Week 15 Thursday Night Football Player Props: Chiefs at Chargers – Sports Illustrated

The Chargers (8-5) host the division-leading Chiefs (9-4) at SOFI Stadium on Thursday night. A Chiefs' win will give them a two-game division lead with three games to go, and a Chargers' win give them the division lead and the season tiebreaker.
Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
After a bumpy ride to start the season, the Chiefs are back to their winning ways. They come to Los Angeles on a six-game winning streak to face a Chargers team that will look to win its third straight game. This will be a close one.
These teams met in Week 3 at Arrowhead, and the Chargers won, 30-24. Both quarterbacks had good games, with Patrick Mahomes throwing for 260 yards and three touchdowns and Just Herbert throwing for 280 yards and four scores.
Kansas City's defense has tightened up since that loss, and I suspect the rematch will be even tighter. Consider this: Both teams average exactly 27 points per game.
Across the past three games, the Chiefs averaged 29.7 points per game and the Chargers averaged 30.3 points per game. So, that’s a wash.
The Chargers average 30.6 points per game at home, while the Chiefs are averaging 30.4 points per game on the road.
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Now, here is where we can see some separation: The Chiefs allow only 20.6 points per game and just NINE points per game across the past three. The Chargers have allowed 25.8 points per game on the season, and 23.7 across the past three.
The defensive edge lies with Kansas City.
However, the Chargers are at home and they will be at full strength with Keenan Allen returning from the COVID list. Brandon Staley and crew will be motivated to win this one, and I don’t see Kansas City holding the Chargers to nine points.
The Chiefs will be able to run the ball since the Chargers' run defense is one of the poorest in the league, and the Chargers should be able to get plenty out of Austin Ekeler as the Chiefs have been particularly vulnerable versus pass-catching backs. Should Ekeler not be able to go due to an ankle issue, the Chiefs will have quite an advantage. If he does go, I am backing his anytime TD prop at -120.
Both teams can limit the other’s number one pass catcher. The Chiefs held Allen to only 50 yards and the Chargers limited Tyreek Hill to 56 in the first meeting. Expect more out of the other receivers, and a few trick plays to get points on the board.
This is the kind of game where Donald Parham (+530) and Byron Pringle (+300) can find the end zone.
I think the Chiefs will likely win, but I can’t say no to taking the points with the Chargers. The Chargers have already beat the Chiefs, and there is even more at stake in this game. And, let’s not forget, they will have the home-field advantage.
The Chargers are 7-6 Against The Spread (ATS), while the Chiefs are 6-7.
I would love to say we will see a lot of points in this game. But while the teams totaled 54 points in the previous meeting, I believe the defenses will play even tougher in the rematch. I am grumpily taking the under on the game total of 51.5.
Both the Chargers and the Chiefs have gone under the game total in six of 13 games.
The Picks: Chargers +3, Under 51.5
Now, let’s have some fun with player props!
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Travis Kelce over 64.5 receiving yards (-125)
Travis Kelce anytime TD (-105)

Kelce is due following back-to-back duds. He tallied seven grabs on 11 targets for 104 yards in the first matchup. The Chargers have allowed a healthy eight yards per target and 69% catch rate to opposing tight ends this season, and Kelce averages 8.5 targets per game. The Chargers have also allowed ten touchdowns to the tight end position, second only to the Eagles (11). The Chiefs simply have to get him back involved in this game plan, and Kelce has exceeded this receiving prop in eight of thirteen games.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire longest rush over 12.5 yards (-118)
The Chargers 'run defense is …. Not good. They have surrendered 1,554 rushing yards, an average of 119.5 yards per game that is second only to the Texans. They also allow 4.61 yards per carry, third-most in the league. CEH has split carries with Darrel Williams since returning from the IR, but I am guessing he can break off at least one long run Thursday. He has exceeded this prop in four of his eight games.
Keenan Allen anytime TD (+138)
He’s back from the COVID list, and he’s Justin Herbert’s favorite target. Allen sees 25.6% of the team’s red zone targets, and he should find the end zone even his his yards are limited. I like this plus-money.
Darrel Williams anytime TD (+230)
Remember how bad the Chargers are against the run? Well, Kansas City has been finding success lately with Williams both in the run game and passing game. Williams is a fun bet for plus-money.
Justin Herbert anytime TD (+430)
I think the Chargers have to get scrappy, and Herbert will take matters into his own hands. The Chiefs have allowed four rushing touchdowns (tied for second-most) and 311 rushing yards (tied for fifth-most) to opposing quarterbacks. Hebert has shown he can use his legs when he needs them, and with the Chiefs' defense being all over Herbert’s receivers he’ll carry one in himself.
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