San Diego Chargers (4-6) at Houston Texans (6-4)
The Chargers are just 4-6, but they’ve been significantly better than their record this season. All 6 of their losses came by 8 points or fewer, so they’ve been competitive in every game. Their +14 point differential is solid and they rank 7th in first down rate differential thanks to a +24 first down differential. They’re also healthier coming out of the bye, getting middle linebacker Denzel Perryman, wide receiver Travis Benjamin, and safety Jahleel Addae back from injury this week. The Texans, meanwhile, are not nearly as good as their 6-4 record. Their 6 wins have come by a combined 36 points, while their 4 losses have come by a combined 70 points, giving them a point differential of -34 that ranks 26th in the NFL. In terms of first down rate differential, they rank 27th in the league.
Neither of these teams’ records are indicative of their talent level or how they’ve played thus far this season. However, this line seems to take that into account, as the Chargers are 1.5 point road favorites. As a result, we’re not really getting any line value with them. I’m still going to take the Chargers because they’re in a better spot than the Texans (the Chargers host the Buccaneers next week while the Texans go to Green Bay) and because they’ve been a good road team over the past two seasons (9-4 ATS), but there’s not enough here for me to be confident in them.
San Diego Chargers 20 Houston Texans 17
Pick against the spread: San Diego -1.5