LA Chargers: Game breakdown and prediction vs. Jets

The LA Chargers have their easiest foe of the season in Week 11.

The LA Chargers come into Week 11 losers of three-straight games to drop them to a depressing 2-7 on the season.

With both the Chiefs and the Raiders beginning to pull away in the AFC West and the AFC clearly seeming like the more competitive conference, the Bolts’ chances to grab a playoff spot are dwindling rapidly.

Week 10 brought me a lot of losing across the board of all my picks and the Chargers’ game was no different. Chargers-Dolphins was one of the only games I decided to go against what the numbers told me and I evidently paid the price for it.

I was able to land the over 48.5 thanks to the back-and-forth nature of the game, but I swung and missed at my upset pick of the Bolts actually beating the Dolphins who are now winners of five-straight games and undefeated with Tua Tagovailoa under center.

For what it’s worth, props to Tua for coming through again and continuing to win games, but like I said last week, something strange is up with him. 25 passing attempts this past week. 28 attempts against the Cardinals. 22 attempts against the Rams.

The Dolphins are clearly a running football team and having Tua as their quarterback gives off the feeling that they’re about to drop back and throw the ball 35+ times a game.

That has not been the case so far, which gives one question as to why they are not letting one of the best college throwers of the football do the same in the pros.

Is it because his receiving core isn’t full? Is it because he has a young O-line in front of them and Brian Flores doesn’t want to overwork them in pass blocking? Is it because there was an abbreviated offseason and Tua still needs time to adapt?

All three might be true at this point and I get that. But that doesn’t shake the eerie feeling around Tua and his future in this league. I don’t get that feeling with Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow. Nothing but rainbows and sunshine thinking about the future of both the Chargers and Bengals as far as I’m concerned.

It was another tough loss for the Bolts, but Miami has now proven themselves to be a pretty good team sitting fat and happy at 6-3 with a banged-up Drew Lock, winless Jets team, and rebuilding Bengals team next in line for them to face down.

As for the LA Chargers, Week 11 has the makings to be very good to them. Joey Bosa is set to come back and the 2-7 Bolts will host the winless New York Jets and Joe Flacco.

Here’s the thing about this game. It’s by no means a slam dunk for the Chargers. As we’ve seen all year long, this Chargers team plays down to its down opponents. We saw them fail to cover three points against the Bengals. We saw them lose to the Panthers at home. And if not for a big second half by Justin Herbert, they very well could have lost to Gardner Minshew and the Jags.

Now they get a winless Jets team coming off a bye and a 27-point performance against Bill Belichick’s Patriots defense where they only lost by a field goal.

On top of that, the Jets have themselves sneaky success on the road against the Chargers. The Bolts lead this series 22-14-1 and have won 5 of their last 7 games against the Jets, however, the Jets are actually 4-2 in their last 6 road games against the Chargers and 6-3 in their last 9.

Joe Flacco has himself a pretty good 4-2 record in the regular season against the Bolts as well and we just saw him lead this Jet offense to an almost-victory over the vaunted Belichick defense.

There’s also something really weird going on with the Jets lately as they’ve now covered 2 of their past 3 games as underdogs. They were able to do so against the Bills in an 18-10 defeat. Then they got their doors blown off by Kansas City as the Chiefs covered a 19.5-point spread against them. Then two weeks ago they almost beat the Patriots as I just mentioned.

The Jets are 2-6 ATS as underdogs this season, but they’re 2-1 in their last 3 attempts and we all know how bad (on the flip side) the Chargers are as favorites this year. 1-3-1 are the Bolts ATS when they are favored and now we come to a similar match up to what they had when they took on the Jaguars a few weeks ago.

Nothing for the Jets to lose in this game, so can the Chargers avoid a major upset?

I say yes they will and yes they’ll even cover 8.5 points, which is what the line said the last time I checked out FanDuel (I think it might’ve jumped up a point or so since I checked because I got a little ahead of schedule this week and locked all my picks in as of Thursday.

So we all agree 8.5 points is quite a lot, right? Well, in 16 of 22 career wins over the Jets, the Chargers have won and covered an 8.5-point spread. That comes out to 73% of the time, when the Bolts beat the Jets, they also win by 8.5 points.

When those games are home games for the Chargers, that stat becomes 9 out of 13 games they won they also covered 8.5 points which comes out to 69%, so a slight drop.

Either way, I absolutely love those odds. We don’t see percentages like that for spreads as big as 8.5 points. You’re usually lucky if you get into the 60% range.

So, if the Chargers are going to win this game, I think they’re going to able to cover. And since the Jets have still yet to win a football game without Sam Darnold, I’d say the chances of the Bolts winning this game are pretty high pending a typical Charger collapse we’ve all come accustomed to watching.

Finally, to close this out, in 11 of 37 total games against each other, the Chargers and Jets have reached a score over 46.5 points (again, the last time I checked, that was the total for this week). That comes out to 30% of the time, these two teams go over 46.5 points.

When those games are at the Chargers, that percentage jumps to 38% of the time since 8 of 21 games went over 46.5.

When I stack that up against the other games on this week’s slate, this game comes in as the 8th most likely of 14 to go over its total, so right in the middle pretty much.

It can go either way, honestly, but I think I like this game to go under 46.5 because I can never trust the Jets to do much of anything on the offensive side of the ball. They have, to their credit, covered 2 of their last 3 games and if they do something similar again, an over could very easily be hit.

But if I’m going to continue down the logic trail of the Chargers winning this game and winning relatively big, I think there is going to be some low-scoring on the part of the Jets even out of a bye.

Who did the Jets keep it close with? A Bills team in a funk and a Pats team with no weapons on offense to speak of. LA is (as of the end of Week 10) 4th in YPG, 7th in PYPG, and 9th in RYPG. I don’t know if the Jets and offensive genius Adam Gase (wink wink) can keep up with that.

Next: Why Tom Telesco might be on the hot seat

Maybe I’m way off in that regard like I was last week, but that’s my prediction. Give me the Chargers 28-14 in this game covering 8.5 points and going under 46.5.