Green Bay Packers vs. Los Angeles Chargers Pick 11/3/19
Green Bay Packers (7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (3-5 SU, 2-4-2 ATS)
NFL Week 9
Date and Time: Sunday, Novermber 3 at 4:25pm ET
Where: Dignity Health Sports Park
Point Spread: GB -3.5/LAC +3.5 (WagerWeb)
Over/Under Total: 47.5
We breezed passed the halfway point of the NFL season already, and the contenders’ group has done a good job of separating themselves from the pretender pack. Green Bay has the look of a potential NFC Championship game participant, and they enter Week 9, riding a four-game win streak after dispatching a Mahomes-less Kansas City team last week. They have averaged 32.5 points per game during the win streak, and Aaron Rodgers has played his best games of 2019 despite missing Davante Adams. Los Angeles is on the other side of things and has floundered most of the season, although they did sneak out a win against Chicago last week to snap a three-game skid. The Chargers have some pieces but a few good weeks out of their stars haven’t added up to many wins.
After an opening month that saw the Packers struggle with consistent offensive production, the last four weeks have seen them look like a top-notch offensive outfit. Rodgers has upped his completion percentage to 65%+ and now has a 106.7 rating with sixteen touchdowns against two interceptions. The Pack may be without Davante Adams again this week, but they have the luxury of being patient with his toe as they have won without him, and the passing game has seen some players emerge in his absence. Marquez Valdes-Scantling leads the team at 19.1 yards per catch with Jake Kumerow and Allen Lazard chipping in alongside Jimmy Graham (3 TDs) and Geronimo Allison. None of those players scare defensive coordinators by themselves, but Rodgers and this group have moved up to 8th in pass yards per game. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams are the final portion of the passing puzzle with that duo responsible for seven receiving touchdowns alongside nine combined rushing scores. Green Bay enters the week 7th in points per game and has done well enough on the ground to win the time of possession battle at nearly 32 minutes per game.
Passing Lane Open
One area L.A. can match Green Bay is the passing game. The Chargers are 6th in passing at 281 yards per game, and that production has been necessary with the ground game near the bottom of the league at just 70 yards on average. Melvin Gordon hasn’t found his top form since ending his holdout and has averaged just 2.5 yards per carry in four games. Austin Ekeler hasn’t fared much better toting the rock but does have the team lead with 51 receptions and five touchdowns. Philip Rivers is completing 66% of his passes, but volume throwing has led to seven interceptions. Green Bay is holding QBs to an 84 average QB rating with eight-team interceptions to make for a tough matchup for Rivers in terms of limiting turnovers. Keenan Allen leads the team with 617 yards, and Hunter Henry has 304 receiving yards in just four games. That duo does well over the middle, and that happens to be exactly where Green Bay is weakest in pass coverage. LAC should be able to move the ball against the 22nd ranked defense in yards allowed, but finishing drives with touchdowns will be the key to staying close on Sunday.
Big Play Defenses
Neither of these teams has a shutdown D, but Green Bay is 11th in points allowed with L.A. at 10th, and both specialize in getting off the field after a big play. Green Bay has Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith (15 combined sacks) upfront and Kevin King (3 INT) in back to disrupt drives while L.A. relies on Joey Bosa and his seven sacks. Desmond King is the only other Charger with at least two sacks, so Bosa has become somewhat of a one-person unit. The Chargers should have a small edge in getting pressure on the QB as the Packers offensive line has given up more sacks and have a few banged-up players. While they get some pressure up front, the Chargers are near the bottom on third-down defense, allowing 48% conversions. Rodgers will decimate this defense if they can’t find a way to get off the field.
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Green Bay is riding a four-game winning streak against the spread on the road, and the over has hit in five of the last six Packers games overall. The Chargers have just two ATS wins in their last nine games overall and have just 11 wins against the spread in the last 41 home games. With Green Bay among the public betting favorites, it is no surprise to see nearly 75% of the action coming in on their side. The public is also looking at the over with 67% of bets coming in to beat the 47.5 point total.
There is no such thing as a home-field advantage for the Chargers these days, and this week could be one of the worst atmospheres for them as Green Bay fans will come out of the woodwork to support their team away from home. Rodgers is playing well, and Aaron Jones is looking like one of the better dual-threat back in the NFC. Even without Adams, Green Bay is going to get points on the board and turn the defensive heat up behind both Smiths. I think Melvin Gordon could have his best game since returning as Green Bay is weak against the run, but I don’t think that will be enough to hold off the Pack. The 3.5 is even less than Green Bay had to cover against the Chiefs, and I think a similar game script will unfold. The Chargers can play back-and-forth for a bit, but this one ends with Green Bay winning 31-21 so lay the points.
Ted’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread:Green Bay
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