Football fans are expecting fireworks when Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes go head-to-head on Thursday Night Football.
The total for tonight’s game is set at 53.5 at FanDuel.
While that number has ticked down from 54.5 on Wednesday, it’s still the highest number on the board for Week 2.
It also matches the highest total of the season so far after last week’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals closed at 53.5.
That Week 1 clash soared over the total after Mahomes threw for 360 yards and five touchdowns in a 44-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Will we see a similar situation play out tonight with a pair of quarterbacks that have the potential to absolutely dominate in prime time?
Mahomes and Herbert are two of the most lethal passers in the NFL.
At the same time, Thursday Night Football games with high totals have trended towards the under, and the number at FanDuel has already moved in that direction with the drop from 54.5 to 53.5.
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
Spread: Chiefs -4.5
I bet the total to stay under 54.5 at FanDuel on Wednesday for a couple of reasons.
Since 1990, Thursday Night Football games with totals of 54.5 or higher are 7-0 to the under.
When these teams met in Kansas City in Week 3 last season, the total was 54.5.
Herbert and Mahomes combined for seven touchdown passes in that game, but it wasn’t enough to go over the total as the final score landed right on 54, with the Los Angeles Chargers prevailing 30-24.
That was with Tyreek Hill and Keenan Allen combining for 13 catches, 106 yards and a touchdown.
Neither of those two receivers will play in tonight’s game.
The Chargers will be without Allen and Donald Parham tonight.
Hill was traded from the Chiefs to the Miami Dolphins in the off-season, and while their offence looked just fine without him last week in Arizona, the LA defence should give them a tougher challenge tonight.
So, while tonight’s game has the potential to feature plenty of offence with the highest total of the season, I actually bet the under 54.5.
We have also seen the spread for tonight’s game move at FanDuel over the past week.
Kansas City was -2.5 on the look-ahead line.
After Allen’s injury and an impressive performance by the Chiefs in Week 1, the spread has moved to Kansas City -4.5 at FanDuel.
Is that an overreaction?
Justin Herbert is 4-1 against the spread as an underdog of 3.5 points or more, including a win in a Week 3 match-up in Kansas City last season as a seven-point underdog.
The Chargers are 6-3 as road underdogs with Herbert at quarterback, and they’ve won each of their last two meetings against the Chiefs outright.
While Allen’s absence is notable, Herbert is a top-three choice to win MVP for a reason, and he will still have Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler and Gerald Everett to work with tonight in Kansas City.
Unfortunately for LA, they won’t have cornerback J.C. Jackson to help defend against Mahomes.
However, Derwin James is healthy and he has done an outstanding job defending Travis Kelce in his career.
James, Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack will be motivated to make a statement in this AFC West showdown, and it will be interesting to see if they can do enough to give Herbert a chance to pull off the upset win.
FanDuel Best Bets
In my Morning Coffee column, I gave out Williams to go over 69.5 receiving yards as my FanDuel Best Bet.
If you want to read the full breakdown, you can find it by clicking on the tweet below.
Additionally, I’m going to take Herbert to go over 279.5 passing yards tonight.
As mentioned in this morning’s column, Charvarius Ward now plays for the San Francisco 49ers and Chiefs’ rookie first round pick Trent McDuffie is on the injured reserve.
Herbert won’t have Allen, but he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the entire NFL and I’m confident he will bring his best tonight against the rival Chiefs.
I’ll bet Herbert over 279.5 passing yards as one more FanDuel Best Bet for tonight’s game.