Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Betting odds, lines and predictions

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes passes against the Chargers on Sept. 26.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes passes against the Chargers on Sept. 26. The Chiefs and Chargers meet again Thursday night.
(David Eulitt / Getty Images)

The Chiefs (9-4) lead the Chargers (8-5) by one game in the AFC West, but if the Chargers win, they would have the tiebreaker based on a regular-season sweep with three weeks to go.

Las Vegas oddsmakers opened the Chiefs as three-point road favorites. The line was bet up to Chiefs -4 before coming back to -3 as of Wednesday night. Both teams have been dealing with COVID issues, so we’ll find out Thursday exactly who’s going to be in and out.

VSiN’s Adam Burke and Dave Tuley have differing opinions on the best way to bet this key matchup.


Kansas City Chiefs (-3, O/U 52) at Chargers, 5:20 p.m. PST; Fox, NFL Network

Burke: Perception plays such a huge role with NFL lines, and this game is a good example. The Chargers won the first meeting 30-24. The Chargers were plus-four in turnover margin, as both teams had 5.8 yards per play. The Chiefs racked up 6.2 yards per carry, against a Chargers run defense that has struggled all season.

Even though the Chargers won the first game, have more yards per play on offense and have allowed fewer yards per play on defense, the Chiefs are a clear road favorite. Kansas City has won six in a row, but the only quality opponents during that run are the Packers, who didn’t have Aaron Rodgers after his positive COVID test, and the Cowboys.

The Chiefs are tied for third in turnovers with 23, but they are also third in percentage of possessions ending with points; the Chargers are eighth. Even with all of the giveaways, the Chiefs are 14th in percentage of opponents’ drives ending in points, while the Chargers, who have only 15 turnovers in 13 games, rank 24th in preventing points.

Chargers look to keep their Justin Herbert-led passing game running at full speed against the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.

Dec. 16, 2021

The spot is a tough one for Kansas City with short-week travel to L.A., but this line really says a lot about how both teams are viewed in the marketplace right now. Maybe some sharp money grabs the Chargers at the key number as we get closer to kickoff, but we haven’t seen it yet.

Lastly, here’s why you should consider Kansas City at -3. The Chiefs are the best third-down offense in the NFL, and the Chargers are the worst third-down defense. Kansas City was six of 10 on third down in the first meeting, so not only did the Chiefs have good early-down success, but they also capitalized on their third-down opportunities, running 15 more plays and controlling the clock.

The Chiefs only have four turnovers in the last five games and have been dominant in two games since the bye.


Pick: Kansas City -3

Tuley: This is a great game to kick off Week 15. The Chiefs have won six consecutive games and the bandwagon is filling up, but I’m willing to fade them with the Chargers, who have also looked great in consecutive wins over the Bengals and Giants. Let’s not forget that the Chargers beat the Chiefs 30-24 in their first meeting (granted, the Chiefs were in disarray at the time).

The Chiefs are the more public team, and we’ve seen bettors jump on them as the short road favorite, especially after favorites went 11-3 ATS in the NFL this past weekend. The Chiefs opened as 3-point favorites and were bet up to -4 as of Tuesday morning, though it’s since been bet back down to 3 as of Wednesday night. But we still say it’s a play at +3 as we’re not so sure the Chargers shouldn’t be favored at home anyway, plus we’re calling for the outright upset — but it’s nice to have the points just in case.

Pick: Chargers +3

VSiN’s morning show “Follow The Money” with Mitch Moss and Pauly Howard is now on Spectrum SportsNet Monday-Friday from 6-9 a.m. PST. Tune in or listen anytime at