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Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Point Spread - Pick

Los Angeles Chargers (7-6 SU, 7-5-1 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (7-6 SU, 7-6 ATS)
Week 15 NFL
Date/Time: Saturday Night Football, December 16, 2017 at 8:25PM EST
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
TV: NFL Network

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: LAC pk/KC pk
Over/Under Total: 45.5

The Los Angeles Chargers come to Arrowhead on Saturday Night Football to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in a high-stakes AFC West divisional matchup. The Chiefs were able to win on Sunday, beating the Raiders, 26-15, to score their first win after a 4-game losing streak and 6 losses in their last 7 games. They now take on a Chargers team that is on a nice roll with four straight wins and 7 in their last 9. On Sunday, they battered the Redskins at home, 30-13. It's really quite unbelievable that the Chargers are tied with the Chiefs atop the division. Both of these teams have gone through so much that one wonders how much their week three matchup at the StubHub Center even matters. For the record, the Chiefs won, 24-10, en route to a 5-0 start, as the Chargers started 0-4. A lot has changed since then, but the Chargers would like to even the season-series with the Chiefs, as winning the division seems their likeliest way to make the postseason.

The Chiefs had fouled things up so badly that they entered last week in a three-way divisional tie with the Raiders and Chargers. So Sunday's win was important standings-wise, but especially from a momentum perspective, as the Chiefs really needed a positive development. It's hard to pinpoint what exactly happened to take the Chiefs from a conference frontrunner to a team that was lost at sea. Let's just call it the typical NFL combo plate of problems—injuries, inconsistent play, mounting frustration, and anything else that can hurt a team. They were losing to teams like the Raiders, Giants, Bills, and Jets and it was hard to find the silver lining. At the end of the day, the Chiefs are in a spot a lot of teams would love to be in right now and Sunday offered some promise, with both sides of the ball more-closely resembling the team we saw earlier in the season.

On Sunday, they got some really nice developments from the Chiefs' offense. Alex Smith threw a pick and after throwing none in his first eight games, he has since thrown five. That's not bad for 23 touchdowns and over 3500 yards passing. On Sunday, Kareem Hunt was finally able to snap out of a prolonged funk with a nice performance with 116 yards and a touchdown. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce were both making plays on Sunday. And having West, Kelce, and Hunt all contributing are all big keys for this offense. With 64 combined points in their last 2 games, they appear to be whipping things into shape a little. If Hunt can deliver down the stretch, they could resuscitate what looked like a dynamic offense at one point this season.

The Chiefs' defense was a major culprit to the team's fall from grace. Last season, they weren't a great defense, but a high level of clutch play and big playmaking ability kept them with their noses above water. This season, especially over the last two months, they have been anything but clutch. Even on Sunday, with the Chiefs carrying a 26-0 lead, they started to falter in the fourth quarter with the Raiders adding two quick TD scores. Still, they made some good things happen on Sunday. Steven Terrell and Terrance Mitchell both had interceptions. They got sacks from Chris Jones, Jarvis Jenkins, and Justin Houston. They held the Chargers to ten points the first time around and that was in LA. But they will likely have a bigger challenge on their hands than that this Saturday.

It has really been a great turnaround for the Chargers. They could even be better than 7-6 if not for several cruel twists late in games. The offense getting its act together more over the course of recent weeks has been a big part of the upsurge. And with the Chargers having grabbed a hold of the momentum, it will be hard to separate them from it considering how hard they had to work to overcome a horrific start to the season. In their last four games, they have won by a combined score of 131-53, getting some nice separation from their opponents.

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Philip Rivers and the whole Chargers' offense have been a lot better in recent weeks. Rivers had another 300-yard game on Sunday, tossing two touchdowns. He has really been big lately, following some uneven performances earlier in the season. Receivers Tyrell Williams and Keenan Allen were over 100 yards on Sunday, while TE Hunter Henry caught a TD pass. Allen, in particular, has been massive in the past month, playing as well as any receiver in the conference. Melvin Gordon had 78 yards rushing a touchdown. Austin Ekeler added some nice runs on Sunday. This offense has started to wield the full-scope of its power on opposing defenses. And the line has managed to whip itself into far-better shape, which has been a big key for this offense.

The Chargers' defense has really helped lift them dramatically to the status of division-contender. On Sunday, they gave up an early second-quarter TD to the Redskins, keeping them off the board until late when the game was already decided. Only two teams have given up fewer points than the Chargers this season. On Sunday, Kyle Emmanuel had a pick, with rising rookie DB Desmond King all over the field and getting a sack. No team has topped 26 points against this group this season, a pretty low high-point allowance for a season. This defense is stout and can make a lot of big plays happen. The secondary has been tip-top this season, along with ample playmaking among the front-seven. It's the best Chargers' defense in years.

It would have been hard for anyone to project how high-stakes this matchup would be. The Chiefs scored a key win on Sunday and the way they did it suggests they might be ready to snap into their prior form, or at least close to it. But the Chargers are where the Chiefs are trying to be. This is a tough road-spot against a team that already beaten them, a good time for the Chargers to maybe come down to earth a bit. But while that's possible, I see the Chargers as being the more-bankable football product heading into this game. I'm taking the Bolts

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Los Angeles Chargers in a pick-'em. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Chargers vs. Chiefs Saturday game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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