The Kansas City Chiefs claimed victory Sunday by knocking off their rival Los Angeles Chargers in dramatic fashion, with Harrison Butker nailing a 58-yard field goal to spoil an otherwise exciting debut for L.A.’s Justin Herbert. But while Sunday’s finish was an absolute win for Kansas City, which now enters an anticipated Week 3 showdown with the Baltimore Ravens undefeated, it didn’t quite satisfy those who wagered the whopping 94 percent of betting tickets on the Chiefs to cover the game’s 8.5-point spread.
William Hill Sportsbook saw 94 percent of its Chiefs-Chargers tickets go in favor of Kansas City, with 97 percent of the total money wagered also going in favor of the Chiefs winning by at least nine points. Prior to the game’s conclusion, 20 times as much money had been bet on the Chiefs than the Chargers, reiterating the truth of the ticket totals: Almost no one expected the Chargers to put up such a fight.
The Chiefs were rightfully favored by nearly two scores after a big Week 1 rout of the Houston Texans, plus extra rest coming into Sunday’s matchup in Los Angeles. But Kansas City’s OT surge couldn’t make up for an uncharacteristically slow start — at least in the eyes of those wagering on another lopsided win for Patrick Mahomes and Co. Trailing 14-6 at halftime, the Chiefs wouldn’t have covered even if they’d scored a touchdown to end OT, which began with the two sides tied at 20 apiece.
Part of what makes the Chiefs’ wild non-cover so astounding is the circumstances of Sunday’s game, starting with the Chargers’ unexpected QB change that thrust Herbert into his first career start. Even with a rookie signal-caller and a defense that went to the wire against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1, L.A. came within four points of upsetting the reigning Super Bowl champions and completely upending the early-season AFC West race.