Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers Matchup Preview (12/18/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers Matchup Preview (12/18/21)

The 9-4 first place Kansas City Chiefs on a six-game winning streak play their AFC West rival the 8-5 Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium in week 15.  The Chiefs are coming off a 48-9 blow-out victory over the Raiders in week 14.  Kansas City has allowed fewer than 10 points in three straight games for the first time since the end of the 1997 season.  The Chargers beat the Giants in week 14, 37-21, winning three of their last four games.  Los Angeles has allowed 20 or more points in nine straight games: longest active streak in the NFL.  The Chiefs have scored 40 or more points in two of their last four games.  The Chargers have scored at least 37 points in three of their last four contests.  

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers Betting Odds

Kansas City is 4-point road favorite against Los Angeles.  The Chargers are 7-6 against the spread this season; 4-3 at home.  The Chiefs have won six straight games after starting the season 3-4.  The Chargers are 5-1 against the spread in their last six Thursday games.  Kansas City is 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game.  Los Angeles is 5-0 against the spread in their last five games in December. season.  In their last meeting, Los Angeles beat Kansas City 30-24 in week 3.  In the matchups between the clubs, the road team is 15-5-1 against the spread in their last 21 meetings.  

My Prediction:  Chiefs 31-24; Chiefs cover and over 51 points. 

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TV Schedule

Date: 12/17/21
Time: 8:20 PM ET
Location: SoFi Stadium – Inglewood, CA
TV Coverage: FOX

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers Live Stream

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Thursday Night Football Betting Picks Video

Kansas City Chiefs Analysis

The Chiefs offense is averaging 389.6 yards per game which is fourth in the NFL.  They’re scoring 27 points per game, ranking them eighth in the league.  

In the week 14 48-9 victory over Las Vegas, Patrick Mahomes threw for 258 yards, two touchdowns, completed 83.3% of his passes with a 139.2 quarterback rating.  He’s thrown for at least two touchdowns in two of his last seven games; Mahomes threw at least two touchdowns in 19 of his previous 21 games per NFL.com.  On the season, he has thrown for 3,642 yards, 27 touchdowns while completing 65.5% of his passes.  The Super Bowl LIV MVP has thrown for the third most passing yards in Chiefs’ history with 17,794.  During Kansas City’s six game winning streak, Mahomes has thrown for 1,549 yards and nine touchdowns.  The 2018 NFL MVP is +1200 to win the 2021 NFL MVP

Tyreek Hill leads Kansas City in receiving with 90 catches for 1,030 yards and eight touchdowns.  This year he’s set a career-high in receptions in a single season surpassing the 87 catches he had in 2018 and 2020.  Against Las Vegas in week 14, he had four receptions for 76 yards: averaging 19 yards per reception.  Capable of scoring anytime he touches the ball, the sixth-year pro is one of the most explosive receivers in the NFL, averaging 11.4 yards per reception in 2021.  He has four 1000-yard receiving seasons in his career; 6,421 receiving yards in 87 games.  While this hasn’t been tight end Travis Kelce’s best season, he’s still a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.  One of the top three tight ends in the NFL, Kelce is second in receiving on the Chiefs with 73 catches for 875 yards and five touchdowns: averaging 12 yards a reception.  In 124 games in his career the former Cincinnati Bearcat has 53 touchdowns.

The Chiefs are allowing 361.7 yards of total offense to their opponents, ranking them 24th in the NFL.  They’re allowing 20.6 points per game which is sixth in the NFL.  Kansas City has allowed 17 points or fewer in six straight games, their longest streak since 2013.  Per NFL.com, the Chiefs have at least two takeaways in five straight games; longest single-season streak since 2016.

Per PFF, Chris Jones was one of the highest graded defensive players this week at 91.5.  On the season, Jones has seven sacks, six tackles for loss and 14 quarterback hits.  The Mississippi State product is really a difference maker for the Chiefs as he takes control of the line scrimmage allowing his teammates to make big plays.  Against the Chargers, he needs to lead the charge in pressuring Justin Herbert.

Kansas City Chiefs Depth Chart

QB: Patrick Mahomes
RB1: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
RB2: Darrel Williams
WR1: Tyreek Hill
WR2: Mecole Hardman
WR3: Demarcus Robinson
TE1: Travis Kelce
TE2: Blake Bell

Los Angeles Chargers Analysis

Last weekend in the victory over the Giants, Justin Herbert was 23-31 for 275 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions with a 133.1 quarterback rating.  He has thrown for at least three touchdowns in a game 12 times in his career.  The former Oregon Duck surpassed Jameis Winston for the second-most passing yards in a player’s first two seasons in NFL history with 8,158.  In 2021 the second-year quarterback has thrown for 3,822 yards, 30 touchdowns and completing 67.1% of his passes. Per NFL.com, the Chargers quarterback has attempted at least 30 passes in each of his last 13 games; tied for most such games in the NFL.  Averaging 319.3 passing yards per contest over his last four games, Justin Herbert is +1500 to win the 2021 NFL MVP.

Austin Ekeler had 67 yards on 12 carries vs. New York in week 14; averaging 5.6 yards per rushing attempt.  He is leading the team in rushing with 730 yards on 161 carries: averaging 56.2 yards per game.  The fifth-year pro has a career-high nine rushing touchdowns this season.  Overall, he has 16 touchdowns in 2021, the most by Chargers player since 2007; LaDainian Tomlinson had 18 that season.  He’s scored at least one touchdown in five straight games.  Ekeler an excellent receiver out of the backfield catching 58 passes for 535 yards; 1,265 yards from scrimmage in 2021. 

Kennan Allen did not play against the Giants due to COVID but is expected to play against the Chiefs barring any setbacks per Chargers head coach Brandon Staley.  This season he leads the team in receiving with 86 receptions for 929 yards and four touchdowns: averaging 77.4 yards receiving per game.  Mike Williams had six catches for 61 yards in week 14.  In 2021 he has 61 receptions for 915 yards, averaging 15 yards per reception.  He is tied with Austin Ekeler for the team lead in receiving touchdowns with seven.  Jalen Guyton has played well the last two weeks.  Against the Bengals and Giants, he had 7 catches for 177 yards and two touchdowns; including a 59-yard touchdown reception on an absolute bomb from Justin Herbert vs. New York; one of the best passing plays of the season.  

The Chargers’ run defense has had trouble this season allowing 140.7 yards per game, ranking them 31st in the league.  Los Angeles’s pass defense is fourth in the league allowing 207.3 passing yards per game.  In the victory over New York, Los Angeles allowed 316 yards of total yards of offense and had two sacks on the day.  

Against the Giants in week 14, Joey Bosa he had a sack and four quarterback hits.  Per PFF, Bosa was one of the highest graded defensive players this week at 92.9.  Joey Bosa has at least one sack and one or more forced fumbles in a game 10 times in his career.  The former Ohio State Buckeye has 8.5 sacks, 28 solo tackles, four tackles for loss, 19 quarterback hits and five forced fumbles on the season.  It’ll be on Bosa and the rest of the defensive line to get pressure on Patrick Mahomes to slow down the Chiefs explosive offense. 

Los Angeles Chargers Depth Chart

QB: Justin Herbert
RB1: Austin Ekeler
RB2: Justin Jackson
WR1: Keenan Allen
WR2: Mike Williams
WR3: Jalen Guyton
TE1: Jared Cook

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers Daily Fantasy Picks

Clyde Edwards-Helaire is leading Kanas City in rushing with 458 yards despite playing in eight games this season.   He’s averaging 57.3 yards per game in 2021, for his career he’s averaging 60 yards per game.  The first-round pick in 2020 has three rushing touchdowns in his last three games played.

Los Angeles is 1-5 this season in games that Justin Herbert has a passer rating under 100; 7-0 with a passer rating over 100.  On the season, the Chargers field general has a 100.3 passer rating.  Per NFL.com, Herbert has scored at least 15 fantasy points 21 times in his career.  The Chargers quarterback joins Dan Marino as the only players in NFL history with at least 60 touchdown passes in their first two seasons.  

Scott has been a sports fan since he received a New York Mets jacket as a toddler. He’s been playing fantasy baseball and football for over 20 years, dating back to Frank Thomas being one of his first fantasy baseball picks. As a professional, he has covered the NFL, MLB, NCAAF, and NCAAB and is looked to as the go-to guy for fantasy sports amongst family, friends, and co-workers.

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