Los Angeles Chargers at Seattle Seahawks: 2018 Week 9 NFL Pick

Los Angeles Chargers (5-2) at Seattle Seahawks (4-3)

I was hoping the Chargers would get Joey Bosa back from injury following their week 8 bye because I think with him healthy they are a legitimate contender, but would likely not be considered one by the general public, giving us some deflated lines with them. Bosa is expected to still need a few more weeks though and, at the very least, is out for this game in Seattle. Despite that, I still like the Chargers a lot this week as 1.5 point road favorites. Even without Bosa, the Chargers rank 5th in first down rate differential at +4.48%. Their defense has been underwhelming, ranking 20th in first down rate allowed at 37.33%, but their offense has been strong with Philip Rivers playing as well as he ever has and plenty of weapons around him, picking up first downs or touchdowns on 41.81% of offensive snaps.

Making that even more impressive is the fact that they basically have no homefield advantage, as their home games are usually overtaken by visiting fans. Going into Seattle is no easy task, but the Chargers are used to playing well in hostile environments and are 31-20-3 ATS away from home since 2012. This is also far from the same Seattle team we are used to, as a result of all their defensive losses. They are 4-3 and have won 4 of 5, with their one loss in that span coming by 2 points to the Rams, but they’ve also benefited from a +10 turnover margin, which they are not necessarily going to be able to rely on going forward, given how inconsistent turnovers are week-to-week. In first down rate, they rank just 24th at -3.15%, with both their offense and defense ranking below average.

This is also a much better spot for the Chargers than the Seahawks, as the Chargers follow this game with a trip to Oakland to play the hapless Raiders, while the Seahawks have to go to Los Angeles and take on the currently undefeated Rams. Underdogs are 84-51 ATS before being favorites when their opponent will next be underdogs, as teams tend to be much more focused with an easier game on deck rather than a harder one that could potentially be a distraction. I know we’re only getting a point and a half with the Chargers, but the logic stands, as that game in Los Angeles has likely been circled on the calendar by the Seahawks for months. Last time they played the Rams, they almost lost in Arizona the week prior. We’re also getting good line value with the Chargers, who I have calculated as 3-point road favorites in this game, so the Chargers are an obvious choice in this one.

Los Angeles Chargers 24 Seattle Seahawks 20 Upset Pick +105

Pick against the spread: LA Chargers +1.5

Confidence: High

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