Atlanta Falcons vs. San Diego Chargers Point Spread – Pick Against the Spread

Atlanta Falcons (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs San Diego Chargers (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date/Time: September 23rd, 4:05 PM E
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
by Jeff Hochman, Pro Handicapper,

Point Spread: ATL +3/SD -3
Over/Under Total: 51

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After that big win on Monday Night Football, the Atlanta Falcons
look to remain perfect against the undefeated San Diego Chargers
in this week three NFL tilt. Atlanta defeated Denver 27-21 as 3-point home
chalk, but did loose the stats as they were out-gained by 61 yards. Matt
Ryan had another solid game at home and the defense did just enough to get
the win. Ryan becomes the 2nd Falcons quarterback with 100 career Passing
TD’s. Steve Bartkowski had 154 with the Falcons. The Chargers won and covered
in a rout vs. the Titans last week. If you read my write-up on that game
here at, you cashed the side and total. San Diego out-gained
the Titans by 204 yards. It was the first game out of the past five that
the Chargers had won the stats

As good as the Falcons have looked, they’ve pulled away from their first two opponents because of turnovers. They didn’t physically dominate or overwhelm anybody. Atlanta is 0-2 ITS (in the stats) so far this season. Expect to see a heavy dose of running from the Chargers as they get back Ryan Mathews back from injury. Even with the big leads they built on turnovers, the Falcons have given up 270 yards rushing in only two games. At that rate they would be on pace to give up well over 2,000 yards. Last year, the only team to give up 2000+ rushing yards and have a winning record was the Detroit Lions, who made a quick playoff exit after giving up 167 yards on the ground to the Saints.

The Falcons have some injury concerns in their secondary and some other distractions as well. Michael Turner was arrested for DUI and speeding early Tuesday morning and his status remains uncertain for this game against. Atlanta also has to travel West after playing on Monday Night Football at home. That is tough for sure but I also have some concerns on the Chargers side. The two teams they beat (Oakland & Tenn) are not exactly what you would call elite or even above average teams. The Chargers defensive line has played pretty well, but will now go against one of the better O’lines in all of football. San Diego’s offensive line has not impressed me either.

These two teams have not played each other since November 2008. The Falcons won 22-16 as 6.5-point road dogs. Both QB’s did not have the greatest of games as Matt Ryan was 17-of-23 for 207 yards and two scores. Philip Rivers was 17-of-30 for just 149 yards. You would expect both quarterbacks to put up much better numbers than what they showed back in 2008. Atlanta is 5-0 SU vs San Diego since 9/15/91.

The Falcons are 3-6 SU and 3-6 ATS as an Underdog over the last three seasons. Atlanta is 9-7 SU and 9-5 ATS after playing on Monday Night Football. One of your better records in the entire league after playing on MNF. The Chargers are 3-5 SU and 2-6 ATS in Non-Conference games over the last three seasons. The Chargers are 17-13 SU and 10-16 ATS as a home favorite of 3 or less points since 1993.

Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: San Diego Chargers -3. I don’t love the game but will side with the home team. The Falcons have won two games by winning the turnover battle and now travel West off a short week. Small lean to the Chargers.

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