NFL Betting -- Chargers and Packers have to compensate for loss of big-time backs

  • In Charles Jay
  • Sun, Sep 17th, 2023 4:17:30 am
  • By Charles Jay - Exclusive to OSGA

The Atlanta Falcons hope to get somewhere on the ground against the Green Bay Packers, and the Los Angeles Chargers hope to overcome the loss of Austin Ekeler as they move forward with the early games on Sunday.

Los Angeles Chargers -2.5 (-125)
Tennessee Titans +2.5 (+105)

Over 45.5 points -113
Under 45.5 points -107

The Los Angeles Chargers were torched for a lot of yardage by Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa last week, but BetOnline customers know it’s not like that they’re facing the same kind of challenge this week with Ryan Tannehill of the Tennessee Titans.

Most people would probably agree that Tannehill‘s days in Nashville are numbered, with two young quarterbacks – Malik Willis, and Will Levis - backing him up. What the Titans still need to do is to get dominant performances from Derrick Henry. DeAndre Hopkins contributed something last week in the loss at New Orleans, but this is not necessarily an explosive offense.

What the Titans do have, however, is the craftier head coach. Mike Vrabel is not a guy who will lie down and roll over for a more explosive opponent. And when the Titans have gotten points at home, they’ve covered five of the last six in that situation.

What makes things a little more difficult for the Chargers is that Austin Ekeler is out. Perhaps the best combination back in the National Football League, Ekeler produced 164 yards from scrimmage last week against Miami, but he won’t see action. That will leave a hole in this offense that will be hard to plug.

Let’s also consider that the Chargers are coming east for the 1 PM ET start, which is a little more difficult on the body clock. We'll grab the points here with Tennessee, which might just be able to grind it out.

Atlanta Falcons -2 (-114)
Green Bay Packers (-106)

Over 40.5 points -103
Under 40.5 points -117

The Green Bay Packers will put Jordan Love out there for his first road start of 2023, and third overall start in his NFL career. It is taking place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and the Falcons also have a quarterback lacking in overall experience in Desmond Ridder.

So maybe the question you’re asking yourself is, which of these quarterbacks is further along at the moment? Well, Love might be the easy answer to that, since he’s had a few years in the system. So he looks a lot more in control; at least he did last week in Chicago as he directed a very easy win for the Packers over the Bears. Now, we understand that Chicago has not historicall had a whole lot of success against Green Bay, and that the Falcons have the potential to be a bit more threatening on the ground; between Justin Allgeier and Bijan Robinson, they got 131 yards rushing vs. Carolina. Green Bay can move it on the ground as well, although we must take note that Aaron Jones has to sit out of this game with an injury. So there's more pressure on AJ Dillon,.

No, it is not the easiest proposition in the world for Green Bay. They are not at their most comfortable in artificial turf. They are starting a young quarterback on the road. So we would not be surprised if things got a little choppy. But when you look at Ridder, this is a guy who really has to get his legs under him. Last week he threw for just 3.5 Intended Air Yards per attempt, which was the second lowest in the NFL. And that doesn't challenge a defense a lot. He made very little use of tight end Kyle Pitts, and did nothing with wide receiver Drake London. Will those guys just suddenly appear in the offensive game plan?

We would probably lean towards the Packers here, although going under the total might be the more judicious play overall.

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