Houston Texans (1-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (1-1)
This line favors the hometown Chargers by 3 points, suggesting two things: that these two teams are about equal and that the Chargers have a standard homefield advantage. I don’t think either of those are true. For one, the Chargers rarely draw home fans in Los Angeles and are just 6-9-1 ATS at home (as opposed to 12-5-2 ATS on the road) since moving there. The Texans aren’t known for having a national fanbase, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the crowd was primarily Texan fans this week.
On top of that, I have the Texans a couple points better in my roster rankings. Even after they lost on the road in Detroit last week (and almost lost at home to the Colts week 1), the public seems to be underestimating the impact of all of the Chargers’ absences. Not having Melvin Gordon hasn’t hurt, but they’ve felt the absence of left tackle Russell Okung on the offensive line and Derwin James in the secondary. They also lost tight end Hunter Henry indefinitely last week and now are without safety Adrian Phillips, who was replacing James. Given the Chargers’ current injury situation and their lack of homefield advantage, I have this line calculated at even, so the Texans are worth a bet if you can get the full field goal.
Houston Texans 24 Los Angeles Chargers 23 Upset Pick +145
Pick against the spread: Houston +3