When the Chiefs (9-4) travel to the Chargers (8-5) to open NFL Week 15 on “Thursday Night Football” (8:20 p.m. ET, Fox, NFL Network, Amazon Prime Video), late check first place in the AFC West will be at stake.
If the Chiefs won, they would hold a two-game lead with a third straight division victory and move closer to concluding another title. If the Chargers won, the teams would have identical records, but Los Angeles would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with a season sweep.
The Broncos and Raiders fell flat with their big shots against the Chiefs, but those games were in Kansas City. The Chargers have the biggest game yet for rookie coach Brandon Staley and sophomore quarterback Justin Herbert.
Will this combination have the upper hand again over Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes?
Here’s everything you need to know about betting the Chiefs vs Chargers in Week 15, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for “Thursday Night Football”.
Chiefs vs Chargers odds for Thursday night football
- Propagated: Chefs by 3
- Above / Below: 52
- Cash : Chiefs -158, Chargers +134
The line hovered around a field goal ahead of the game as COVID-19 issues do not affect quarterbacks with equal starting concerns on both sides. The Chargers don’t really have an advantage on the pitch, so the Chiefs would have been favored by nearly a home touchdown.
(betting odds by FanDuel Sportsbook)
Chiefs vs Chargers All-Time Streak
The Chiefs lead their longtime rivals 64-58-1. The Chargers have won back-to-back games, however, including 30-24 at Kansas City earlier this season. They also won Week 17 of 2020 when the Chiefs rested players at Arrowhead. The Chargers have failed to beat the Chiefs in Los Angeles since moving there, losing 23-20 in overtime last season.
Three trends to know
—78 percent of punters spread side with the Chargers to cool the Chiefs with the electric Herbert at home and at least keep him closer than a field goal, if not outright win.
—60 percent of over / under bettors aren’t fazed by the established high point total involving the two potent infractions and gain the upper hand.
—The Chiefs are 6-4 ATS and 8-2 in a row in their last 10 games. The total has been exceeded four times. The Chargers are just 5-5 ATS despite going 6-4 SU in their last 10 games. Six of those matches are over.
Three things to watch out for
The Chargers appear to have running back Austin Ekeler (ankle), wide receiver Mike Williams (heel), tight end Jared Cook (quad) and safety back Derwin James Jr. (hamstrings) to overcome their ailments. Although wide receiver Keenan Allen has been activated on the COVID-19 roster, outstanding rookie left tackle Rashawn Slater has landed on it and can be a big loss against a passing rush from the Chiefs.
Chefs without Chris Jones
Jones is the Chiefs’ best and most disruptive player with his dominance in the Inward Rush. He has seven bags and backs up to his natural position. Problem is, he landed on the COVID-19 roster, and it’s a bigger hit than the Chargers without Slater on the outside. The Chiefs must find a way to get into Herbert’s face through different players, led by Derrick Nnadi.
Mahomes vs. Herbert
The two young guns from AFC West have only met three times. No game has been more important. They should be fighting for big things in the division for many seasons to come. The QB who makes enough big plays but avoids the big mistake – which has sometimes been a problem for one or the other – will come out victorious. Sit back and enjoy the fun between two dynamic playmakers in a final possession game.
Statistics that matter
140.7 and 4.7. That’s the average rushing yards per game the Chargers give up, plus the average rushing yards surrendered. Only the Texans are worst per game and only the Steelers are worst per race. The Chiefs have done well with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams and Derrick Gore. This trio crushed the Raiders and produced four TDs on the Week 14 course.
Chiefs vs Chargers prediction
The Chiefs will win this game with the defense and the running game taking a lot of pressure off Mahomes in an attempt to win a shootout against Herbert. The Chiefs will be more patient in maintaining long runs, settling Mahomes and keeping the ball clear of Herbert. They can keep the win with a big bag or take out late.
Chefs 30, Chargers 27