NFL betting: Bettors like the Chiefs and Travis Kelce on Thursday night

·3 min read

Week 2 of the NFL season gets underway on Thursday night with a marquee matchup between AFC West foes. The Kansas City Chiefs host the Los Angeles Chargers and the Chiefs are 4-point home favorites. Two of the league's best quarterbacks meet as Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes go head to head.

These teams have given us some wild finishes in recent years. Two of the four meetings over the last two seasons have gone to overtime. Both teams are 2-2 over that stretch, with the road team winning all four games. However, it doesn't appear bettors expect the road team dominance to continue.

Bettors like the Chiefs

The Los Angeles Chargers have played the Kansas City Chiefs extremely well over the last two seasons. They are 2-2 overall, but their two losses both came in overtime. They've gone to Arrowhead and won twice over that stretch. It might seem like an appealing bet to take the Chargers getting over a field goal.

However, bettors don't agree. Currently at BetMGM, 79% of bets and 80% of the money is backing the Chiefs to cover as a 4-point home favorite. On the moneyline, 84% of the money is backing Kansas City as a -200 favorite. Fading the public was a profitable strategy in Week 1, as teams that got over 70% of bets in their respective game went just 2-4 against the spread.

This spread opened at just three points on Sunday, but has moved throughout the course of the week. It got as high as 4.5 points a few days ago, and has sat at 3.5 points for much of the week. As of Thursday morning, it has settled at 4 points.

Over a popular bet as well

The total for Thursday night's game is currently set at 54 points. It opened at 54.5 points, which was the highest total we've seen through the first two weeks. That's not stopping bettors from betting the over.

Currently at BetMGM, 67% of bets and 74% of the money is backing the game to go over the total. It makes sense as these two quarterbacks are widely considered top-five quarterbacks in the league. However, unders went 11-5 in Week 1.

In the last three meetings between these teams, the games finished with 59, 54 and 62 points. Of course, Keenan Allen is out for the Chargers and the Chiefs no longer have Tyreek Hill, though that didn't seem to matter in Week 1. Both teams also upgraded their defenses over the offseason.

You can easily make an argument for both sides of this total, but bettors are going with the fun route and rooting for points.

Travis Kelce props are most popular

The three most popular prop bets at BetMGM for Thursday night all feature Chiefs' tight end Travis Kelce.

The most popular bet is Kelce to score the game's first touchdown at +550 odds. The second-most popular prop bet is Kelce to score at anytime at -190 odds. Kelce scored the first touchdown in Kansas City's win over the Cardinals.

The third-most popular bet is for Kelce to go over 76.5 receiving yards. Kelce had 121 yards in the opener this year. He eclipsed 100 yards in both games against Los Angeles last season, including a remarkable 191 yard, 2 touchdown performance that included the overtime winning score in Week 15.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 11: Tight end Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts after a catch for a first down in the third quarter of the game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Travis Kelce and the Chiefs are popular bets ahead of Thursday night's game that kicks off Week 2 of the NFL season. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)