If anything was clear from the 2020 season, it’s that rookie phenom Justin Herbert is the guy in Los Angeles. Herbert set the record for most passing touchdowns by a rookie (a mark that seemingly will be broken every other year or so) and torched defenses routinely. However, Herbert will have to adjust to the fast life in the NFL as the Chargers ditched head coach Anthony Lynn despite winning their last four games. With centerpieces Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen poised to return in 2021, the future is looking bright for young Herbert.
The 2021 offseason for the Chargers will be a busy one. Aside from finding a new head coach, Los Angeles will be working to retain key free agents like star pass rusher Melvin Ingram, tight end Hunter Henry, starting center Mike Pouncey, and linebacker Denzel Perryman. With the eighth-most cap space in the NFL, the Chargers should be able to get some deals done. However, with veterans like Ingram and Pouncey, it’ll take more than a dime to keep them around– they may be looking to contend now.
Should those free agents leave for greener pastures, the 2021 Chargers could have a very different look.
LA Chargers odds
Chargers futures odds
Chargers Super Bowl odds
The Los Angeles Chargers have been eliminated from playoff contention.
AFC West odds
The Los Angeles Chargers have been mathematically eliminated from AFC West contention.
LA Chargers 2020 schedule and betting odds
|Week 1||Sunday, Sept. 13||4:05 p.m. ET||at Cincinnati||Chargers -3|
|Week 2||Sunday, Sept. 20||4:25 p.m. ET||vs. Kansas City||Chiefs -6.5|
|Week 3||Sunday, Sept. 27||4:05 p.m. ET||vs. Carolina||Chargers -5.5|
|Week 4||Sunday, Oct. 4||1:00 p.m. ET||at Tampa Bay||Buccaneers -8|
|Week 5||Monday, Oct. 12||8:15 p.m. ET||at New Orleans||Saints -9.5|
|Week 6||Sunday, Oct. 18||4:05 p.m. ET||vs. New York Jets||Chargers -3.5|
|Week 7||Sunday, Oct. 25||1:00 p.m. ET||at Miami||Chargers -1.5|
|Week 8||Sunday, Nov. 1||4:05 p.m. ET||vs. Jacksonville||Chargers -8.5|
|Week 9||Sunday, Nov. 8||4:05 p.m. ET||vs. Las Vegas||Chargers -1|
|Week 10||Sunday, Nov. 15||BYE|
|Week 11||Sunday, Nov. 22||4:05 p.m. ET||at Denver||Broncos -3|
|Week 12||Sunday, Nov. 29||1:00 p.m. ET||at Buffalo||N/A|
|Week 13||Sunday, Dec. 6||4:25 p.m. ET||vs. New England||Patriots -2.5|
|Week 14||Sunday, Dec. 13||4:25 p.m. ET||vs. Atlanta||Chargers -0.5|
|Week 15||Thursday, Dec. 17||8:20 p.m. ET||at Las Vegas||Raiders -3|
|Week 16||TBA||TBA||vs. Denver||Chargers -1|
|Week 17||Sunday, Jan. 3||1:00 p.m. ET||at Kansas City||N/A|
How to bet on the Los Angeles Chargers
Should the Chargers defense play out as expected and be a strength, then Los Angeles could offer some value at sportsbooks. One consideration may be to play Chargers games under the total, knowing that a new quarterback for Los Angeles without high-level success will have to learn the system, work with new receivers and linemen, and show he can lead the offense.
Betting a team on the moneyline to just win the game is the simplest type of bet. Using examples and estimates, if the Chargers are a 3-point underdog (+3), the moneyline on Los Angeles would be +135. So you could wager $100 to win $135. If the Chargers are a 3-point favorite (-3), the odds on the moneyline would be close to -165, and you would need to wager $165 to win $100. Halftime lines will have moneylines attached to them.
The point spread is made by the oddsmaker to essentially set the margin of victory. If the Chargers are a 3.5-point underdog and you bet them on the point spread, you win your bet if the Chargers win the game or lose by three points or less. Conversely, if the Chargers odds show they are a 3.5-point favorite, you win your bet only if the Chargers win by at least four points. A Chargers loss or defeat by three points or less is a lost wager. Any wager that lands on the point spread, for example a 20-17 score with a 3-point spread, results in a push and refund of the bet. Most points spreads have odds of -110, so a $110 bet pays back $100 on a winner, or $11 wins $10. However, oddsmakers can and do attach higher money lines to some point spreads, where you might see a 3-point favorite (-120). So you would have to wager $120 to win $100 and your team would have to win by more than three points to win your wager.
An oddsmaker sets the total on a game with an expectation of the total number of points scored by both teams. A total is also referred to as over/under (O/U). You can bet over that number or under than number. Scoring has increased in the NFL in recent years and an average game total is set near 46-48 points as teams averaged 22.8 and 23.3 points per game the past two seasons. First half totals are close to half the game total when wagering on first half totals.
Props or “proposition bets” are bets that generally don’t directly affect the outcome of the game. Player props are popular, like over/under passing yards in a game by a quarterback, or props tied to a future like which quarterback will lead the league in passing? Leading sportsbooks like FanDuel and DraftKings can offer more creative options, for example No. 1 draft pick Joe Burrow of the Bengals had his 2020 regular season passing yards set at 3,800 immediately after the draft. Some sportsbooks will have offered a prop on whether Chargers rookie QB Justin Herbert will be the Week 1 starter for Los Angeles (Yes -370, No +235). Props are more and more popular, and you’ll see more props offered beyond just the biggest events like the Super Bowl. Look for more props on the most heavily watched games and isolated primetime contests like Thursday Night, Sunday Night and Monday Night Football.
Player props on established and expected starting QBs, RBs and WRs have already been posted at many sportsbooks including FanDuel and DraftKings. You can bet which quarterback will be the Chargers starter in Week 1 at FanDuel with Tyrod Taylor (-360) the prohibitive favorite at this point over rookie top draft pick Justin Herbert (+260). A $20 bet on Herbert would return a profit of $52 if he’s the starter, and a $20 bet on Taylor would return a profit of $5.55. Odds change, and if Herbert shows well and pushes Taylor in training camp, or if Taylor is injured or something happens where he’s not likely to be the Week 1 starter, then the odds will drop on Herbert.
Futures are long term betting odds, and oddsmakers adjust those future odds during the course of a season. In the NFL, Super Bowl odds are offered to bet on many months before the regular season, and different sportsbooks and bookmakers can have different futures odds with a fair amount of discrepancy. For example, the Chargers odds for the Super Bowl in April were 40-1 at DraftKings and Chargers odds for the big game were 32-1 at FanDuel. Bettors have to often be willing to tie their money up for longer periods of time on futures bets, and realize additional risks like injuries that impact results and futures odds. Popular and public teams in major markets may draw more interest and bets, and oddmakers adjust the futures odds based on amount of money wagered, public perception, personnel losses and additions to teams, winning or losing streaks during a season and other factors. Other popular futures bets include season win totals and odds to win each division. Futures odds on players are also offered and popular bets like Most Valuable Player (MVP) and offensive and Defensive Player of the Year (POY).
Teasers allow a bettor to “buy” points and move the point spread. In the NFL, this is 6 (-120), 6.5 (-130) or 7 points (-140). The odds can be slightly higher at some sportsbooks, and you must include at least two bets in your teaser. A teaser is an adjusted line on the game. For example, if the Chargers are a 3.5-point underdog against the Las Vegas Raiders, you can tease the Chargers up to +9.5 on a 6-point teaser. Adding a second game, you might tease the Kansas City Chiefs down to -2.5 if the point spread was -8.5, say, against the Denver Broncos. To win your bet both teasers must win, so the Chiefs would have to win the game by at least 3-points, and the Chargers would have to either win the game outright or lose by 9-points or less. A bet of $120 would win you $100 in a two-team teaser. If you add more than two teams in a teaser, your payoff is higher if you win. For example, a three-team 6-point teaser for $100 would win $180 (return $280).
As more fans watch and wager on football on mobile devices, the interest in action and ease to place bets throughout a NFL game has become even more popular. With in-play or “in-game” betting, oddsmakers continuously adjust the lines during a contest based on current score, which team has the ball, field position and time remaining. If you like action throughout a contest, then in-game betting is another option offered by more bookmakers.
LA Chargers 2019 recap
Despite passing for more than 4,600 yards and continuing to be an ironman the Chargers, quarterback Philip Rivers couldn’t lift the team to a winning season in 2019.
Too many mistakes and 20 interceptions were costly, as was missing safety Derwin James for most the season with a fractured foot. The holdout of running back Melvin Gordon was another issue and he did not play until early October. Gordon rushed for a career-low 612 yards in 12 games. He gained 31 and 18 yards rushing in his first two starts back. Those were home losses as more than a field goal favorite and sent the Chargers season into a tailspin.
The Chargers offense failed to score more than 20 points in four straight games upon Gordon’s return, and Los Angeles was behind early and often last season, averaging just 3.3 points per game in the first quarter. The Chargers ended up finishing top 10 in total offense, averaging 367.4 yards per game. But the scoring didn’t match as the Chargers averaged 21.1 points per game to rank in the lower third of the league. At home the scoring struggles were worse, averaging 19.0 points per game. The Chargers scoring defense ranked middle of the league, allowing 21.6 points per game but 24.1 at home. Yet the Chargers defense allowed 313 yards per game to rank No. 6 in the league and 5.4 yards per play was middle of the pack. Despite missing James on the back end, the Chargers allowed just 200.2 passing yards per game which was No. 6 in the league.
The Chargers finished 5-11 SU but lost six of their final seven games while covering the spread just once in a blowout win over a Jacksonville Jaguars team that had tossed in the towel. Despite a miracle Week 1 win and push ATS in a 30-24 overtime victory over the Colts, the Chargers never got untracked and were over-valued ATS coming off their 12 win season in 2018. Los Angeles would finish with a league-low four point spread covers while going 4-9 ATS with a league-high three pushes on the closing number. Los Angeles’ Over/Under record was 7-9 on totals.
Chargers 2020 offseason moves
Key trades: OT Russell Okung to CAR for G Trai Turner
Key re-signings: RB Austin Ekeler, RB (four years, $24.5 million)
Key free-agent losses: QB Philip Rivers (to IND), RB Melvin Gordon (to DEN), FB Derek
Watt (to PIT, LB Thomas Davis (to WAS), S Adrian Phillips (to NE)
Key free-agent signings: OT Bryan Bulaga (Packers), CB Chris Harris, Jr. (Broncos), DT Linval Joseph (Vikings), LB Nick Vigil (Bengals).
The Chargers are turning over their roster and losing three players that were pro bowlers: QB Philip Rivers, RB Melvin Gordon and LT Russell Okung. Losing one of their most versatile defenders in safety Adrian Phillips is another tough blow. Adding a proven starter in Bulaga along the offensive line is positive. Even more solid starters and free agent signings to bolster a defense plus the return to health of safety Derwin James should have the Chargers defense being a strength in 2020.