Not much is at stake this Thursday night in La Land besides first place in the AFC West with the Chargers hosting the red-hot Chiefs.
Oddsmakers have the Chiefs as a 4-point road favorite with the total sitting at 51. The public has backed Kansas City, so far, in this primetime division clash, as they opened as a 3.5-point favorite and as of Tuesday are a 4-point favorite.
After Week 14 the Chiefs are 9-4 and 6-7 ATS and the Chargers are 8-5 and 7-6 ATS.
The Chiefs are in first place in the AFC West only one game up on the Chargers and if L.A. wins, they will have the tiebreaker since they already beat the Chiefs in KC earlier this season.
In their last game the Chiefs won their sixth in a row with a 48-9 beat down over the Las Vegas Raiders. The defense forced five turnovers and rushed for 132 yards while only allowing 44 rushing yards.
The Chargers were at home in their last game and beat the New York Giants 37-21. L.A. was solid on both sides of the ball outgaining the Giants 423 yards to 316 yards and they forced two turnovers while not committing any.
The Chargers are 3-0-1 ATS in their last five games facing the Chiefs.
Defense Has Killed It
While the Chiefs are known for their dynamic offense and Patrick Mahomes the defense has been the main reason for their win streak. Ok, they did put up 48 points in their last game but the D forced five turnovers. In Kansas City’s six-game win streak they are only giving up an average of 10.8 ppg and in their last three games gave up only nine points in each one.
Mahomes still has passed for the fifth most yards in the NFL and after eight INT in the first six games he only has four in the last seven games. He threw two picks in the loss to the Chargers earlier this season.
Tyreek Hill went over 1,000 receiving yards on the season with 76 in the last game and while star TE Travis Kelse has 875 yards and five TD he only has 27 receiving yards in each of the last two games.
While the two rushing leaders in Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams only combined for 45 yards in the blowout win over the Raiders Frank Gore rushed for 66 yards including a 51-yard TD.
The L.A. defense ranks fourth in the NFL against the pass they only rank second to last against the run and gave up 135 rushing yards in their last game.
Justin Herbert has really avoided the sophomore slump and he ranks second in the NFL in QBR and has the fourth most passing yards. In the last two games he has passed for at least 275 yards in each and has six TD and only one INT.
The WR duo of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams each has at least 915 receiving yards and Allen missed the last game but is expected to clear COVID-19 protocol and play on Thursday. Williams is listed as questionable but should play and in the last two games has 171 receiving yards.
RB Austin Ekeler (730 yards 9 TD) has rushed for at least 59 yards in each of the last two games and ranks third on the team with 555 receiving yards.
Herbert has been sacked nine times in the last two games and getting to him will be key for the Chiefs’ D.
While Kansas City still only ranks 26th in the league in pass defense and 14th in run defense that unit has been stellar in the last few games.
The Chiefs are 4-0 ATS in their last four games and look for that trend to continue.
Man, would I love to see the Chargers win this game but that is not in the cards. The Kansas City defense has been great in their six-game win streak and Mahomes, while not spectacular, has played well and avoided the turnover. With Herbert under center the Bolts will put up a fight at home but the Chiefs will get the win and while I see a pretty close game, they will also cover giving four points.