Chargers vs. Bears Odds & Picks: Can L.A. Cover on the Road?

Chargers vs. Bears Odds & Picks: Can L.A. Cover on the Road? article feature image

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Philip Rivers

  • The Chicago Bears host the Los Angeles Chargers as 4-point favorites on Sunday.
  • Our experts break down the betting odds and their picks, including a take on the over/under.

Chargers at Bears Odds & Picks

  • Odds: Bears -4
  • Over/Under: 41
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

Odds as of Thursday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

The Los Angeles Chargers are losers of three straight, but is there hope for them to bounce back on the road against the Chicago Bears?

Our experts break down this matchup from every angle, featuring Sean Koerner’s projected odds and a staff pick.

Chargers-Bears Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Bears

The Bears have one player listed on their injury report, and he’s not even a starter. Moving on!

The Chargers added Keenan Allen (hamstring) to the injury report on Thursday. It’s not a great sign to be a midweek addition who missed practice with a soft tissue injury, but we’ll have a better idea of his status on Friday. Brandon Mebane (knee) and Justin Jones (shoulder) also continue to miss practice. If they’re out again, it would be good news for the Bears’ running game if the Chargers are missing two defensive linemen. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Biggest Mismatch

Khalil Mack vs. Chargers Offensive Line

The Chargers have one of the worst offensive lines in football. Their struggles and horrible injury luck have been the two biggest drivers of them stumbling out to a 2-5 start this season.

Just take a look at some of these stats:

  • 79.8 Pass Blocking Efficiency (31st in the NFL)
  • 109 Pressures and 75 Hurries (second-most allowed)
  • 24 Quarterback Hits (leads the NFL)

A major part of the problem has been the offensive tackles. Of 55 with at least 300 snaps, Sam Tevi and Trent Scott rank among the bottom five in pass blocking grade, per PFF.

Now, the Chargers should get back star left tackle Russell Okung, who will eventually help tremendously, but I can’t imagine him not having extreme rust in his first game of the season. There’s also the issue of communication and continuity — two things that are even harder to develop on the road in a hostile environment. It also doesn’t help that Philip Rivers waits to snap the ball until the last second on such a high frequency of plays, which can allow the opposing defense to get a jump on the snap.

Khalil Mack
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Khalil Mack

All of this spells trouble against a Bears defense that boasts a top-five pass-rushing unit led by Mack, who is one of only four edge rushers with a PFF pass rush grade higher than 90 (minimum 100 snaps).

The Chargers’ OL issues have also spilled over into the running game, which has almost completely died. Trying to get Melvin Gordon back into the flow also hasn’t helped. If that continues against a Bears defense that’s stingy against the run, Rivers will be in plenty of obvious passing situations, and that’s where Mack shines. Stuckey

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Bears -3
  • Projected Total: 41.5

Last week I had mentioned that the loser of Chargers-Titans could be a potential value play for Week 8. That happened to be the Chargers, as they lost another close one, 23-20. Now six of their seven games have been decided by one score, going 1-5 in such spots. Their expected Pythagorean record is 3.5-3.5, which is much different than their actual record of 2-5.

On the other side of the ball, the Bears have been shaky now coming off back-to-back losses, so the market isn’t offering much value at -4.

It’s also worth noting that the Chargers have one of the NFL’s weakest home-field advantages that I took the under on their season win totals. However, this does tend to make them valuable on the road and have now gone 8-2 over the past two seasons (aka since they’ve called Dignity Health Sports Park home). Sean Koerner

Expert Picks

Stuckey: Under 41

As I mentioned earlier, I think the Bears defensive front will dominate the line of scrimmage when the Chargers have the ball. And when the Bears have the ball, I don’t expect much from their offense, which has struggled mightily all season. Chicago is averaging only 4.6 yards per play, which ranks in the bottom three.

Mitch Trubisky seems to regress every week and the Chargers have an elite corner in Casey Hayward who can neutralize Chicago’s only scary deep threat Allen Robinson, who is rotting in this offense. But the problem isn’t only Trubisky — he’s lacking weapons and has nonexistent tight end production, plus the offensive line is a mess. Per Football Outsiders, their O-line ranks 29th in adjusted line yards, a measure of the effectiveness of a team’s run blocking.

The Bears backs also haven’t provided any help as they rank dead last in open field and second level years. This offensive line is simply getting no push and its backs are not breaking anything downfield. Mix that with one of the worst aerial attacks in the NFL, and you have a completely inept offense.

That said, right or wrong, I do think Matt Nagy will come with a heavy rushing attack based on his comments to the media. The Bears have to run it more than their seven carries for 17 yards last week, when Trubisky threw it 54 times — some of which obviously came late when the game was out of hand.

Coming out of the second half against the Saints, the Bears went with two tight ends and handed it off to David Montgomery, who fumbled, then Nagy went away from the run the rest of the way. I expect him to go back to it against a Chargers defense that’s soft against the run in the middle.

These teams are also snails. From a pace perspective, both rank in the bottom 10 in neutral situations (which focuses on non-blowout scenarios).

I expect a game with plenty of punts and running clock. As long as we can avoid a number of special teams flukes and turnovers, I think this one stays under 41. I like the under down to 40. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

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