The San Diego Chargers have lost a lot of defensive players during the offseason, which could lead to a high-scoring season opener against the Houston Texans.
Books with the best prices on 2013-14 NFL Futures
Let’s take a closer look at the NFL betting odds for this Week 1
AFC matchup at Qualcomm Stadium on Monday, Sept. 9, with the opening kickoff
scheduled for 10:20 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Houston finished with a 12-4 straight up (SU) and 9-7 against-the-spread
(ATS) record in 2012, but was eliminated from the playoffs in the AFC
divisional round—suffering a 41-28 defeat to the New England Patriots as
9.5-point road underdogs.
The Texans possess one of the more talented rosters in the NFL,
which is clearly evident in ranking in the upper half of all four major
statistical categories a season ago.
Wholesale changes at the top
San Diego was mediocre at best a year ago, as it compiled a 7-9
SUATS record, while scoring the same amount of points that it allowed through
Mike McCoy has taken over for Norv Turner at the head coaching
position, with former Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt entering as
the offseason coordinator. Defensive coordinator John Pagano returns in
the same position he held in 2012.
The Chargers have lost a lot of defensive players during the offseason, which could lead to a high-scoring season opener against the Houston Texans. San Diego could be one of the surprise teams in the NFL if
McCoy is able to adjust quickly to his new responsibilities, as he spent last
year in Denver as the team’s offensive coordinator with Peyton Manning.
Injuries always a concern
NFL handicappers need to keep a close eye on the injury report
in Houston, as the team has been known to battle an ailment or two in recent
Linebacker Brian Cushing is on the road back from an ACL tear
that he suffered during the 2012 regular season, while running back Arian
Foster continues to suffer nagging leg injuries (calf).
Former Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed is one of the team’s
main offseason acquisitions, but he’ll enter next month’s training camp just a
few months removed from hip surgery.
Keeping Rivers upright
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was sacked 49 times last
year, which led directly to his worst statistical season since 2007. However, he
still managed to throw for 3,606 yards and 26 touchdowns with 15 interceptions.
San Diego is confident the unit will be better in 2013,
especially with the signing of former Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Max Starks.
I’m going to recommend that readers take a look at the total as
one of their early Week 1 NFL picks, as the Chargers have lost numerous players
on the defensive end, which could lead to a lot of points being scored by a
capable Texans offense.
Keep an eye on this unit during camp and preseason play, as it
moves on without Antoine Cason, Quintin Jammer and Shaun Phillips, while also
replacing the injured Melvin Ingram.
NFL Pick: Over 46 points at William Hill
Also in Texas, the Giants will be facing the Cowboys during the first week of the upcoming season. Be sure to review our ongoing NFL Week 1 coverage!