AFC West Betting Guide: Bet the Chiefs or Chargers?

Nov 21, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15)
Nov 21, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs have responded after a few concerning efforts, winners of four straight, including last week against Super Bowl contender Dallas Cowboys, 19-9.

The Chiefs are seen as the prohibitive favorite to hold off the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC West, but not by much. Is there value in getting in on this divisional race now?

What about the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders? Do they stand a chance, just a game behind the Chiefs?

Here are the odds, courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.

AFC West Division Odds

  • Chiefs: -145
  • Chargers: +130
  • Broncos: +1800
  • Raiders: +2000

Kansas City Chiefs: -145

I think this is a fair price on the Chiefs, who are on a bye this week and hold a half game advantage on the Chargers.

The Chargers currently hold the tiebreaker over the two time defending AFC Champions after their Week 3 win in KC, but the two will meet again in Week 15, which could determine the division.

The Chiefs hit the bye at the perfect time, able to continue getting healthier on the margins and set for a playoff push after. While neither team has a light schedule, the Chiefs come out of the bye and play the weaker AFC West foes in succession at home, the Broncos and Raiders.

We will touch on the Chargers schedule below, but I trust the Chiefs to continue on their winning ways and outlast Los Angeles to win the division especially because of their improvement on the defensive side of the ball.

During the team's four game winning streak, the defense is sixth in EPA/Play. If KC puts together even an average defensive performance down the stretch of the season, they will be back to their Super Bowl caliber.

This is a trust factor, and I'm buying the Chiefs now at this fair price.

Los Angeles Chargers: +135

On the surface, the Chargers seem worthy of a play at + money, mainly due to their schedule; Los Angeles still plays the Giants, Texans, Broncos, and Raiders.

However, unlike the Chiefs defense, this Chargers D shows a ton of concerning signs down the stretch. In the same four week sample as I mentioned above, the Chargers are 28th in EPA/Play on defense. On the year, the team is 24th in that same metric.

While the offense is humming with Justin Herbert in control, the team is ripe to be upset on any given Sunday with their poor defensive play.

Not to mention, the Chargers are constantly playing close games, leaving them vulnerable for some negative variance. Los Angeles has won one game by more than a touchdown this season, so I'm expecting them to drop one to inferior competition simply due to some poor luck. It happens.

Denver Broncos: +1800, Las Vegas Raiders: +2300

Both of these teams are a game behind the Chiefs and Chargers, but it's a tough ask to expect them to finish the season even above .500.

Denver does have two games against the Chargers, including this weekend at home, and the Chiefs next week, so the opportunity is there for them to get into the race.

The Broncos are a fairly average team, hanging around the middle of the pack in EPA/Play metrics, but I can't envision them making a run with Teddy Bridgewater under center needing to outduel Mahomes and Herbert.

Meanwhile the Raiders have fallen apart after starting 5-2 on the year. The team has dropped three straight and the offense has come to a screeching halt, falling to 25th in EPA/Play during that time span.

The team has already lost once to the Chiefs and Chargers and I can't expect them to get back on track in the coming weeks, especially facing the NFC East Dallas Cowboys on a short week on Thanksgiving.

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