Chargers vs. Bills Odds & Picks: Bet On A High-Scoring Sunday In Buffalo
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Allen
Chargers vs. Bills Odds
The Bills will look to maintain their top spot in the AFC East when they host the Chargers on Sunday.
Buffalo is coming off a bye, but the last time we saw the Bills, they were on the opposite end of one of the craziest games of the NFL season — when Kyler Murray connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a game-winning Hail Mary. Now with Buffalo holding a one-game lead over Miami and the Dolphins facing the winless Jets, this game is extremely important if the Bills want to secure their first division title in 25 years.
As for the Chargers, it looks like they are going to fail to make the playoffs for the second season in a row. They are the kings of losing one-score games — they’ve been on the short end of six of those results this season alone and 39 in total over the past five, which sounds almost impossible. The good news for L.A. is that Justin Herbert looks like a solid NFL quarterback, so the offense hasn’t been the issue this season, but at 3-7, the Chargers need to win out if they want any shot of making the playoffs.
So where’s the value on this matchup? Let’s take a closer look.
Los Angeles Chargers
Even though the Chargers are four games below .500, they’ve found their quarterback of the future: Herbert is ninth in the NFL in passer rating at 108.3 and is throwing the ball for 8.0 yards per attempt, which is very impressive for a rookie.
He’s developed an outstanding connections with Keenan Allen, who already has 112 targets on the season and is averaging 10.6 yards per catch. Allen does have a tough matchup against Tre’Davious White, but the rest of the Chargers’ wide receivers should be able to get open against Buffalo’s below-average secondary.
The Los Angeles backfield has been a mess this season due to injuries to both Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson. However, Ekeler has been activated off IR and is expected to play on Sunday, which would be a huge boost to a Chargers offense facing a Bills defense that ranks last in defensive rushing success (per Sharp Football Stats).
The Chargers have struggled the stop the run this season. They rank 18th in defensive rushing success and 28th in explosive rushing allowed, which could be an issue against the Bills offense, which ranks sixth in explosive rushing.
The most fascinating matchup of this game will be Josh Allen vs. the Chargers secondary. Los Angeles ranks fourth in defensive passing success, allowing only 6.8 yards per attempt, while Buffalo has the No. 1 passing offense.
However, Los Angeles will be without cornerback Casey Hayward as well as defensive end Melvin Ingram, so it’s hard to see how the Chargers will be able to shut down Allen and this Bills offense.
Allen has been one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks of 2020. He’s led the Bills offense to the best passing success, and is throwing the ball for 7.9 yards per attempt. He’s also continued to show how good he is as a dual threat, rushing for five touchdowns so far.
Allen’s connection with wide receiver Stefon Diggs might be the best in the league at this point: Diggs already has 73 receptions, averaging 12.4 yards per catch.
Lead back Devin Singletary is having a nice season, rushing the ball for 4.1 yards per carry. The Bills will have to focus more on their ground game since the Chargers are weak against the run.
Buffalo has really struggled on the defensive side, especially against the run. As previously mentioned, the Bills are last in defensive rushing success, allowing 4.8 yards per carry.
With Ekeler likely back for the Chargers, it could be a long day in western New York for the Bills.
Buffalo hasn’t been much better against the pass, allowing 7.6 yards per attempt and ranking 22nd in explosive passing allowed. Given how good Herbert has been this season, it looks like the Bills’ offense is going to have carry the team to victory.
We should see a really high-scoring matchup between these two offenses. Both quarterbacks are on fire and should be able to light up the opposing secondary.
I have this total projected at 62.68, so there’s plenty of value on the over at 51.5 points.
PICK: Over 51.5