The Falcons and Chargers will meet in Atlanta this Sunday for a Week 9 contest. LA is coming off a bye week that followed a beatdown by the Seahawks. The Chargers did rattle off a three-game win streak before the Week 7 thrashing, but the Falcons have won two of their last three and are looking to extend its league-best 6-2 ATS mark (along with the Giants and Cowboys). The Falcons opened as three-point betting underdogs, but both teams could have impact players returning from injury.
Moneyline: LAC (-163) | ATL (+138)
Spread: LAC -3 (-110) | ATL +3 (-125)
Total: 48.5 – Over (-110) | Under (-110)
Preseason lines had this one as a touchdown difference, but the Falcons are much better than Vegas, or anyone for that matter, thought they could be, and injuries have decimated the Chargers. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams could both be limited in this one or miss it entirely with lower body injuries, which would severely hinder Justin Herbert‘s ability to attack the weakest part of the Falcons’ defense.
This one is going to be decided on the ground. The Falcons are one of the best rushing teams in football, posting the fifth-most yards per game (158.1), while the Chargers’ defense hasn’t stopped the run all season, giving up the sixth-most rushing yards per game (137.6). On the other side, Atlanta’s defense has actually been pretty good against the run, allowing the 11th-fewest rushing yards (108.9) per game. And Los Angeles ranks 27th in rushing yards per game (88.9).
However, it could be because it’s so easy to pass on the Falcons that teams aren’t running it too often. Atlanta’s battered secondary could also make this even more difficult to bet.
The Falcons could be welcoming back a slew of starters, including but not limited to Cordarrelle Patterson and AJ Terrell. Those additions alone would make me love Atlanta +3 and even outright. However, if the Falcons don’t get their best players on the field and LA, in turn, gets Keenan Allen and Mike Williams healthy… it could be a long day for the Dirty Birds. The Chargers’ passing attack isn’t as threatening as Joe Burrow and the Bengals, but they could do some real damage against this hobbled Atlanta secondary.
If you like living on the edge and don’t want to wait for the injury reports, I’d be all over the Falcons’ points and moneyline. Despite being outmatched on paper, they continuously find ways to win football games, and Arthur Smith deserves credit. When it comes down to it, I’d rather bet on Smith than Brandon Staley.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire