Sharps Taking A Shine To San Diego Chargers With Their Week 1 NFL Picks

Jason Lake

Sunday, September 11, 2016 3:41 AM UTC

Sunday, Sep. 11, 2016 3:41 AM UTC

What's not to love about the San Diego Chargers? A few things, actually, but the sharps are taking advantage of some soft football odds for Sunday's bout with Kansas City.

Last week, we told you that the sharps were loading up on the Tennessee Titans and the New York Giants for Week 1 of the 2016 regular season. Those are still the two most heavily bet teams on our NFL odds board, at least in terms of raw dollars. However, we've seen some pushback when it comes to New York's opponent, the Dallas Cowboys. Their average bet size has shot up to $199, according to our expanded consensus report. That's No. 4 out of the league's 32 teams. Maybe there's something to this Dak Prescott guy after all – enough to make the Cowboys look good as a pick 'em at home.

We also thought the Minnesota Vikings might be a sneaky value bet after falling from –3 to a pick' em in Nashville, but too late: They're already back up to –2.5 as we go to press. But in this instance, it might not be sharp action driving the line. Minnesota's average wager of $49 looks like the work of recreational bettors. All told, we're glad we didn't jump the gun here at the ranch and recommend Tennessee and New York. They might still be decent NFL picks, but there's another team out there worth investigating.

Smokestack Lightning
We're talking about the San Diego Chargers, as you may have guessed. They've got a date Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) at Arrowhead with the Kansas City Chiefs, and our surveys have San Diego shooting up to third place in average bet size at $278. The Bolts are pulling in over 87 percent of the monies wagered, even though just 55 percent of bettors are on their side. Kansas City's average bet size: $49.

Very interesting indeed. Both the Chargers and the Chiefs appear to be undervalued in the AFC West, but more so in San Diego's case. We spent some time looking at the playoff odds projections at both Football Outsiders and TeamRankings, then we ran the lower odds of the two through the SBR Betting Odds Converter and compared them to the futures market at Bovada. Here's what we got:

San Diego (+275): 40.5 percent, or +147
Kansas City (–145): 61.6 percent, or –160

Football Outsiders were more pessimistic about these two clubs, but even at these projected odds, the Chiefs are slightly undervalued to make the playoffs – and the Chargers are grossly undervalued. Indeed, most of the early action for Sunday's game, albeit light, was on San Diego. Even at press time, this matchup remains one of the quietest on the board, which has allowed the Chargers to remain 7-point road dogs, albeit with a growing premium on vig.

Maybe the sharps were onto something. Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles has been downgraded to doubtful for Sunday, and head coach Andy Reid admits he probably won't play. Duties will be split between Charcandrick West, who has a sore elbow, and Spencer Ware. San Diego went 0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS last year against the Chiefs after Charles tore an ACL in Week 5, so this doesn't automatically make the Bolts a bulletproof pick, but every little bit helps.


Free NFL Pick:  San Diego +7 (–130)
Best Line Offered:  at Bovada where you can get a 100% Cash Sign Up Bonus!

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