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Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs defense should cover the spread in Week 17

The Chiefs can clinch the third seed with a win, and potentially the two seed. Here’s a look at why they’ll cover against the Chargers in Week 17.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes gestures in the second half against the Los Angeles Chargersduring an NFL International Series game at Estadio Azteca. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs host the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 17 that means everything going in, but could mean significantly less by halftime. The Chiefs need a win and a New England Patriots loss to the Miami Dolphins to claim a first round bye. With both teams playing together, an early Patriots romp on Miami could give us an answer fairly early. Kansas City still needs a win or a Houston loss to claim the No. 3 seed and avoid a matchup with an impressive Buffalo defense.

The Chiefs are an eight-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the point total sitting at 45.5. The Chiefs are -345 on the money line, while the Chargers are +290. The Chiefs are 10-5 against the spread this season and have gone over the point total seven times. The Chargers are 4-10-1 ATS and have gone over the point total six times.

Injury report

The Chargers are likely to be without Russell Okung for Week 17, but upgraded quarterback Philip Rivers and linebacker Denzel Perryman from limited to full on Thursday. The Chiefs will look to get guard Andrew Wylie back from an ankle injury, but he’s a question mark for the time being.

Pick against the spread

The Chiefs stumbled midway through the season before and during Patrick Mahomes’ injury absence, but they’re on a roll now. Mahomes is looking good on intermediate and deep passes the past two weeks, and more importantly in some respects, the defense has been impressive in beating Denver and Chicago those two games. There are “buts” given they faced rookie QB Drew Lock and struggling QB Mitchell Trubisky, but they were impressive performances nonetheless.

With their seeding not locked in, regardless of the Patriots outcome, I think we see the Chiefs thump LA. The Chargers remain a dangerous team, and this game will tell us a bit more about just where this Chiefs defense is headed into the playoffs. However, I think the Chiefs offense is going to put a whuppin’ on the Chargers defense and cover the point spread.

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