Falcons vs Chargers Odds & Picks | NFL Week 9

Falcons vs Chargers Odds & Picks | NFL Week 9 article feature image

Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Herbert.

  • The AFC South-leading Falcons are home favorites today against the Chargers.
  • Los Angeles hasn't found its stride this season, while Atlanta is surprisingly in a playoff spot.
  • John LanFranca previews the game and makes his betting pick below.

Falcons vs Chargers Odds

Sunday, Nov. 6
1 p.m. ET
Falcons Odds
-110o / -110u
Chargers Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

The Chargers travel to Atlanta to take on the NFC South-leading Falcons in a game that seems to be flying under the radar. This was the first game I circled this past Monday, as I believe there's value on the Chargers in this spot.

Over the past 15 years, road teams listed as a favorite with more than 12 days of rest are 56-35-2 (61.5%) against the spread. In games in which the favorite is laying three points or fewer, the favorite covers 64.1% of the time (27-17-1).

This is a perfect opportunity to buy low on the Chargers and sell high on the Falcons' inept defense.

Falcons vs Chargers Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Falcons and Chargers match up statistically:

Falcons vs Chargers DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA1631
Pass DVOA1130
Rush DVOA2826
Overall DVOA916
Pass DVOA813
Rush DVOA1023

The Falcons defense is 31st in the NFL and 32nd over the past four games, according to DVOA. The losses of cornerbacks A.J. Terrell and Casey Hayward Jr. have coincided with this defensive unit going from a weak unit to the league’s worst. Versatile safety Jaylinn Hawkins is also questionable after missing last week's game against the Panthers. The Panthers put up 478 yards of offense last week, topping their previous season high by 135 yards.

Despite dealing with injuries, I expect the Los Angeles offense to execute its game plan without much resistance. I’m often critical of Joe Lombardi's first-down playcalling, but this is the exact matchup in which those calls may turn out to be advantageous.

Bet the NFL at FanDuel
Chargers -3 | Falcons +3

The Falcons defense is second-worst in the NFL on first down, giving up an astounding 6.9 yards per play. Over 45% of possessions against the Atlanta defense have resulted in either a red-zone trip or a 20+ yard touchdown by the offense (most in the NFL).

When Justin Herbert drops back to pass, he will feel very comfortable in the pocket. The Falcons are 30th in pressure rate and are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 68.8% (27th in NFL) of passes. Meanwhile, the Chargers' offensive line has allowed just 10 sacks this season and boasts the lowest adjusted sack rate in the league (3.6%).

Corey Linsley is a huge reason why Herbert doesn't face much pressure (outside of Herbert's low average depth of target). Linsley is the No. 1 rated pass-blocking center in football, according to PFF, and grades out at second overall at the position.

In games Linsley has played, the Chargers offense has averaged 27.6 points per game with an offensive DVOA of 4.5%. Without Linsley in the lineup, the Chargers have averaged 14.5 points per game, with a -10.5% DVOA.

The impact of a center with a 98% pass block win rate cannot be overlooked. It’s the difference in an offense that ranks 14th on a play-by-play basis with him in the lineup and 25th without him.

Betting Picks

The Chargers' porous rush defense is the elephant in the room when it comes to handicapping this game. The public will love taking the points with the team that runs the ball at the second-highest rate against a defense that allows 6.1 yards per carry to opposing running backs.

However, Brandon Staley has had two full weeks to prepare for this rushing attack and the Chargers rush defense has shown signs of life. In Week 6, this defense limited Denver's running backs to 75 yards on 19 carries (3.9 YPC) and in Week 7, Kenneth Walker was held to 4.2 yards per carry before popping a 74-yard touchdown when the game was out of hand.

Staley will sell out to stop the run and look to pressure Marcus Mariota when the Falcons get to third down. The Falcons offensive line has the fourth-worst adjusted sack rate in football at 9.6%. The Chargers only need to get to Mariota a couple of times to end drives and give the ball back to an offense that should have its way.

I love this situational spot for the Chargers as teams with a winning record, coming off a bye and going on the road to face a team .500 or below are 27-15 (64.3%) against the number over the past 15 years.

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