Wake up with VSiN Daily Morning Bets, a quick 10-15 minute podcast highlighting the top games and biggest line moves bettors need to know about each day. For an in-depth breakdown of Thursday's betting action, be sure to catch the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted by 3 p.m. ET. I'll also be joining Big Bets at 2:45 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss where smart money is leaning for tonight's Thursday Night Football showdown...
8:15 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Chargers (1-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
Both of these AFC West rivals are coming off season opening wins and covers. The Chargers held off the Raiders 24-19, covering as 3.5-point home favorites. Meanwhile, the Chiefs routed the Cardinals 44-21, easily covering as 6-point road favorites.
This line opened with the Chiefs listed as a 3-point home favorite. Early money laid the points with Kansas City, pushing the Chiefs up from -3 to -3.5. It looked as if this line was heading back down to the key number of 3, but then news broke that the Chargers would miss star WR Keenan Allen with a hamstring injury, which drove the Chiefs all the way up to -4.5. It looks as though 4.5 was the high water mark, as Chargers +4.5 buyback has brought the line back down to 4 where it stands now.
The public is all over Kansas City in this one, with 76% of bets laying the points with Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid at home. This lopsided betting creates elevated contrarian value on the Chargers, who are only receiving 24% of bets in a heavily bet game and also late buyback +4.5 to +4. Week 2 dogs are 37-27 ATS (58%) since 2018. Primetime dogs are 61-44 ATS (58%) over the past three seasons. Short road dogs 6 or less are 158-102 ATS (61%) since 2019. The Chargers also have value as a road divisional dog (90-72 ATS, 56% since 2019). Justin Herbert is 3-1 ATS in his career against Kansas City.
The public is also expecting a shootout in this game, with 73% of bets taking the over. The total opened at 53 and got bet up to 54.5. That's when a flood of sharp under buyback took the under 54.5, dropping the line back down to 54. Some books could be heading down to 53.5. The under is only receiving 27% bets but 66% money, a massive +39% smart money discrepancy. Primetime unders are 3-0 so far this season and 89-62 (59%) since 2019. When the total is 50 or more on Thursday Night Football, the under is 23-14 (62%) over the past 10 years. The forecast calls for high 70s with 10 MPH winds at Arrowhead.
Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker will miss this game with an ankle injury. Practice squad kicker Matt Ammendola is expected to kick in Butker's place.