The Kansas City Chiefs (11-2) are set to host the Los Angeles Chargers (10-3) on Thursday Night Football. This huge AFC West matchup is set for 8:20 EST at Arrowhead Stadium and will be televised nationally on FOX.
Taking a look at the Week 15 NFL odds, the books have the Chiefs listed as a 3.5-point home favorite with the total set for 53 points.
Vegas NFL Betting Preview & Game Odds: Chiefs vs Chargers
Los Angeles comes into this one off a 26-21 win at home over the Bengals, but came no where close to covering as a massive 16.5-point favorite. It was really an ugly game for the offense, as they only had 288 total yards, but it was a tough spot. The Chargers were coming off that huge come-from-behind win at Pittsburgh in Week 13 and knowing they had the Chiefs on short rest.
Kansas City got all they could handle and then some, but found a way to prevail 27-24 in overtime at home against the Ravens. The Chiefs failed to cover the spread once again, as they were a 7-point favorite. KC is now 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games, as the books have clearly inflated some of their lines after they started out the season 8-1 against the number.
Right now the Chiefs have the No. 1 seed in the AFC and have clinched at least a Wild Card spot. They can all but lock up a first round bye and the AFC West title with a win here. Kansas City won the first meeting at Los Angeles, defeating the Chargers 38-28. It was the Chiefs 9th consecutive win in the series.
Free NFL Pick & Betting Predictions: Chiefs -3.5
My early lean here would have to be to lay the short number with Kansas City at home. Not only have the Chiefs dominated this series with 9 straight wins over the Chargers, but they are a perfect 6-0 at home this season, where they are outscoring teams by 14.0 ppg.
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I just think the Chargers are getting a lot of love because of there being just a 1-game difference in the record for these two teams. Prior to their 3-point win over the Ravens, all 5 of the Chiefs previous home wins had come by at least a touchdown and they really dominated in all of those games.
I just think the percentages here are greatly in favor of Kansas City winning this game. Not only is it going to be an electric atmosphere at Arrowhead for a prime time game, but I can’t stress enough how difficult it is for the road team in these Thursday games. It’s really hard on the defenses and I think that’s where it really plays into the Chiefs favor, as they got arguably the most explosive offensive in the league right now.
As for the Chiefs defense, they are expected to get back the heart and soul of that unit in former All-Pro safety Eric Berry. It’s completely up in the air just how good Berry will be, as he hasn’t seen the field since Week 1 of last season. My thought is he can’t be any worse than what they have out there right now.
Another huge factor here is how banged up the Chargers are at running back. Melvin Gordon is questionable and backup Austin Ekeler is doubtful. With the way Kansas City can get after the quarterback with their pass rush, you got no chance against that defense if you don’t make them respect the run. I know the run defense for KC isn’t great, but that’s definitely one area where Berry figures to have a huge impact right away.
It’s also worth pointing out that Philip Rivers has simply not played well against the Chiefs. He’s 2-9 as a starter against Kansas City (3-8 ATS) and the numbers are down across the board. He actually had one of his better games against the Chiefs in Week 1, as he threw for 424 yards and 3 scores. However, the Chargers offense only had 12 points going into the 4th quarter.
Another thing that I think is worth mentioning, is KC beat the Chargers in Week 1 without a big game from Kareem Hunt, who had just 49 yards rushing and didn’t catch a pass. Mahomes did as he pleased, throwing for 256 and 4 touchdowns. Expect more of the same from the likely league MVP. Give me the Chiefs -3.5!