The Los Angeles Chargers (3-7) travel across the country Sunday to play the Buffalo Bills (7-3) in a 1 p.m. ET kickoff at Bills Stadium. Below, we preview the Chargers-Bills betting odds and lines and make our NFL picks and predictions.
Chargers at Bills: Betting odds, spread and lines
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Chargers at Bills: Game notes
The Chargers broke a 3-game losing streak last week by taking down the New York Jets 34-28 at home but couldn’t cover the spread as 8.5-point favorites. Rookie QB Justin Herbert was masterful against the Jets, as he went 37-for-49 for 366 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, no picks and a 116.5 quarterback rating.
Despite having just two wins as a starter, Herbert has all but locked up the Offensive Rookie of the Year award now that Cincinnati Bengals rookie QB Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending knee injury.
The Bills went into its bye in Week 11 on a down note after losing to the Arizona Cardinals 32-30 thanks to a Kyler Murray to DeAndre Hopkins Hail Mary (aka Hail Murray) with 2 seconds remaining.
Bills QB Josh Allen is having a career year. He’s top-10 in completion percentage, touchdown passes, quarterback rating, QBR and yards per attempt.
Chargers at Bills: Key injuries
RB Kalen Ballege (ankle, calf) questionable
DE Melvin Ingram III (knee) out/IR
DE Uchenna Nwosu (shoulder, chest) out
CB Casey Hayward Jr. (groin) out
G Cody Ford (knee) out/IR
WR John Browns (ankle) out/IR
Chargers at Bills: Odds, betting lines, predictions and picks
Bills 34, Chargers 21
Money line (?)
Buffalo is 3-0 straight up when coming out of a bye under head coach Sean McDermott. The Bills are 6-1 as favorites and the Chargers are 0-5 as underdogs.
Against the spread (?)
The absences of Ingram and Hayward gives me little to no confidence in the Chargers’ defense. Sharp Football Stats says Buffalo’s pass game has the highest success rate in the league and Los Angeles’ pass defense is below-average in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. Also, the Chargers are 28th in opponent’s points per play and 23rd in sack rate.
Regardless of how Buffalo’s defense has looked so far this season, McDermott is a defensive whiz. Herbert has looked great but he’s due a bad game and I expect McDermott with extra prep time, and a defense that shouldn’t be this bad, to force Herbert into making costly mistakes.
GIMME BILLS -4.5 (-110) for 1.5 units.
I only lean OVER 51.5 (-115) because 88% of the money wagered and 96% of the bets are on the Over, according to Pregame.com. It’s hard to believe that much of the market is going to cash a bet against the house.
Chargers RB Austin Ekeler is expected to return from injury and Herbert has started to find his rhythm with Pro Bowl WR Keenan Allen. Plus, these teams usually find themselves in shootouts as their combined Over/Under record is 14-5-1 O/U.
Officially, I lean to the Over for a quarter-unit.
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Chargers final injury report vs. Bills: CB Casey Hayward among 3 players out (Chargers Wire)
Bills vs. Chargers: 3 key matchups in Week 12 (Bills Wire)
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