Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-3)
The Chargers went 12-4 last season, but benefited from a 6-1 record in games decided by 8 points or fewer, and came into this season without their top offensive lineman Russell Okung and their All-Pro safety Derwin James, so I’ve bet against them frequently this season, especially at home in Los Angeles, where they have next to no fans and are just 6-11-1 ATS since moving there in 2017 (as opposed to 13-5-2 ATS on the road). However, with the Chargers now at 2-3 and coming off of a home loss to the Broncos, we’re not getting the same value betting against them, as they are just 6.5-point home favorites over a Steelers team that is missing top defensive back Steven Nelson and that is starting third string undrafted rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges.
Hodges looked serviceable on 9 attempts in his debut last week, coming in for an injured Mason Rudolph, but that was against a Ravens defense that hasn’t stopped anyone this year, so I don’t have much confidence in him at all. We’re still getting line value with the Steelers, as I have this line calculated at Chargers -4.5, but I don’t think it’s worth betting on the Steelers this week, given their quarterback situation. Hodges could easily prove to be a disaster against a tougher defense in his first full game.
Los Angeles Chargers 19 Pittsburgh Steelers 14
Pick against the spread: Pittsburgh +6.5