Chargers vs. Eagles Odds, NFL Picks, Predictions: Can Philadelphia Cover This Short Spread?
Rob Carr/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Herbert.
- The Chargers are 6-12 against the spread (ATS) with four straight losses on the East Coast when the temperature is below 52 degrees.
- That's just one of the reasons, after analyzing the Chargers vs. Eagles odds and matchup, our analyst is laying the points with this Week 9 NFL underdog.
|Time||4:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
A loss against the Patriots in Los Angeles dropped the Chargers to 4-3 on the season. Just a few weeks ago, when the Chargers were 4-1, some went as far as to anoint them as possible Super Bowl contenders for the season.
At the time, the Chargers’ resume looked impressive with victories over the Chiefs and the Browns. However, both of those teams have since been downgraded and are in last place in their respective divisions.
L.A. now has to travel across the country to face the Eagles on a brisk Philadelphia Sunday.
To some, the Chargers still look like the sexy team with the can’t-miss quarterback who has a rifle for an arm. But this handicap isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Chargers vs. Eagles Injury Report
- CB Michael Davis (hamstring): Out
- RB Justin Jackson (quadricep): Out
- CB Asante Samuel Jr. (concussion): Out
- S Alohi Gilman (ankle): Doubtful
- CB Tevaughn Campbell (groin): Questionable
- WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (ankle): Out
Chargers vs. Eagles Matchup
|Chargers Offense||DVOA Rank||Eagles Defense|
|Chargers Defense||DVOA Rank||Eagles Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Chargers Dealing With Herbert’s Sophomore Slump
Ironically, while Justin Herbert has drawn much of the praise following his Offensive Rookie of the Year performance in 2020, the Chargers’ run game has a higher DVOA ranking than their passing game. It also might surprise you that Herbert’s numbers are down across the board in his sophomore campaign compared to his rookie season.
Per Pro Football Reference, his completion rate is down to 63.7% from 66.6%, his interception rate is up to 2.1% from 1.7%, yards gained per pass attempt is down to 7.1 from 7.3, and his Total QBR is 56.2 compared to 69.5 last year.
A deeper dive into his numbers using the metrics over at rbsdm.com reveals that Herbert’s completion percentage over expectation (CPOE) has also worsened from -0.0 to -2.0 this season.
Perhaps the most significant drop-off is his expected points added (EPA) per play, which has gone from 0.18 to 0.14. These numbers have led to a 46.5% success rate, which puts Herbert 25th in the league.
When you’re unable to sustain your drives, it becomes more difficult to control the football. It’s why the Chargers are 25th in time of possession (28:27). That can make any defense that looks pretty good on paper seem average if it’s forced to spend a lot of time on the field.
While you might attribute some of this regression to a sophomore slump, I prefer to think of it as the Patrick Mahomes Effect. Defenses are utilizing a Cover 0 defense, which means no help over the top. In that package, defenders are playing closer to the line of scrimmage and double-teaming the opposing team’s best players on offense.
I think that’s taken away from some of Herbert’s downfield options, and it’s also why I believe the Chargers’ rush DVOA is outperforming its pass DVOA. Teams are happier to cede yardage on the ground if it means not getting beat behind them in the secondary.
However, in a league that’s heavily reliant on good quarterback play, it’s down to Herbert to figure out a solution to get the Chargers over the line. The fact that he and Mahomes have struggled in recent weeks makes me believe that they haven’t fully identified how to consistently beat Cover 0 defenses just yet.
Eagles Looking Strong
If you’re trying to identify a path forward for the Eagles in this game, you might want to consider using a little SWOT analysis. I say that because the Chargers’ weakness will be in direct conflict with the primary strength of the Eagles. A glance at our DVOA table shows how dire the situation could be for Los Angeles.
The Eagles are fourth offensively in run DVOA, whereas the Chargers are last in run defense DVOA. Note that this isn’t just some amalgamation or composite score that’s in some way a bit harsh on the Chargers for one reason or another. They’re really at the bottom of just about every defensive rushing statistic in the league. TeamRankings does a great job chronicling these stats, so here’s a list of all the categories the Chargers are last in:
- Rushing first downs allowed per game (9.1)
- Opponent first-down rushing percentage (40.25%)
- Opponent rushing attempts per game (31.1)
- Rushing yards allowed per game (159.6)
- Allowed yards per rush attempt (5.1)
- Opponent rushing yards percentage (44.01%)
These deplorable numbers further illuminate why the Chargers defense is spending a ton of time on the field. As a result, the ground game is how I’d expect the Eagle to attack the Chargers.
Jalen Hurts is a big reason why the Eagles’ rushing attack is so lethal. The Texas native is averaging 54 yards on the ground this season. Philadelphia’s ability to run the ball gives it a better chance to stay ahead of the chains, which is why Hurts’ 47.6% success rate is higher than that of Herbert.
Philadelphia also looks like the healthier team coming into the matchup as Los Angeles is dealing with cluster injuries to its secondary. That could be more than enough to swing the tide in favor of the Eagles.
NFL Pick: Chargers vs. Eagles
This matchup sure looks like it suits the Eagles more than the Chargers. While the Chargers certainly have the motivation to snap their losing streak, the Eagles are still searching for their first win at home this season.
There are also some interesting angles working against the Chargers as they’ve failed to cover the spread in their last seven games played in November.
Lastly, the Chargers are 6-12 against the spread with four straight losses on the East Coast when the temperature is below 52 degrees.
When you put it all together, backing the Eagles isn’t as crazy you might’ve thought. DraftKings has the best odds on the board as they list Philadelphia as a two-point underdog. But you’ll need to hurry because that number is likely not going to hold.
Pick: Eagles +2 | Bet to Eagles +1.5
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