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Week 15 of the NFL schedule kicks off with a crucial divisional showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football. The game is a de facto AFC West championship game. With a win on Thursday, the Chiefs (9-4) can build a commanding two-game lead over the Chargers with three games to play. Los Angeles (8-5), which knocked off Kansas City earlier this season, can overtake the Chiefs as the division leader with its second win over Kansas City this year.

Kickoff is 8:20 p.m. ET. Kansas City is a three-point favorite in the latest Chargers vs. Chiefs odds from Caesars Sportsbook while the Over-Under for total points scored is 54. Before locking in any Chargers vs. Chiefs picks or NFL predictions, make sure you see what SportsLine's resident Chargers expert, Mike Tierney, has to say.

A national sportswriter whose work appears in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Tierney has covered the NFL for decades and reported from seven Super Bowls. He's used his experience to crush the NFL, going 187-147 against the spread the past three full seasons. In addition, Tierney is an outstanding 27-14-1 in his last 42 picks involving the Chargers. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, Tierney has looked at Chiefs vs. Chargers from every angle and released a confident against-the-spread pick. You can visit SportsLine now to see his Thursday Night Football pick. Here are several NFL odds and trends for Chargers vs. Chiefs:

  • Chargers vs. Chiefs spread: Kansas City -3
  • Chargers vs. Chiefs Over/Under: 54
  • Chargers vs. Chiefs moneyline: Kansas City -160, Los Angeles +140 
  • KC: Chiefs rank sixth in scoring defense (20.6 points per game) 
  • LAC: QB Justin Herbert ranks third in passing yards (3,822)
Featured Game | Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Why the Chiefs can cover

Kansas City is playing championship-caliber defense. Over the past six games, the Chiefs are allowing just 10.8 points and 311.7 yards per game. By comparison, they allowed 29.0 points and 404.6 yards per game over the first seven games of the season. The defense also has 16 takeaways over the past six games, which leads the league over that time.

In addition, Kansas City's offense has an edge on third downs. The Chiefs have the best third down offense in the NFL, converting at 52.2 percent. That bodes well against a Chargers defense that has the league's worst third down defense (49.1 percent).

Why the Chargers can cover

Los Angeles faces a Kansas City offense that has struggled to match its quick-strike ability of recent years. The Chiefs are averaging 27.0 points per game, which is tied for eighth in the NFL. However, in the past three seasons with Patrick Mahomes under center, Kansas City finished with a top-six offense.

In addition, Los Angeles has had success against the Chiefs recently. The Chargers have won the last two meetings against Kansas City, including a 30-24 victory at Arrowhead in Week 3. Los Angeles also beat the Chargers 38-21 in Week 17 of last season, also at Arrowhead.

How to make Chiefs vs. Chargers picks

Tierney is leaning Over on the total, and he's also discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. He's sharing it only at SportsLine. He's sharing what it is and which side of the Chargers vs. Chiefs spread to back only at SportsLine.

Who wins Chiefs vs. Chargers on Thursday Night Football? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the Chiefs vs. Chargers spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Chiefs vs. Chargers spread you should jump on, all from the NFL expert who's 27-14 on picks involving the Chargers, and find out.