Tennessee Titans (7-6) at Los Angeles Chargers (7-6)
Both of these teams are 7-6, but neither has played as well as their record suggests, with the Titans seven wins coming by an average of 6.6 points per game and the Chargers’ coming by 4.3 points per game, as opposed to defeats of victory of 13.5 points per game and 10.1 points per game in their six losses respectively. Despite their similarities, the Chargers are still the significantly better team though, for a few reasons. For one, they have played a tougher schedule, while the Titans’ only win against a winning team came against the 7-5-1 Commanders, who were 1-4 at the time.
The Titans have also gotten kind of lucky in their only two multiscore wins, getting a defensive touchdown to push the margin to 9 against the Colts, while their 10-point win over the Packers came against a team in a terrible spot, playing on a short week after an overtime game, a spot in which teams are just 2-22 ATS all-time. Despite that, the Chargers still have a slight edge in point differential (-31 vs. -35) and, in terms of schedule adjusted efficiency, which is even more predictive than point differential, the Chargers have an even bigger edge.
Overall, the Titans rank 29th in schedule adjusted efficiency, while the Chargers rank 25th, not nearly as good as their record suggests, but still 1.5 points better than the Titans. The Chargers are also healthier, though largely by default. Their defense is still missing top cornerback JC Jackson, stud safety Derwin James, and dominant edge defender Joey Bosa, but their offense has gotten back their two talented wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, as well as talented center Corey Linsley, a big boost, even if they are not as good as they were a year ago when stud left tackle Rashawn Slater was healthy.
The Titans, meanwhile, are missing top wide receiver Treylon Burks, starting left tackle Taylor Lewan, their two best edge defenders Denico Autry and Harold Landry, talented starting linebackers Zach Cunningham and David Long, and starting cornerbacks Kristian Fulton and Elijah Molden. This line favors the Chargers by three at home, where they have next to homefield advantage since moving to Los Angeles in 2017, going 18-27 ATS at home, as opposed to 27-17 ATS on the road, so it’s still hard to be confident in the Chargers this week, but they should be the better side for pick ‘em purposes.
Los Angeles Chargers 24 Tennessee Titans 20
Pick against the spread: LA Chargers -3