Chargers-Chiefs Could Offer Rare Value in Betting The Over For Thursday Night Football

Chargers-Chiefs Could Offer Rare Value in Betting The Over For Thursday Night Football
By Thomas Leary
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Amazon Prime on Thursday night hosts its first exclusive "Thursday Night Football" matchup, and two high-scoring offenses could prove a threat to a significantly high over/under across the betting market. 

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs play host to AFC West rival Justin Herbert and the Chargers, with the over/under up to 54.5 points as of Tuesday afternoon. 

Mahomes wasted no time in Week 1 proving he wasn't terribly dependent on former Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill in seasons past, as he threw for 360 yards and five touchdowns in a commanding 44-21 win over the Cardinals. 

Herbert also started the NFL season in good form, throwing three touchdowns and no interceptions in a Week 1 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. 

With two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL going head-to-head, the betting market clearly expects a high-scoring affair. But is that 54.5 mark advantageous to sports bettors? 

"Thursday Night Football" can be an unpredictable product, as the short week of preparation can make for some uncharacteristic performances. And that applies to traditionally high-powered offenses, even those anchored by stars like Mahomes and Herbert. 

BetCalifornia crunched the numbers for historical over/unders for "TNF" over the last two seasons (2020-2021) and found that betting the over resulted in a 12-19 record overall

Plus, over the history of "TNF," totals of 54.5 points or higher are 7-0 to the under. 

Unfortunately, California sports betting is currently prohibited, so there are no sports betting apps in California legally offering odds on Chiefs-Chargers.

Betting the Over on "Thursday Night Football"

Season Over
2021 5-11
20207-8
BetCalifornia.com utilized Caesars Sportsbook and ESPN.com to make the above calculations.

Can Mahomes & Herbert Buck The Trend?

While those numbers don't bode well for the Chiefs and Chargers combing for over 54.5 points, there is reason to believe they can buck the trend of "TNF" betting. 

Look no further than the last time these two division foes faced each other ... on "TNF" no less. 

Mahomes' Chiefs defeated Herbert and the Chargers 34-28 in Week 15 last season, with a total of 29 points scored in the second half alone to send the game into overtime. That mark easily surpassed the 54-point over/under and proved the "TNF" trend might not apply to the young gunslingers. 

Remember, when and if mobile sports betting is legalized in the state, BetCalifornia will be the place for California sportsbook promos.

Notable Trend

One important trend to note: throughout the history of "TNF" beginning in 2006, the three highest-scoring matchups have all taken place in September.

Whether that means defenses this early in the season aren't ready to lose the time of possession or perhaps winter weather limits scoring later in the season, potential sports bettors should take note that it is possible for talented offenses to catch fire in September on Thursday night, despite the recent success betting the under.

BetCalifornia crunched the numbers below.

Highest Scoring "TNF" Games

Date Score Total Points O/U
Sept. 21, 2017 Rams 41, 49ers 39 8040.5
Sept. 5, 2013 Broncos 49, Ravens 27 7648
Sept. 8, 2011 Packers 42, Saints 34 7648
Nov. 8, 2018 Steelers 52, Panthers 21 7351
Nov. 3, 2016 Falcons 43, Buccaneers 28 7149


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Contributors

Thomas Leary is a news editor and writer for BetCalifornia.com. He previously worked at Sports Business Journal for over 6 years, where he helped identify emerging sectors across sports business, such as legalized gambling, and helped launch the publication’s digital newsletter division.

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