Chargers-Rams Betting Preview: Perfect Storm Brewing to Pick the Chargers?

Sep 21, 2018 4:00 AM EDT

Betting odds: Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams

  • Spread: Rams -7
  • Over/Under: 48.5
  • Time: 4:05 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 Chargers are coming off a lopsided win vs. the Bills, but bettors are still having trouble resisting the Rams, who have looked terrific in their first two games.

Sixty percent of bettors are on them as a touchdown favorite at the time of writing (you can find updated data here). The line dropped to 6.5 for a bit across the market, but it didn’t take long to move back to 7.Mark Gallant

Injury watch: The Chargers have already ruled out right tackle Joe Barksdale (leg), along with defensive end Joey Bosa (foot).

Wide receiver Travis Benjamin (foot) and tight end Antonio Gates (illness) should each be considered questionable, although neither would be expected to see a full game’s worth of snaps even if he ultimately suits up.

Rams kicker Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein (groin) has already been ruled out. Head coach Sean McVay confirmed injuries to defensive end Michael Brockers (shoulder) and center John Sullivan (arm) aren’t considered serious.

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Dashboard for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

Trends to know: Teams are often overvalued after a blowout win. Since 2003, teams that won their previous game by 30 or more points went 85-102-9 (45.5%) ATS the following week, according to our Bet Labs data.

The Rams blanked the Cardinals 34-0 in Week 2.  — John Ewing

The story in Los Angeles through two weeks has been the Rams’ stout defense, which has allowed just 6.5 PPG.

Over the past five seasons, only two teams have entered Week 3 allowing less than a touchdown per game, both came last season:

  • The Panthers, allowing 3 PPG, lost 34-13 at home to the Saints
  • The Ravens, allowing 5 PPG, lost 44-7 on the road to the Jaguars. — Evan Abrams

The Chargers opened up as touchdown underdogs against the red hot Rams in the battle for LA.

Philip Rivers has made 203 career starts, including the playoffs, and this will be just the 14th time he will open as a touchdown underdog.

In those previous 13 starts, Rivers is 11-2 ATS (+8.7 units), making him the most profitable quarterback in the NFL when opening as a touchdown underdog.
Abrams

DFS edge: Todd Gurley will have a matchup against a Chargers defense that will be without two defensive linemen in Bosa and Corey Liuget. This game should set up nicely for him since the Rams are implied for 27.5 points and they’re seven-point favorites.

Per the FantasyLabs Trends tool, Gurley has dominated as a favorite under McVay, averaging 26.11 DraftKings points per game with a +6.25 Plus/Minus and 71.4% Consistency Rating. — Justin Bailey

Bet To Watch: Chargers +7 at Rams

The Rams have obviously looked great through their first two games, but are we sure that they deserve to be favored by a touchdown here? The Cardinals have barely looked like an NFL team through their first two weeks, and the Raiders haven’t looked much better.

Meanwhile, the Chargers are coming off a sneakily impressive win vs. the Bills: West coast favorites playing on the East coast had been only 22-27-1 ATS before the Chargers’ win.

This will be a true test for the Rams, and I think the line is a couple of points too high. — Matt LaMarca

These two teams mirror each other. They are soft up the middle against the run, but have solid defensive lines and elite secondaries. They also have a very well-balanced offenses, led by dominant running backs.

The Chargers’ injuries/suspensions on their defensive line downgrade them slightly, but I don’t think these teams are four points apart after adjusting for home-field advantage.

Look for a huge game out of Melvin Gordon against a Rams defense that ranks 17th in rush yards per attempt this season.

Small sample size, yes, but that trend speaks directly to the Rams’ weak linebacking corps. The Rams finished 30th in the NFL in yards allowed per rush (4.7) in 2017.

Trust Rivers and the +7 in a potential Super Bowl preview. (Yeah, I said it.) — Stuckey

 


Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

Credit:

Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) gestures against the New Orleans Saints at StubHub Center.

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