Kansas City Chiefs vs. LA Chargers Week 15 Pick
Kansas City Chiefs (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (8-5 SU, 7-6 ATS)
Week 15 NFL
Date/Time: Thursday Night Football, December 16, 2021 at 8:20PM EST
Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
TV: Fox/NFL Network
Point Spread: KC -3/LAC +3 (Betanysports - They let you bet on games at-105 odds instead of -110! This will save you an ENORMOUS amount of money!)
Over/Under Total: 50.5
The Kansas City Chiefs come to SoFi Stadium for a week 15 AFC West showdown with the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football. Kansas City won their sixth game in a row on Sunday, a rampaging 49-9 win over the Raiders. They look to continue their divisional roll this week against a Chargers team that moved to 8-5 on Sunday with a 37-21 win over the Giants. With two wins in a row, they are starting to put together their postseason case. Again at home this week, can they move to 9-5 or will we see Chiefs reaffirm their status as top dogs in the AFC West?
A Look Back…
Granted, neither team’s trajectory has been a straight line this season, making one perhaps dubious on how much a week three 30-24 win for the Chargers in Arrowhead really means. But it was another successful day for the Chargers, with Justin Herbert throwing for four touchdowns, with one of those early-season big games we saw from Mike Williams with two TD catches. Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen had touchdowns, making it one of those days for the Bolts’ offense where all the big dogs had success. But alas, it wasn’t just one-way traffic, with Patrick Mahomes throwing for three TDs, along with a big game from Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who went for 100 yards and a TD. That’s something that could again surface against a Chargers’ run-defense that was bad then and has continued to suffer. Either way, without any devastating injuries and with both teams cruising to the finish line in easy wins Sunday, they come into the short week on relatively even terms.
Kansas City: Are They Back?
It’s been somewhat quiet in the way the Chiefs have righted the ship. Until last week, their recent wins have been of a subdued nature, with their defense surprisingly picking up the slack. Even last week’s 49-point output, there was a defensive score, a Josh Gordon TD, with Chiefs’ running backs doing the rest of the scoring. So while we don’t always see the high-flying Kansas City aerial act, they have developed many routes to success, with running backs and the defense now a more-instrumental part of the team. And against the Chargers’ run-defense, this is a part of the KC offense they should be able to flex—just as they did in week three.
One might actually better fancy the Chargers’ chances in this matchup in more of a shootout scenario. While that’s a setting that could still certainly unfold, we see the Chiefs becoming more-resourceful and cagey in their approach. The turnaround of the defense from abysmal to highly-serviceable is something perhaps not being discussed enough. Sunday represented the third week in a row where the Chiefs allowed exactly nine points. In their last six, they’ve given up an average of less than 11 points a game. In other words, the Chargers might be in a different type of game than they were the first time around.
Different Context for Kansas City?
Three straight games at Arrowhead and now on to SoFi could result in a step back for the Chiefs. Not that this is such a great home-stadium for the Chargers, as there might just be as many Kansas City fans in the building. But they were nice and dug in at home and now take to the road, where things haven’t been as smooth this season in spots. This latest streak features two wins over a sideways Raiders squad, along with wins over the Giants, Cowboys, Broncos, and a Rodgers-less Packers team. This week, they are facing a team that already beat them that features infinitely more offensive firepower than what they’ve been seeing.
Against an intact team on the road that is shooting for the same thing they are shooting for, the Chiefs might find the going tougher this week. Not to discredit the way they’ve been able to turn this season around, showing that adaptability is also a part of their expansive repertoire. It’s just that some of the ease in which they’ve been operating could be compromised this week. A defense able to stifle dodgy offensive units could struggle here, as could an offense that has been given some softer opportunities than they might get this week.
Issues for the Chargers?
It didn’t surface against Kansas City and getting Keenan Allen back will help an aerial game that appears to have some depth, but the Chargers have been thriving lately against teams with whom they match up with well. And in the last few seasons, we’ve seen them put up a lot of point against the Chiefs. Still, they’ve been dealing with some injuries and would prefer to hit the field at full-strength against an improved Kansas City defense. The success the Chargers had that first time around might not be as easy to duplicate this week if they’re not at full-power on offense and maybe even then considering the direction this KC defense has taken.
Take the Home Team and the Points
Something tells me this will be close where having points might be a good feeling. We could see a slightly-more defensive battle than what we saw in the first game between these two teams. While the Chiefs have gotten it together on the defensive side of the ball, I almost see the Chargers as having maintained more of their offensive edge throughout the season. Not that the Chiefs can’t hang in there in an offensive shootout anymore, but it’s not as much a well-exercised part of the team as it is for the Chargers heading into week 15. In any event, I see a good enough showing on both sides of the ball on Thursday from the Chargers to get the cover at SoFi. I’ll take the Bolts and the points.
Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Los Angeles Chargers plus 3 points. Question: Did you know that you could be placing your football and basketball bets at -105 odds instead of -110? The best part about it is that it costs you NOTHING! Read more about how to bet on games at discounted odds and start saving big bucks TODAY!