Chargers-Bills Betting Preview: Should You Back Josh Allen in His First Start?


Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Josh Allen

Sep 14, 2018, 07:38 AM EDT

Betting odds: Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills

  • Spread: Chargers: -7.5
  • Over/Under: 43
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS

>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: The Bills’ decision to start rookie Josh Allen has not exactly enticed bettors to take them plus the points this Sunday.

The Bills were +7 for a few days this week, before extremely lopsided action on the Chargers forced the books to move up to +7.5.

At the time of writing, Buffalo was receiving just 18% of bets and 18% of dollars wagered (see live odds here). —Mark Gallant

Buying low on Buffalo? The Chargers will be one of the better defenses in the league, but they are not fully healthy, yet. With DE Joey Bosa in a boot, DT Cory Liuget serving a suspension and CB Trevor Williams still getting up to speed, this team is far from 100% and its young linebackers aren’t good enough to pick up the slack.

Despite how bad the Bills looked in Week 1 — and I have them rated as the worst team in the NFL — I don’t think a notoriously slow-starting Chargers team deserves to fly across the country here as a 7.5-point favorite.

The Bills might have the worst offensive line in the league, but they won’t have to worry about containing both Bosa and Liuget.

Plus, you could do a lot worse than than just fading every NFL favorite of more than 7 points.

Since 2003, favorites of 7.5 points or higher in the NFL are 74-95-1 against the spread (43.8%) for an ROI of -12.2%

Even Tom Brady, who is a sparkling 133-81-8 (62.1%) since 2003, has a losing ATS record as a 7.5-point favorite or more.

For you trend players, home dogs off a loss of 40+ points (which the Bills suffered in Week 1) are 10-3-2 ATS since 1995.

The lesson? Teams are generally never as good or as bad as they look on a week-to-week basis in the NFL. — Stuckey

To Stuckey’s points, a great time to buy-low on a team is after a poor offensive showing, especially if the team is getting little love from the public.

Teams that scored fewer than 10 points in their previous game and are receiving 30% or less of spread tickets — both of which apply to Buffalo — have gone 145-90-4 ATS (62%) since 2003. — John Ewing

DFS edge: In our NFL Models, the Chargers defense is tied for the most projected sacks on the main slate. Rookie QB Josh Allen didn’t play a ton in the preseason, but he completed just 28.6% of his passes while under pressure per Pro Football Focus. — Joe Holka

Bet to watch: Bills +7.5.

Yes, the Bills got waxed by the Ravens, 47-3, in Week 1, but the blessing in disguise from that game is it allowed Buffalo to officially move on from Nathan Peterman as they turn Allen.

The Wyoming product will surely have his fair share of rookie mistakes early on, but he’s still an upgrade over Peterman.

Not having Bosa hurts the Chargers defense more than bookmakers are accounting for in this spread. I see a couple points of value here. Getting the hook on a key number makes the Bills +7.5 my favorite bet this week. — Sean Koerner

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