The 1-4 LA Chargers take on the 1-5 Jacksonville Jaguars at home in Week 7.
The LA Chargers have slowly developed a reputation in this league as a team that plays to the level of its competition.
On one hand, that doesn’t bode too well for the die-hard fans of the team, but for those of us who love to make predictions, the Chargers are a dream to follow because you always know where they stand at any one time. Put more simply, the Bolts are consistent.
They play poorly against lesser competition and better against elevated competition. This has been proven in every game they’ve played this year.
They played down to the Bengals and Panthers and played up to the Bucs, Saints, and Chiefs. If history repeats itself, I have a feeling this week’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars might be a breath-holder for Charger fans.
But in predicting this game, I’m actually going to go a little off-grain. The way this season has gone for the Bolts, I find it very hard to believe that they would put on a flawless performance in this game, much less cover a large 7.5-point spread as lastly seen on FanDuel.
The Bolts are 0-1-1 in covers this year as the favorite whereas they’re 3-0 covering as underdogs.
But I see this as a completely different kind of matchup than any game they’ve had so far.
First and foremost, last year this team destroyed the Jags 45-10 and beat up on one Gardner Minshew. That was with turnover-prone, unathletic Philip Rivers.
Now we have a matchup with a much worse Jags team than last year with its defense not playing at all to its potential. Last year, Tre Herndon was one of the top-rated corners on PFF, but this year not so much. CJ Henderson was widely believed to be the second-best corner in last year’s draft class, but he’s been banged up and has also struggled when he’s been active.
On top of that, Myles Jack is still out and Josh Allen has been nursing an injury the past few weeks.
I think the Jags have some really good personnel, but 2020 is just not their year as is usually the case with bad teams. When the team is bad, the defense, no matter how talented, also doesn’t play up to its potential.
Conversely, now we also have a much more high-powered Chargers offense with a rookie quarterback who has a cannon for an arm and underrated athleticism. Yes, Justin Herbert is turnover-prone like Rivers was last year, but the ceiling is also higher than what Rivers’ was in 2019.
So, we have a well-rested Chargers team with a hungry young quarterback going against a Jags team that has most likely packed it in already and have entered the Trevor Lawrence/Justin Fields sweepstakes.
On top of that, we also have some numbers to back up why the Chargers are going to win this game and even cover 7.5 points.
The Bolts are 8-3 all-time against the Jaguars and 7-1 in their last 8 meetings. Now, this may not be as big a deal since the Chargers have moved cities, but this team is also 4-0 at home when they play the Jags regardless of San Diego or LA.
Coming into the season, I had it in the back of my head for some reason that the Jags always played the Chargers tough, but after looking at these stats, it’s clear to me that the Bolts own this series.
But not only do I think the Bolts win this game, but I also believe a 7.5-point spread will be covered by them.
I know, I know, this team has yet to cover a simple spread as favorites this year yet alone over a touchdown margin, but one interesting thing to keep in mind is that of their 8 total wins over Jacksonville in their history, the Chargers have beaten them by 7.5 points or more 7 times. Meaning, 88% of the time when the Chargers beat the Jags, they also beat them by more than 7.5 points.
This week was kind of tough for me to figure out which favorites to take in the spread and which dogs to take to cover, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger on going Jacksonville to at least cover within 7.5 points on this one.
I think the Chargers are going to come out very well-rested and raring to go. They haven’t played well this year against down competition, but this is a matchup that favorites them tremendously.
I think Minshew and that beat-up Jags offense struggles to move the ball. DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault are banged up and Tyler Eifert is out. Give me the Bolts 27-18 in this one.
Love the Bolts win and cover. Love the under 49. This should be a really great day for the Chargers.