Los Angeles Chargers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick
Los Angeles Chargers (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS)
Week 4 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 1PM EDT
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Point Spread: LAC +7.5/TB -7.5 (BetOnline - AWESOME Live Betting! 35% Re-loads!)
Over/Under Total: 43.5
The Los Angeles Chargers come to Raymond James Stadium for a week four matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The Chargers fell to 1-2 on Sunday, losing ugly at home, 21-16, to the injury-compromised Panthers. It was their first non-cover of the season, and they look to get back to .500 this week. It won’t be easy in this faraway road-trip out of conference against a Bucs team that has looked good the last few weeks. After an inauspicious debut in week one, Tom Brady has led the Bucs to the winner’s circle in weeks two and three, including a dominant road-win on Sunday over the Broncos, 28-10. Who can notch the cover this week in Tampa?
Better Spot for the Chargers?
On Sunday, the Chargers saw turnovers and untimely mistakes spoil what could have easily been a win. I didn’t like the Chargers last week and think they’re far more-dicey in the role of a favorite where things are actually expected of them. Justin Herbert is still finding his bearings in an NFL pocket. They have a new-look offense that isn’t yet well-oiled, with injures already compromising their defense with key guys out. Their form is wide-ranging, and they seem to play down to the level of their opposition.
In spots like this, however, I think the Bolts have more betting appeal. They’re expected by some to be marks for the Bucs, but they have a lot going for them. Herbert is getting up to speed, but in the process, he has thrown for 300+ yards in both of his games. He seems to be working well with a good ball-catching crew of receivers Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and tight end Hunter Henry. They’re forming a nice running combo with rookie Joshua Kelley and Austin Ekeler, who is also a major threat aerially.
And despite bad injuries on “D” with Derwin James and Melvin Ingram out of action, the Chargers’ “D” hasn’t been all that bad. They were pretty loose against the Panthers last week in the first half, before allowing just a field goal in the second half. But either way, you cut it, allowing 13 to Cincinnati, 23 to Kansas City, and 21 to the Panthers shows this defense to be in fairly strong form. They’ve been good against the pass and the run, aren’t allowing many points, and that’s with an offense that often times sputters and leaves them out to dry somewhat.
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Bucs Rounding into Shape
After falling to the Saints in week one with an errant Tom Brady not getting off to a great start as a Buccaneer, they have won twice conclusively, first beating a Panthers team that would beat the Bolts the following week, 31-17, before the easy road-win over Denver. Brady was near 300 yards with three TD throws last week in the win. You’re seeing a nice cast of weapons starting to form around Brady. With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, OJ Howard, and emerging Scotty Miller, Brady has a lot of artillery through the air. Even Rob Gronkowski came alive with six catches, and LeSean McCoy also caught a few balls. RB Leonard Fournette really helps Ronald Jones, II. and gives the Bucs a real weapon in the backfield and some balance they’ve lacked on this side of the ball. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen this offense starting to form, and it looks really good heading into week four. After watching the depleted Carolina offense taking it to the Chargers in the first half on their field, maybe Tampa can do one better this week.
Week one in New Orleans probably didn’t help paint the Tampa “D” in a great light, though one of the Saints’ scores came on a pick-six. Since then, the Bucs have been stout and are executing difference-making plays all over the field. They’ve registered six turnovers in the last two games, with two picks in each game. If the run-defense they’ve shown early in the season manifests this week, it would be a major crimp in the Chargers’ offense. But perhaps they’ve had it a bit easy the last few weeks, and a more-varied and potentially-potent Chargers’ offense can greater test this Tampa “D” on Sunday.
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Game of Contrast
They have the one common thread of both being long-suffering franchises where real success has been elusive for a few decades. They’re also both sub-.500 teams from last season that people had hope for leading into 2020. But the QB situation is as different as one can ask, with Herbert only just now getting acclimated to the league, pitted against the old legend in Brady. You have an AFC California team in an NFC setting in Florida. It’s actually almost impossible to recall a Chargers-Buccaneers game from the past. They have no real connection, other than the fact that the AFC West faces the NFC South this season. As far as NFL matchups go, it’s a bit random.
Take the Points on the Road Dog
Granted, the Chargers would be in a lot better shape to make an impact in a spot like this if they had Derwin James and Melvin Ingram. And having Mike Williams, T Bryan Bulaga, and CB Chris Harris, Jr. banged up isn’t helpful, either. While the dichotomy of the QB situation is stark, with the most-glorious quarterback of all-time pitted against a rookie who was jettisoned into a starting role only as a result of a bizarre medical procedural injury to Tyrod Taylor, maybe the Chargers aren’t as hopeless here as what some might think. In a lot of ways, they’re similar teams with equal strengths across a lot of areas. I see the Chargers giving the Bucs enough trouble on both sides of the ball to sneak out of Florida with the cover on Sunday.
Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Los Angeles Chargers plus 7.5 points. Bet your Week 4 NFL picks FREE by taking advantage of a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $300 at MyBookie Sportsbook!