The Chargers are under new management this season, and their total season wins odds from LVH Sportsbook in Las Vegas reflect that. NFL odds for the Chargers come in at 7.5 wins this offseason, with the over priced nicely at +115 and the under coming in at -135.
From the surface of things, the Chargers don’t have that hard of a road to try and make it back to the playoffs in 2013. They play in a bad division -outside of the Broncos, of course- and their roster is full of talent on both sides of the ball. They play in a mild climate, and they have the 31st ranked strength of schedule in the entire NFL. What could go wrong, right?
Having a lot of turnover in the coaching department isn’t going to help much, but those things have been overcome before in the NFL. What I’m more concerned about is the back half of their schedule. It could pose a risk to the Chargers’ chances of making the playoffs this season, and subsequently make a season wins bet very complicated.
After their bye week, they go on the road and across the country to Washington in Week 9, and they follow that up with a home game against Denver and two straight road games after that against Miami and Kansas City. If that wasn’t tough enough, after the KC game in Week 12, they play three straight weeks against the Bengals, Giants and then the Broncos again.
I’m under the impression Kansas City and Miami are both going to be good football teams this season, which would probably make the Chargers’ strength of schedule advantage go right out of the window. On top of that, four of their first seven games are on the road to start the season.
The Chargers get the honor of closing Week 1 on national television, as they play the Texans at home on Monday Night Football. The NFL odds have the Chargers as slight +3 home underdogs, and in the two times that San Diego was an underdog last season, they went 0-2 ATS.
These two have only played four times in the last ten seasons, but in those four games, the Chargers won all four of them, and were 4-0 ATS as well. Those were obviously radically different teams on both ends, but still, +3 seems a little enticing to me in the very early NFL odds.
The Sharp Pick
When it comes to their season wins total, I am hesitant to bet either side. On one hand you have the Chargers, a great team with the possibility of having a bounce back season under new head coach Mike McCoy. However that brutal run of schedule after their bye week is going to take a toll. On the other side, the under is chalked so high that it just isn’t worth it in a future odds bet. Obviously season wins have a lot less variables than a divisional or conference future odds bet, but in the long run, there are still too many things that could go right or wrong in this bet depending on the side you have. It’s best to just lay off and wait for better prices for our NFL picks.
My Pick: No Play
Week 1 Lean: Chargers +3 at Bet365