NFL Week 15 Best Bets: Will Chargers Cover Vs. Chiefs Once Again?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on December 16, 2021
NFL Best Bets

After a profitable week with teasers, the 49ers and not much else, we’re back to the drawing board for the NFL Week 15 slate. Here’s a breakdown of my NFL best bets for Chiefs at Chargers on Thursday Night Football.

Click on the odds below to place a bet now. You can continue the discussion in our betting community, as we break down all of the games throughout the week.

NFL Week 15 Best Bets: Chiefs At Chargers

During the Chargers’ upset win (+7) over Chiefs earlier in the season, Steve Spagnuolo’s unit represented one of the league’s defensive doormats. It surrendered 7.05 yards per pass attempt (YPA) while losing the turnover battle 4-0.

Kansas City needed until Week 8, but its defense is surrendering the fourth-lowest passing success rate (SR) ever since. Not only has their secondary displayed admirable results, but the front-seven is producing the second-highest pressure rate too. The addition of outside linebacker Melvin Ingram has opened up lanes despite its blitz percentage decreasing 6.2 percentage points from a season ago.

  • SR showcases whether a play is successful if a team gains:
    • 50 percent of the yards needed to move the chains on first down
    • 70 percent of yards to gain on second down
    • 100 percent of yards to gain on third or fourth down

Keep in mind, Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones and Chargers left tackle Rashawn Slater were both placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Consider their absences close to a wash if neither suit up.

Contrary to popular belief, Justin Herbert has struggled versus similar defenses, tallying the sixth-lowest pressured completion percentage (34.8%) among starting quarterbacks. Whether it came via the Ravens, Patriots or Broncos, Herbert has hand-delivered costly mistakes when under heat.

Los Angeles has an opportunity to set him up via tailback Austin Ekeler and its ground game, though, as Kansas City is allowing the 13th-highest rushing SR over the aforementioned span. Meanwhile, Herbert boasts the NFL’s 10th-highest play-action completion rate (68.2%), and those explosive plays should be there for the taking.

On the other side of the ball, don’t anticipate the Chargers’ defense propelling Herbert with the absurd number of turnovers they forced the last time around. Nevertheless, Mahomes hasn’t exactly compiled an impressive resume amid the Chiefs’ turnaround, accruing the 12th-lowest completion percentage over expected (CPOE).

Andy Reid could easily employ a similar game plan against a porous run defense, but whichever team falls behind early won’t have that benefit.

Considering this spread won’t dip below the key number of a field goal, wait to see if the market shifts back towards Kansas City. This game sets up for a fairly even matchup, but the hook would push me towards the home underdog.

NFL Best Bets: Chargers +3.5 or better
Best Available Odds: Chargers
2021 NFL  Record: 42-26 (+12.22 units)

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Eli Hershkovich Avatar
Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

View all posts by Eli Hershkovich