Chargers vs. Lions Betting Odds & Picks: Bettors Backing LA on the Road
Raj Mehta, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Kerryon Johnson
Chargers at Lions Betting Odds
- Odds: Chargers -2.5
- Total: 47.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: CBS
Odds above as of Thursday afternoon and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can exclusively bet every NFL spread this season at reduced juice (-105).
The Chargers and Lions are coming off interesting Week 1 results. The Chargers needed overtime to get by Jacoby Brissett and the Colts, while the Lions had to settle for a tie after blowing an 18-point lead against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals.
Despite receiving an overwhelming majority of the betting support, the line has moved away from the Chargers. Los Angeles opened as a 3-point road favorite but has since moved to -2.5.
Let’s see what our NFL analysts have to say about that, including how Sean Koerner projects this spread, and how our staff is betting the matchup.
Chargers-Lions Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Lions
It’s been a rough week for the Chargers: Hunter Henry suffered a fractured tibia and will be out for awhile and the Chargers are concerned with the knee injury that WR Mike Williams suffered in Week 1. Williams missed practice Wednesday, and with the Chargers’ brass pessimistic about his status, I wouldn’t expect him to suit up in Week 2.
Henry and Williams combined for 24% and 40% of the Chargers’ target share and Air Yards share in Week 1. Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler could be in for a busy day through the air.
Detroit is the healthier team, but they’re still 2.5-point home dogs. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Chargers -2.5
- Projected Total: 46.5
This is a key number battle we need to keep an eye on.
Despite the Chargers getting nearly 80% of tickets as of writing (see live public betting data here), this number has dropped from -3 to -2.5. That’s a pretty severe reverse line move, and it looks like the majority of the moneyline bets are coming in on the Lions.
There’s no doubt the Chargers should be favored here, but the sharps have made an early statement that the line should not go back up to the key number of 3. This is likely only going to come down, not up.
I have this total pegged just a hair lower than the current total. It opened at 47 and has been bet up as much as one point at some books.
People are really buying into the Lions’ offense taking a huge step forward after lighting it up in Week 1. But we have to remember that was against the fast-paced Cardinals, who have one of the softest pass defenses in the NFL with Patrick Peterson suspended and Robert Alford on IR. The Chargers are a much tougher test, and the Lions will go back to their slower-paced approach this week. — Sean Koerner
Lions’ Running Game vs. Chargers’ Run Defense
One of the biggest surprises from Week 1 was Marlon Mack’s performance against the Chargers defense. Mack racked up 174 yards on the ground and the Colts totaled 203 rushing yards, averaging 6.2 yards per carry. Coming off a performance like that, this is a sub-optimal time for Los Angeles to travel to Detroit and face the Lions rushing attack.
While the Lions’ back-field underwhelmed in Arizona, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will not be scared to run the ball. Look for the Lions to feature both Kerryon Johnson and C.J. Anderson early, establishing the run and opening up the passing game.
Johnson is the key to the Lions’ offensive gameplan. When the Auburn product received at least 10 carries last season, he produced 85 total yards or a touchdown 83.3% of the time.
Even with an ideal rushing opportunity against an Arizona team that ranked 29th in Football Outsiders‘ run defense DVOA last season, Matthew Stafford passed for 385 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end T.J. Hockenson (6 receptions, 131 yards, 1 touchdown) and wide receiver Danny Amendola (7 receptions, 104 yards, 1 touchdown) also provided big performances in a game where no Detroit rusher eclipsed 49 rushing yards.
With Chargers safety Derwin James injured, the Lions should be able to have some success through the air. But if LA can’t improve on a pitiful Week 1 performance against the run, it will be very difficult for the Chargers to notch a road win. — Mike Randle
Randle: Lions +2.5
There are multiple factors that support taking Detroit as a 2.5-point home underdog.
First, the Chargers will likely be without Henry and Williams, two key offensive playmakers. That leaves Los Angeles with wide receivers Travis Benjamin (12 receptions in 2018) and Dontrelle Inman (28 receptions) and tight end Sean Culkin (one reception) supporting Allen. The Chargers will try and move Allen around to avoid a matchup with Darius Slay, but without a healthy supporting cast, the Lions should be able to limit Allen’s production.
The Los Angeles offensive line struggled against the Colts in Week 1, allowing four sacks. The job won’t get easier this week as the Lions sacked Murray five times in Week 1 and ranked seventh with 43 sacks in 2018. They added free agent Trey Flowers, who grabbed 21 sacks over the past three seasons, to an already potent pass rush.
On the other side of the ball, Detroit’s run-first offense should have enough success against the Bolts to keep this within the number.
And finally, there is some contrarian value with the home team. Per Bet Labs, teams that receive less than 30% of the bets in Week 2 are 47-28-2 (63%) against the spread since 2003. Currently, the Lions are only receiving 22%, making the +2.5 line very enticing.— Randle