pass rush that’s looking to improve the defense that finished in the bottom half of the league in most defensive stat categories last year.

San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs - 9/11/16 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs look to make the playoffs for back-to-back years for the first time since 1995 after making it to the wild-card round in 2015 with an 11-5 record, which is impressive considering the Chiefs started the year 1-5 before winning 10 straight to clinch a postseason berth. Alex Smith returns under center for the Chiefs, after throwing for nearly 3,500 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2015 with only 7 interceptions. Jamaal Charles returns to the Kansas City backfield after missing all of 2015 with a torn ACL. The Chiefs defense has been their calling card the last couple of years, allowing only 17.9 points per game in 2015, good for third in the NFL. Even though the Chiefs lost DB Eric Berry, they still have one of the best front sevens in the entire NFL and could very well improve on their strong defensive totals when all is said and done at the end of the year.

San Diego is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 road games, and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 overall while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 overall. Kansas City is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games on grass while the under is 5-2 in their last 7 home games and 3-1-1 in their last 5 vs. the AFC West. The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings.

Every year there are some games in week 1 that the lines are just too big. Sure, the Chiefs have the better defense, but on offense, there isn’t much to separate the two teams. Add in the fact that this is a division rivalry and that the Chargers have been money ATS dating back to last season, I have to go with the Chargers as a road dog.

Give me the Chargers and the points.

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San Diego Chargers +6.5

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