NFL Picks & Preview – Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers

NFL Picks & Preview – Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers 

 

Things were not going all that badly for the Buffalo Bills, at least until a couple of weeks ago. Then they lost by 13 points to the New York Jets and then came back home to get absolutely humiliated by the New Orleans Saints. That was the kind of defeat that could really tear away at your confidence, so from a psychological standpoint, they have to bounce back this week as they visit the Los Angeles Chargers in a game that begins at 4:05 PM ET at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA. Fox Network will televise the game on a regional basis, and BetAnySports customers will have the opportunity to place wagers even after the opening kickoff as they take advantage of what is available through Live Betting Ultra.
The Bills should be ashamed of themselves after last week’s effort. They gave up a whopping 298 yards on the ground to New Orleans, allowing the Saints to run on 24 consecutive running plays during one stretch. They just could not stop anything, and New Orleans registered a 47-10 victory without Drew Brees even throwing a touchdown pass. That is unacceptable. Tyrod Taylor was lifted from the game after throwing for just 56 yards, and Nathan Peterman, a rookie out of Pittsburgh, was inserted. He went 7-10 for 79 yards and a touchdown, and he was named the starter by head coach Sean McDermott for this one.
McDermott has, by and large, changed some of the culture around the Bills, as he had them playing some nasty defense and cutting down on turnovers. In fact, on a per-drive basis, the offense was third best in turnovers, with the defense at the top of the heap. Still, this stop unit is just 25th in the NFL in yards allowed per drive, and so they have some things to worry about with Philip Rivers at the controls for the Chargers.
The Bills come into this game with a 5-4 straight-up record, and they are 5-3-1 against the football pointspread. The Chargers are 3-6 straight-up and 4-4-1 ATS.
In the odds at BetAnySports upon which we will make our NFL picks for this game, the Chargers are the favorites at home:
Los Angeles Chargers -6.5
Buffalo Bills +6.5
 
Over 41 points -110
Under 41 points -110
Peterman was a fifth-round draft choice, but he impressed a lot of people in camp, although his numbers in the pre-season were not off-inspiring, as he completed 54% of his passes for 453 yards. McDermott, however, insist that his team is better than its 5-4 record indicates, and he wants to see if the rookie can give this offense a jump-start. Peterman does not have the mobility of Taylor, who was also the Bills’ second-leading rusher with 237 yards, but is going to have wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin available to him after trade with the Carolina Panthers brought him a board last week. Still, there is something to worry about in terms of the Chargers’ pass rush, as Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram have combined for 18 sacks.
It will be critical this week for the Buffalo ground game to work, and that means LeSean McCoy, who has been somewhat less than sensational with his 3.8-yard average, but let’s keep in mind that Los Angeles gives up 4.7 yards per carry. The Bills hope to hold the ball little bit longer; they had it for less than 19 minutes last week.
BetAnySports patrons have been watching the situation with Philip Rivers closely this week. After he threw an interception against Jacksonville last Sunday, he made the tackle and suffered a head injury which put them into the concussion protocol. He has just recently been cleared to play, and this will be his 186th consecutive start, which is the fourth-best all time. The Chargers are 30th in the NFL in converting on third down (33.9%), but take note that Buffalo forces fewer three-and-outs than anyone (just 14.3% of the time). An interesting angle here is that the first-year head coach of the Chargers – Anthony Lynn – served as offensive coordinator and interim head coach in Buffalo last season.
After last week humiliation, you’ve got to expect that Buffalo is going to come back with some resolve, and let’s remember that they were playing pretty good fundamental football for McDermott prior to this two-game skid. Let’s also keep in mind that the Chargers don’t really have a home field advantage in Carson, where they have lost three of four games. Let’s take the points in this one.
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