The San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs are going to duke it out on Monday Night Football in the Show Me State on Monday Night, and here at Bang the Book, we’re going to take our picks for some of the MNF props on the board for one of the biggest games of the weekend!
Philip Rivers -64.5 Passing Yards vs. Matt Cassel: Cassel has turned this Kansas City offense into a bit of a passing unit. We know that RB Jackie Battle has at least started to pick up the slack for the injured RB Jamaal Charles, but this team is in a heck of a lot better shape trying to get the ball to WR Dwayne Bowe on the outside than anything else. That being said, if the Chiefs are really going to win this game, the Chargers are going to have to put the ball in the air all the more often. Rivers is averaging 285.8 passing yards per game this year, and if he can get anywhere near that 300 yard mark, we tend to think that he is going to have this prop covered and then some as well.
Philip Rivers Over 1.5 TD Passes (-200): Okay, so we hear you. Rivers only has seven touchdown passes in six games. So why on earth would we be backing him for over a TD and a half in this one? RB Mike Tolbert is probably out of the lineup, which will really stunt the running game on the goal line. Unless Head Coach Norv Turner is willing to put the rock in the hands of RB Jacob Hester, the short passing game is probably going to be used on the goal line. It could be a big, big day for TE Antonio Gates as well, exploiting the middle of the field, where an injured S Eric Berry won’t be playing. At some point, the former member of the NC State Wolfpack just has to get going, and this could be the big, big game that he has been waiting for. He’ll get to two TD passes in at least two out of three games in this situation.
Jackie Battle +15.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards vs. Ryan Mathews (-110): It may seem easy to take Mathews with Tolbert out of the game, but we’re just not all that sure that he is going to be in for that big of a day. Mathews has averaged 123.2 yards per game this year between rushing and receiving, but last week, he only totaled 39 yards on the ground. Over the course of the last two games, Battle has had 35 carries for 195 yards, and the hope that we have in this one is that he is able to get to around the 80 yard mark or so. If that’s the case, we’ll take our chances that Mathews ends up under this total that he needs to reach to beat us on this NFL prop.
Antonio Gates Over 60.5 Receiving Yards: Gates came back into the lineup last week and had five grabs for 54 yards against a relatively stingy New York defense. Now, he gets to go up against Kansas City, and as we have already mentioned, we don’t think that these linebackers and safeties are going to be able to stick with him. Historically, this is a man who has the ability to grab seven or eight balls per game and bring in at least 70 or 80 yards. We tend to think that the oddsmakers are tempered because of his lack of practice time this year. Gates will still probably get to this total tonight, especially with the short passing game to Tolbert being out of the question.
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.