Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs will look to take care of business at home when they host Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers in a huge week 15 AFC West matchup that could go a long way in determining the winner of the AFC West – and possibly – the top seed in the quickly approaching AFC playoffs.
If you’re looking for some expert NFL betting predictions, then let’s get to my expert Week 15 pick on this highly-intriguing showdown right now.
Thursday Night Football: Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
What: Thursday Night Football: Los Angeles Chargers (10-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (11-2)
When: Thursday, December 13, 2018, 8:20 PM ET
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Clear: 2°C | 35°F
Wind: 10 MPH SW
Stadium Type: Open Air
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers have won three straight and nine of their last 10 games. The Bolts come into this Week 15 divisional showdown off a hard-fought 26-21 win over Cincinnati on Sunday although they never came close to covering the spread as a huge, 17-point home favorite. Philip Rivers passed for 220 yards with one touchdown while running back Austin Ekeler rushed for 66 yards and another score on 15 carries. One week after beating Pittsburgh in an emotional thriller, the Bolts avoided the emotional letdown to get past the Bengals on Sunday.
“Everyone wanted to talk about Pittsburgh and if it wasn’t Pittsburgh then it was Kansas City. This team was dangerous and we got out of there with a win,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said.
The Chargers scored touchdowns on their first two drives of the game and got a quartet of field goals from kicker Michael Badgley — including a team-record 59-yarder – to get the win.
“We did enough to win. Shoot, they all count the same. We found a way to win, in a different way,” said Philip Rivers, who was 19 of 29 for 220 yards and a touchdown.
The Chargers average an impressive 28.2 points per game (5th) while limiting the opposition to just 20.8 points per game defensively (6th).
• Chargers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games.
• Chargers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games.
• Chargers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss.
• Chargers are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have won two straight and six of their last seven games overall. Kansas City comes into their Week 15 divisional matchup off a narrow 27-24 overtime win over Baltimore on Sunday. Patrick Mahomes passed for 377 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while running back Damien Williams added a rushing and receiving a score in the win.
Kansas City was lifted to victory on Harrison Butker’s 36-yard field goal in overtime. Butker made amends for his potential game-winning attempt from 43 yards out as time expired. Mahomes completed an absolutely phenomenal 40-yard pass to Tyreek Hill on fourth-and-9 before completing another pass on fourth-and-3 to Williams to tie the score.
“You always want to be in a position to go win a game,” said Mahomes, who threw for 377 yards and two scores as the Chiefs clinched a playoff berth. “These are the best wins when you have to battle when you trade plays. These are the ones that you remember the most.”
The Chiefs lead the NFL in scoring at 36.2 points per game while allowing a generous 27.0 point per contest defensively (28th).
• Chiefs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 15.
• Chiefs are 4-1-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
• Chiefs are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 vs. AFC.
• Chiefs are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
• Chiefs are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
Expert Pick and Prediction
While this year’s version of the Los Angeles Chargers looks like they are going to avoid what has been an almost annual late-season swoon, but I still don’t see the Bolts getting past the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City has won nine straight in this series dating back to 2013 and I like them to get past the Chargers again – although I’m expecting this Week 15 matchup to be a fight to the finish.
The Chargers are an uninspiring 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games in December and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 meetings against Kansas City overall while the Chiefs have gone 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games against a team with a winning road record and an encouraging 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games against their AFC West division rivals. The road team in this rivalry has gone 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings, but I’m going with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to get the big win and super narrow ATS cover.
Predicted Score: Kansas City Chiefs 31 | Los Angeles Chargers 27