Dolphins vs Chargers Odds & Picks: 4 Sunday Night Football Best Bets
- The Dolphins are 3.5-point favorites against the Chargers on Sunday Night Football.
- Los Angeles gets Mike Williams back but will be without Derwin James and Joey Bosa.
- Check out our staff's four favorite Dolphins vs Chargers picks below.
Dolphins vs Chargers Odds
|-174 / +148
|54.5 (-110 / -110)
|Odds via FanDuel. For the latest NFL odds, click here.
Sunday Night Football has the largest total of the week at 54.5. Fireworks are expected to close the day.
Dolphins vs Chargers Picks
Brandon Anderson: We waited for the injury report for both sides on this one, and it’s actually not that bad.
Tua Tagovailoa, Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill all appear to be ready to go for Miami. LT Terron Armstead is listed as questionable with multiple injuries, but he is expected to give it a go. While the secondary is still banged up, Miami looks mostly whole.
The Chargers offense is finally getting healthy, and it looks like Mike Williams should play, but L.A.’s defense is still in a bad way. Joey Bosa is out and Derwin James is doubtful, which is a big loss. The defensive line is missing just about everyone of note still as well.
I think Miami will hang a big number on Sunday night. The Dolphins were 8-0 with Tua Tagovailoa playing a majority of the snaps til Sunday, and though the final score against the Niners wasn’t pretty, Miami was mostly in it until it got away late.
The Dolphins had scored at least 31 points in four straight before that one. And though that was against soft defenses, I’m not sure the Chargers offer much more resistance.
The Chargers rank bottom five in the NFL at both pressure rate and explosive passing plays allowed. That’s a terrible combo in this matchup.
Tagovailoa had his worst game of the season last week in large part because of the missing offensive linemen and the pressure he felt all game. With time to stand back there, he should play point guard and pick apart a beatable Chargers D, dialing up some of those big plays Miami has hit all year.
Can the Chargers hang and turn this into a shootout? I have no idea. Miami’s pass defense hasn’t been good, and Justin Herbert has his weapons back. Maybe Los Angeles scores and hangs in this game or even wins, or maybe they lay an egg. I grabbed Miami -1 on Sunday night on the Hot Read but don’t feel the need to play past the key number at -3.5.
Instead, I’ll just play the Dolphins team total over 27.5. Miami’s offense against L.A.’s bad, banged-up defense is the one matchup I feel most confident about in this game.
As long as the Dolphins score, I don’t really care what the Chargers do with the ball.
Ricky Henne: Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert will forever be linked with the former going one spot ahead of the latter in the 2020 NFL Draft. Both have bright futures, but Tagovailoa should especially shine in this primetime tilt with significant playoff implications.
A lot’s been said about the Chargers’ inability to stop the run, which is why offenses pound it over and over again on the ground. As a result, the 379 pass attempts against Los Angeles is fourth fewest in the league.
Yet despite the low volume, teams have put up gaudy numbers through the air as the Bolts are vulnerable to the deep ball. The 8.8 average depth of target against the Chargers is the third most in the league, while the 11.6 yards per catch they surrender is tied for the fifth most.
That plays into Tagovailoa’s hands as his 8.5 completed air yards per completion is tops in the league by a healthy margin. In fact, it’s 1.2 yards more than the next closest passer (Josh Allen). With weapons like Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and the underappreciated Trent Sherfield, the quarterback is only one throw away from a monster gain.
Speaking of Hill, perhaps no team was happier to see him traded to the Dolphins than the Chargers. The wideout absolutely tormented Los Angeles twice a year when he was in the AFC West.
Hill caught 53 passes for 799 yards and seven touchdowns in 11 career games with the Chiefs against the Chargers. Most recently, he was unguardable in two games against Brandon Staley’s defense, catching 17 passes for 204 yards and one score a year ago. It’d be surprising if Hill didn’t once again go off again, which is a big boon for Tagovailoa.
As of Saturday night, you could grab Tagovailoa’s passing yards for as low as 283.5. Snatch that up as fast as you can. Tagovailoa’s surpassed that number in five straight games, and now faces a Chargers team clearly susceptible to the big play.
Making matters worse for an already depleted Los Angeles defense is that it'll likely be without all-world safety Derwin James, who is doubtful with a quad injury.
This game has the second highest line for total points this week – and I do believe both quarterbacks hit the over on passing yards – but Tagovailoa seems especially primed to light it up in what figures to be a shootout.
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Simon Hunter: Am I seeing this right? Tua Tagovailoa is a field-goal favorite on the road? In what world do the Dolphins deserve that much respect?
I get it. The Chargers have looked bad, but we saw Tagovailoa look mortal last week with the injuries to the Miami offensive line. The Chargers may not have Nick Bosa, but they have Khalil Mack.
On the other side, Los Angeles will get Mike Williams, one of the NFL’s best downfield threats, back from injury. We’ve seen the Dolphins defense struggle on the outside. I see Justin Herbert having a big game here, as he finally has his full complement of playmakers.
This is when you want to bet the Chargers, when they’re at home and catching more than a field goal. Los Angeles is always in close games. Most weeks, the Chargers are playing games that come down to a field goal either way.
That’s especially important against Tagovailoa, who hasn’t performed well against the spread (ATS) when playing two or more consecutive road games. He’s 3-2 straight up on the second game or more of multiple consecutive road games, but he’s 1-4 ATS, winning all three of those games by three or fewer points.
We’ve seen 3 and 3.5 be key numbers all season. I believe it’ll be the case again in this one. I wouldn’t bet the Chargers below +3, but grab that +3.5 if it’s available. I could see it bouncing around all day before kickoff.
Nick Giffen: Keenan Allen has played each of the last three games, averaging 77 receiving yards, but those have notably come without Mike Williams playing a full complement of snaps in any of those games. Also, tight end Gerald Everett missed the Week 11 game against Kansas City.
With a full complement of receivers, it's hard to think that Allen will get the same volume as in the previous three weeks. Those 29 targets amount to nearly 10 targets per game.
It's also possible the Chargers aren't going to have to pass as much. Los Angeles has averaged 41.3 passing attempts per game, but much of that was in trailing game script.
Our PRO Projections show that the Bolts are the biggest projection edge of the week, and are nearly a coin flip to win. With all the receivers healthy, and a potentially positive game script, Allen's volume could come down quite a bit.
However, that's not the only reason to take his under here.
Allen's efficiency should also take a hit, as the Dolphins are in the top five in the league in man coverage rate defensively. Allen has struggled against man coverage, netting only 0.65 yards per route run. That pales in comparison to his 2.52 yards per route run against zone coverage.
Meanwhile, teammates Williams and Everett are just the opposite, with each coming in more than 1.3 yards per route better against man coverage than against the zone.
I have Allen slated for a median of 59 yards, so while I don't want to bet this down below 62.5, there's still some wiggle room at 64.5.