Dallas Cowboys (2-1) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)
One of the things that’s important to do when picking games is to take into account the schedule dynamic. Football is a physically and mentally demanding sport and teams are not at 100% in terms of their concentration and level of play in every game. This is a big part of the reason why upsets happen. It’s very important to try to figure out when this is a factor. I definitely think it is this week.
The Chargers are home underdogs here before they go to Oakland next week, where they will be road favorites. The Chargers will be 100% focused here for a superior opponent with no distraction on schedule. The Cowboys, well, that might not be the case for them. They are road favorites before they will be home dogs next week in Denver. They already have more wins than the rest of the division combined and a huge benchmark home game against the Broncos next week. It’s reasonable to believe that they might not care so much about a game in San Diego, a sub .500 non-divisional opponent.
The trends basically back this up. Non-divisional home dogs are 37-11 ATS since 1989 before being divisional road favorites. Meanwhile, teams are 20-35 ATS since 1989 as non-divisional road favorites before being non-divisional home underdogs. This is certainly a bigger game for the Chargers and I think that will show on the field. They’ve been competitive in all 3 of their games and could easily win here back at home.
San Diego Chargers 27 Dallas Cowboys 20 Upset Pick +110
Pick against spread: San Diego +2