When the Chiefs (9-4) travel to the Chargers (8-5) to open NFL Week 15 on “Thursday Night Football” (8:20 pm ET, Fox, NFL Network, Amazon Prime Video), late check of the first place in the AFC West will be on the line.
If the Chiefs win, they would hold a two-game lead with a third straight division victory and be close to closing out another title. If the Chargers win, the teams would have identical records, but Los Angeles would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker by virtue of a season sweep.
The Broncos and Raiders failed with their big shots on the Chiefs, but those games were in Kansas City. The Chargers have the biggest game yet for rookie coach Brandon Staley and second-year quarterback Justin Herbert.
Will that combination again top Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes?
Here’s everything you need to know about Chiefs vs. Chargers betting in Week 15, including updated odds, trends, and our prediction for “Thursday Night Football.”
Chiefs vs Chargers odds for Thursday Night Football
- Spread: Bosses by 3
- Below: 52
- Moneyine: Bosses -158, Chargers +134
The line has revolved around a field goal going into the game, as the COVID-19 problems do not affect quarterbacks with the same initial concerns on both sides. The Chargers don’t really have an advantage at home, so the Chiefs would have been favored by almost a TD at home.
(betting odds per FanDuel sports betting)
Chiefs vs Chargers all-time series
The Chiefs lead their longtime rivals 64-58-1. However, the Chargers have won two straight games, including 30-24 at Kansas City earlier this season. They also won in Week 17 of 2020 when the Chiefs were resting players at Arrowhead. The Chargers haven’t been able to beat the Chiefs in Los Angeles since they moved there, losing 23-20 in overtime last season.
Three trends to know
—78 percent of spread bettors are on the Chargers side to cool down the Chiefs with the electric Herbert at home and at least keep it closer than a field goal, if not win it outright.
—60 percent of over / under bettors are unfazed by the high point total set involving the two potent offenses and are taking over.
—The Chiefs are 6-4 against the spread and 8-2 outright in their last 10 games. The total has exceeded four times. The Chargers are just 5-5 ATS despite going 6-4 SU in their last 10 games. Six of those games are over.
Three things to see
It looks like the Chargers will have running back Austin Ekeler (ankle), wide receiver Mike Williams (heel), tight end Jared Cook (quad) and safety Derwin James Jr. (hamstring) playing through their ailments. Although wide receiver Keenan Allen was activated off the COVID-19 roster, standout rookie left tackle Rashawn Slater landed on him and it can be a huge loss against a fast-paced passing run by the Chiefs.
Jones is the Chiefs’ best and most disturbing player with his dominance in the inside passing race. He has seven sacks and is returning to his natural position. The problem is, he landed on the COVID-19 list and is a bigger hit than the Chargers without Slater on the outside. The Chiefs need to find a way to get in Herbert’s face through different players, led by Derrick Nnadi.
The two young AFC West gunmen have met only three times. No confrontation has been bigger. They should be fighting for great things in the division for many seasons to come. The quarterback who makes enough big plays but avoids the big mistake, which has been a problem for both at times, will be victorious. Sit back and enjoy the fun between two dynamic playmakers in a game of final possession.
Statistics that matter
That’s the average number of rushing yards per game the Chargers give up plus the average number of yards passing per carry. Only the Texans are worse per game and only the Steelers are worse per carry. The Chiefs have been riding well with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams and Derrick Gore. That trio ran over the Raiders and produced four TDs on the road in Week 14.
Chiefs vs Chargers Prediction
The Chiefs will win this game with the defense and the running game taking a lot of pressure off Mahomes to try and win a shootout against Herbert. The Chiefs will be more patient in holding long drives, grounding Mahomes and keeping the ball away from Herbert. They can retain victory with a big catch or be late.