The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers head south of the border for a Monday Night Football matchup in Mexico City in Week 11 of the NFL season.
Oddsmakers have the Chiefs as 4-point neutral-site favorites in this AFC West showdown. If you’re betting on the NFL teaser odds for Kansas City vs. Los Angeles, here are some factors to work into your handicapping.
Air up there
The biggest challenge for both teams Monday night will be the altitude in Mexico City. If you thought Denver was a tough task for visiting teams, Mexico City sits an additional 2,000 feet above the “Mile High City”.
The air at the altitude is lacking the oxygen these teams are used to and that could leave them running on empty in the second half. The Chiefs can play a very fast tempo on offense and have plenty of speedsters on this roster. The Chargers are bit more methodical with a two-headed rushing attack are larger receivers.
Another factor that could come into play Monday is the condition of the playing surface. Last year’s schedule Mexico City game between the Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams was forced to L.A. after the league deemed the turf at Estadio Azteca unfit. This year, the NFL has overseen the grounds crew and says the surface is much improved.
The forecast for Mexico City is calling for plenty of rain between now and kickoff Monday night, including Sunday showers and potential thunderstorms heading into Monday evening. The soggy turf will be tested and could make running the ball extremely hard if it started to tear up as the game goes on.
The Chargers may have the advantage entering this primetime game, having enjoyed a mini bye week after playing – and losing – to Oakland last Thursday night. That strange bit of schedule gives the Bolts 10 full days between games to rest and plan for the Chiefs.
Kansas City, on the other hand, is coming off a tough loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 10. The Chiefs allowed 35 points to the Titans – including a scoop and score from the Tennessee defense – and have given up an average of 29.7 points over their last three contests.
The biggest weakness for this Kansas City defense has been slowing down the run. They currently rank 31st in rushing yards allowed and have been bowled over for 5.6 yards per carry over that three-game span. Los Angeles has a two-pronged attack in the backfield with running backs Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, who combined for 181 yards of total offense in the loss to Oakland in Week 10.
The Over/Under line for Monday night is set at 52 points. Kansas City ranks as the fifth-best scoring offense in the NFL, averaging 28.4 points per game. Los Angeles enters Week 11 hoping to kick start its scoring attack against a weak KC stop unit, putting up only 20.7 points per contest.
The Chiefs are 7-2 Over/Under on the season while the Bolts are a mirror of that with a 3-7 O/U record in 2019. These AFC West rivals played Over in both 2018 meetings, including a total of 54-point in a 20-28 Los Angeles victory last December.