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Chargers Gaining Ground on Chiefs in AFC West Odds as Minicamps Open

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in NFL Football

Updated Apr 9, 2020 · 9:25 AM PDT

Philip Rivers
The Chargers were the only team in the NFL to rank top-5 in both ESPN's offensive and defensive efficiency metrics in 2018. Photo by Jeffrey Beall (flickr) [CC License].
  • The LA Chargers’ AFC West odds have been shortened from +250 to +175
  • Their odds are slightly longer than Kansas City’s, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest LA should actually be favored to win the division
  • Is there any reason to bet the Chargers at their shortened price?

The Los Angeles Chargers are a stock on the rise. They have one of the most complete rosters in the NFL, and many of the smartest minds in football are predicting they’ll finally win the AFC West this season after a nine year drought.

Online sportsbooks appear to be equally as bullish on the Chargers, and have shortened their NFL Divisional odds from +250 to +175, trailing only the Kanas City Chiefs.

2019 AFC West Odds

Team 2019 AFC West Odds
Kansas City Chiefs -150
Los Angeles Chargers +175
Denver Broncos +1200
Oakland Raiders +1600

*Odds taken 06/04/19

Both teams won 12 games in 2018, and although the Chiefs made a deeper playoff run, there’s an argument to be made that the Chargers are actually a more deserving divisional favorite.

LA is Loaded with Talent

LA was the only team in the NFL to rank top-5 in both ESPN’s offensive and defensive efficiency metrics in 2018. They have playmakers everywhere on both sides of the ball, and Philip Rivers is coming off his best season in nearly a decade.

They went 12-4, despite the loss of their best pass rusher, Joey Bosa, for over half the season, and they made significant upgrades to their defence for the second straight year via the draft.

Jerry Tillery gives them a dominant interior presence , and Nasir Adderley will bolster one of the premier coverage groups in football.

Their roster is as good as any team in the NFL’s, and unlike the Chiefs they didn’t lose any significant contributors from last year’s team.

The Chiefs Roster has Plenty of Holes

KC’s roster as it stands right now looks very different than the one that played in the AFC Championship game. Stud defenders Dee Ford and Justin Houston are gone, as is center Mitch Morse and wideout Chris Conley, while Tyreek Hill could be facing a lengthy suspension.

They did add Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu in an effort to bolster a bottom-10 defence, but there’s no replacing an elite talent like Hill. The Chargers’ offense, meanwhile, will actually get a boost in 2019 thanks to the return of Hunter Henry from a torn ACL.

LA’s offense has the chance to be just as prolific as KC’s, and with the Chargers owning a massive advantage on the defensive side of the ball, their divisional odds should be much closer to the Chiefs than they currently are. The AFC West is a two horse race and right now all the value is on the Chargers.

Pick: Los Angeles Chargers (+175)

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