The Chargers are coming off a Monday night loss while the Packers continue to roll. After reviewing the NFL odds we analyze which team is likely to cash in our NFL picks.
San Diego Chargers (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS)
The Chargers are on the road this week but aside from the venue it won’t feel much different than it was last week at home. The Bolts dropped a heartbreaking 24-20 Monday night affair to the Steelers but based on the jerseys in the crowd and the noise in the air it might as well have been Heinz Field. San Diego is not getting much support these days because owner Dean Spanos has been rattling his sabre for a good long time that he wants to move the team to the Los Angeles area. That’s not a recipe for goodwill and his team is feeling it with visiting teams’ fans flocking to Qualcomm Stadium and drowning out what partisan fans remain.
Phillip Rivers tossed his third pick-six of the season and now has 10 turnovers over his last 11 games. On Monday night the Chargers’ quarterback went 35-of-48 for 365 yards passing and had his best buddy back from suspension in the form of Antonio Gates. The future Hall-of-Fame tight end made his presence immediately felt hauling in two TD catches with nine receptions for 92 yards. He became only the second tight end in history to crack the 100 touchdown catch milestone trailing only Tony Gonzalez with 111. The Rivers-to-Gates connection has spawned 74 touchdowns, the most for that battery (QB to tight end) in the history of the game.
Green Bay Packers (5-0 SU, 5-0 ATS)
The NFL odds makers spotted the visiting St. Louis Rams nine points but it still wasn’t enough even though Aaron Rodgers looked like a mere mortal with a pair of interceptions ending his unworldly NFL record of 49 touchdowns on 589 passing attempts with a record zero picks. It all came to an abrupt end in the opening quarter when Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis picked off a tipped Rodgers pass. The Rams also had three of four missed field goal attempts as well as a host of miscues which delivered to those who laid the lumber on Green Bay a winning ticket in their NFL picks.
Most fans would be surprised to learn that the Green Bay offense, with the increasingly legendary Aaron Rodgers at the helm, ranks only 20th in the NFL for passing yards averaging 236.8 per game while their pass defense is tied for second in the league allowing just 186 per game. And it was in fact that defense that did all the heavy lifting in Green Bay’s most recent victory. They had four interceptions over the Nick Foles led offense but were gashed by the emerging superstar Todd Gurley for 159 yards on 30 carries.
So here’s the deal. The squares will be hopping on the Packers bandwagon like a free ride to the Bunny Ranch because the Green Bay has been a veritable ATM machine having covered the NFL odds on every occasion this season. The defense looks ferocious and it would be easy to see them wreaking havoc on a mistake prone Phillip Rivers. But what you need to know is that the offenses that have lined up against the Packers this season are not even pedestrian at best. The passing yards per game rank are in parentheses along with their PPY per game average:
Chicago (tied for 27th – 200)
Seattle (26th – 214)
Kansas City (21st – 234)
San Francisco (31st – 178)
St. Louis (30th – 183)
Conversely the Chargers are ranked 2nd averaging 318 per contest. While it would be stunning to see the Bolts pull an upset in Lambeau I do believe that this Green Bay offense is a tad overrated to the uninitiated and the Bolts now have Antonio Gates back in the fold. Perception is reality which is exactly how the NFL odds makers construct their lines. Let’s not fall victim to this and grab the points that the offshores are generously giving. One bookmaker in particular is hanging an even juicier line than the rest so we will pay the extra juice and jump on that.
NFL Pick: Play the Chargers +11 ½ (-130) at 5Dimes