LA Chargers: Game breakdown and prediction for Week 12 at Bills


The LA Chargers look for their first winning streak of the season in Week 12.

Justin Herbert and the LA Chargers got back on the winning track last week in their 34-28 victory over the winless New York Jets.

I’ll be the first to admit I got the game wrong in many aspects. Sure, I had the Chargers winning the game, but I also had them covering 8.5 points and hitting the under of 46.5.

73% of the time, when the Chargers beat the Jets, they covered 8.5 points; 69% of the time in home wins over the Jets as well.

11 of 37 total games between the two teams went over 46.5 points and 8 of 21 games at the Chargers in the series did as well.

I just failed to account for how much better the Jets have been playing of late. Now, with their cover against the Bolts last week, they are 3-1 in their last four games ATS as underdogs.

The Chargers, meanwhile, are now 1-4-1 ATS as favorites with their failure to cover the 8.5 and I have dropped to 5-4-1 in picking Charger spreads while maintaining a solid outright record of 7-3 in picking Charger games straight up.

They were looking pretty good for a large portion of this game, but then the Jets came on strong in the second half with 22 points to not only cover 8.5 but even put themselves in position to win the game outright.

The Bolts may have gotten their third win of the year and Justin Herbert his second, but this Chargers team is very fortunate to have escaped last week with a victory.

Now we’re back to where the Chargers are more comfortable- as underdogs to one of the best teams in football.

We’ve seen the Bolts cover as underdogs against the Chiefs, Bucs, and Saints already. Now we get to see what they can do against the Bills who are coming out of a bye.

It may seem daunting, but I’d actually argue the Bolts have a real good shot to win this game outright let alone cover 4.5 points.

First and foremost, the Bolts are 25-12-2 against the Bills all-time. They’ve won 4-straight meetings with Buffalo and are 6-1 in their last 7 meetings, 10-3 in their last 13, and 19-5-1 in their last 25.

In Buffalo, the Chargers are 8-3-1 in their last 12 and 11-6-1 all-time, not to mention the fact that Josh Allen is already 0-1 against the Chargers in his career.

How about the eye test?

Sure, the Bills are a gifted offensive team that’s 4th in passing, but at the same time, are these two teams not eerily similar in that they have legit offenses and virtually no defense? LA is actually better on defense this year than Buffalo believe it or not.

LA is 11th in YPG allowed (as of the end of Week 11) while Buffalo is 20th. LA is also 12th in PYPG allowed to Buffalo’s 17th, 15th in RYPG allowed to Buffalo’s 28th, and 24th in PPG allowed to Buffalo’s 20th.

This game feels a lot to me like it’s going to be an offensive showcase that will come down to the last couple of possessions. This game’s total is at 52.5, and even though 5 of 39 overall games (13%) between these two teams and 1 of 18 at Buffalo (6%) have gone over 52.5, I have to think this year will be different because of how lopsided both teams are on one side of the ball.

Both teams are also two of the best this year in hitting the over. Buffalo is 8-2 this year in their games hitting overs while LA is 7-3.

This is going to be Justin Herbert vs. Josh Allen in a shootout and the underdogs in this game have about as great a shot as any underdog this week to pull off the upset.

At the very least, I’m going to be splitting this game in picking Buffalo to win but LA to cover because the Chargers have consistently proven they can hang tight with better teams. They’re currently 3-1 ATS as underdogs and this week feels nothing out of the norm, especially with that close call last week.

I’d be very surprised if the Chargers don’t come out and make this a game, if not outright win it.

Buffalo has covered 4.5 points in 8 of 12 wins overall against the Chargers (67%) and 5 of 6 wins at home over the Bolts (83%). I can’t ignore those percentages completely, but the way these two teams stack up is just too good to pass up a possible Chargers upset.

Ultimately, I’m going to go with the Bills to win this game because they’re a bit fresher coming out of a bye and because Justin Herbert is prone to a bad mistake here and there while Buffalo is 6th in takeaways.

But I’ll be very surprised if Buffalo comes out of this with a decisive victory with Herbert and that Charger offense in a groove and Austin Ekeler returning.

Give me the Bills in a close one this time out 33-31. I’ll take the Chargers to cover and the over to be smashed.

Next. Week 12 staff predictions

Yes, I’m going a bit against what the numbers say, but the feel of this game is that it will be an offensive clinic that comes down to the wire.