The LA Chargers are favored in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The LA Chargers are finally back! The Chargers are now just hours away from kicking-off their 2020 season against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1.
Nobody really knows what exactly to expect this season. The ongoing situation around the league, the COVID-19 pandemic, is going to make this a football season unlike other. Mix that with the fact that the Chargers are experiencing a big change at quarterback from Philip Rivers to Tyrod Taylor and this season really will be unique.
With no preseason, Charger fans had no opportunity to gauge what exactly this team is going to look like in 2020. The Chargers’ betting line for Week 1 at least gives us some promising signs.
The LA Chargers are favored by 3 points against the Cincinnati Bengals.
This may not seem that significant considering the Bengals were the worst team in the league last year but there are some positives to take from it. First is that the Bengals will be better with Joe Burrow and the oddsmakers know that. Second is that the Chargers are on the road in this game and typically the rule of thumb is that home teams get a guaranteed three points on the spread.
While no fans definitely change things, the Chargers still have to travel and don’t get to sleep in their own beds. If this was in LA, the Chargers would probably be 5.5-point favorites, which is a reasonably sized line for Week 1.
According to the Action Network, the total for this game is also 41.5. It opened at 44 and has been driven all the way down to 41.5 with the public’s betting.
As an ongoing series this season, I will be giving my picks with some reasoning that you can digest and do with as you may.
Picks for Week 1: Chargers -3, under 42.5
I really wish that the line would not have moved because this game has something like 23-20 written all over it and I would not be surprised if that is the final score.
If we go back to the NFL lockout in 2011 we can see that most of the games early in the season hit the over because of defenses not being in full stride. However, this case is different in this game and I do not think it will have as much of an impact for the over.
The LA Chargers are implementing a brand new offensive scheme with a brand new quarterback with an offensive line that has Sam Tevi at left tackle and is already experiencing some injuries. There are going to be hiccups along the way.
The Bengals are also welcoming a brand new quarterback into the fold with no preseason who is behind a terrible offensive line against one of the best pass rushes in the game. Burrow is going to get beat up all game by this defense.
I had this score prediction in our staff predictions and I will say it again here: 20-16, Chargers Two field goals and two touchdowns for the Chargers while the Bengals kick three field goals with one touchdown.
The over hits by 6.5 points and the Chargers cover by a point.