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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Chargers can see off Kansas City in key AFC West clash

Chiefs QB Alex Smith has questions to answer

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers
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Sky Sports Action, 1.30am Saturday night

While Chicago's visit to Detroit is set to have limited impact on the NFL playoff picture, the situation at Kansas City for Saturday's later game could not be more different.

The Chiefs had a storming start to the campaign but after opening with five successive victories, they lost six of their next seven before grabbing a massive confidence-boosting win over Oakland last week.

Meanwhile, the Chargers have enjoyed almost the reverse fortunes, having lost their first four games and then stormed to a 7-6 record to join Kansas City at the top of the AFC West.

It all boils down to a crunch Week 15 clash and both teams have enjoyed favouritism at different points during the build-up.

But although they seem difficult to split, the value could just lie with the Chargers, who suffered a 24-10 defeat to Kansas City in Week Three.

The visitors are a strong all-round outfit and it seems they have fewer questions to answer than their hosts, whose quarterback Alex Smith has struggled during their recent slump.

Running back Kareem Hunt needs to rediscover the blistering form he demonstrated at the start of the season, while the Chargers have solid performers in quarterback Philip Rivers, rusher Melvin Gordon and receiver Keenan Allen, who has made a great recovery from a serious knee injury.

The Chargers defence have conceded an average of just 14.6 points per game in their last nine outings and they look well positioned to take a huge leap towards the post-season.

Los Angeles Chargers
2pts 15-16 188Bet

The lowdown
Venue Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Surface Grass
Weather Clear, 9C
Vegas handicap LA Chargers -1
Points line 46.5

Team news
Los Angeles Chargers
Cornerback Casey Hayward is questionable with a calf injury.

Kansas City Chiefs
Linebackers Tamba Hali (knee) and Kevin Pierre-Louis (thigh) are questionable while centre Mitch Morse will be missing with a foot injury.

Key stat
Seven of the Chargers' last eight games have gone under the total-points line.

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The visitors are a strong all-round outfit and it seems they have fewer questions to answer than their hosts
E.W. Terms
Sky bet