San Diego Chargers vs. Seattle Seahawks Betting Odds and Pick to Cover the Point Spread – Week 3 NFL

San Diego Chargers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Seattle Seahawks (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS), 4:15 p.m. EST, NFL Week 4, Sunday, September 26, 2010, Qwest Field, Seattle, Washington
By Scotty L of

Betting Odds: SD 5.5/Sea +5.5
Over/Under Total: 43.5

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On Sunday, the San Diego Chargers take on the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field. Former AFC West rivals who played twice a year, these teams havent faced each other since 2006, when the Chargers won 20-17. This is one of those fate-mapping pivotal games where a lot hangs in the balance. Both teams are 1-1 and this game could go a long way toward determining each teams trajectory this season.

The Chargers got well on Sunday after a disappointing road loss in Kansas City. At home, San Diego looked like a different team, rolling what seemed to be a capable Jacksonville team going into the game. When the Jaguars opened as 8.5-point underdogs, a lot of people got on boardbetting it down to 7 by game-time. That number was never in doubt, as the Chargers were back to their high-flying ways. Quarterback Philip Rivers completed over three-quarters of his passes for 334 yards and 3 touchdowns. Malcom Floyd showed that maybe he can help fill the shoes of Vincent Jackson after all, catching 3 balls for 95 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown strike.

The Seahawks went in the opposite direction last week, after a promising week one home smashing of San Francisco. At Denver, they were never in the game. While continuing to show a robust run defense, the problems in the air continued with Broncos QB Kyle Orton going for 307 yards. That doesnt bode well against the pass-heavy offense of the Chargers. At the same time, with rookie RB Ryan Mathews out, the Chargers will lack versatility on offense this week. Offering some relief will be hard-running Chargers fullback Michael Tolbert, who went 16 for 82 and 2 touchdowns against the Jaguars.

Seattle has moments where they look pretty good and others where they are downright flat. Good luck trying to predict which team will show up. Both squads looked like completely different teams at home as opposed to on the road so far this season, though its very early. Seattle figures to be a lot better this week at home, even though the Chargers will only have a short trip to make.

Until some conclusive evidence comes down the pike, the Chargers are a major playoff threat and the Seahawks are in rebuilding mode. With their third system in three years, the Seahawks lack an identity and stability. Coach Pete Carroll can conceivably right the ship, but this will probably be a year filled with growing pains. On offense, you have an aging Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback, with a cast of unthreatening skill players. Ball catcher John Carlson is decent and Mike Williams should get a sagging career somewhat back on track with his old college coach running things, but this offense lacks compelling playmakers. Combine that with a disorganized-looking secondary and the Chargers figure to win this game.

It is possible that the dye is being cast too soon, with too much being read into a couple games. Based on last weeks games, the experts feel vindicated in their pre-season rankings of these two teams. In reality, many things have yet to be revealed. It could be that both squads buck their perceptions at some point this season. Then again, the idea that San Diego will be contending this year while the Seahawks are rebuilding is probably correct.

If the Seahawks are so bad, how did they thump the 49ers so resoundingly? This result looks even better after seeing how San Francisco played against the Super Bowl champ Saints on Monday night. They say home-field advantage is worth 3 points to a team, but it might mean more to Seattle. This is a team that will struggle, but that might be a handful at home.

Scotty Ls Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Chargers showed some gaping holes on defense and special teams in the season opener. While they got their act together against the Jaguars, some of these problems could still come to bear now that theyre on the road again. I just dont see Seattle putting a lot of points on the board with this moribund offense. In addition, their pass defense is not good enough to keep the San Diego passing attack down for the whole game.

The Seahawks will have their moments. Diminutive running back Justin Forsett might have a few big runs, old Deion Branch will make a few big 3rd down catches, and they might spring a few long returns. They will find themselves to be a bit out of their realm when Philip Rivers starts dialing it in. Look for Antonio Gates (already 3 touchdown catches) and Malcom Floyd to have big days. A bit of a grinder will break open in the 3rd quarter, with the Chargers cruising to a cover. Lay the 5.5 points and take the San Diego Chargers.