By Charles Jay
I don’t know what BetAnySports patrons think, but I am wondering whether it wouldn’t be a good idea if the Los Angeles Chargers pulled up stakes and moved to London. At least they would have a whole country – hell, indeed a continent – all to themselves, instead of having to share a city with the Rams and their own stadium with whatever fans happened to be attached to the visiting team in any given week.
I kind of like the idea of having a team like the Chargers in the NFL. They are the closest thing we have to a homeless franchise. And even when they are supposed to moving into something “permanent” next season (you have to put that in quotation marks in the NFL), they are going to be red-headed step-children; mere tenants to the more powerful Rams, who will own and control what is now known as SoFi Stadium.
The Chargers are kind of like what the Los Angeles Clippers used to be, until they were purchased by one of the richest men in the world. The Clippers are currently the “second tenant” at the Staples Center, and were very much on the “pay no mind” list for L.A. fans for many years, but they have acquired Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and are making plans to construct their own complex, which, if they could overcome various obstacles (including a lawsuit) will be located right around the corner from the Rams’ new home.
But as for their moving; well, I am not sure where the writer at a publication called “The Athletic” got it from, but it has been vehemently denied by the NFL, as well as Chargers owner Dean Spanos, who called it “total f—ing bulls–t,” or words to that effect. There are also considerations involving the lease, PSL’s and naming rights to the park, but there is no doubt in my mind that the league could find another distressed franchise – you know, one which wasn’t able to stick taxpayers with the bill in their quest for a new ballpark – to move in without a whole lot of delay. So unless London is only calling for the Jacksonville Jaguars, it would seem to be something that could work out.
I mean, the story had to come from SOMEWHERE, didn’t it? Unless maybe someone heard something and misinterpreted it? Philip Rivers has not signed a new deal with the team, and that is curious. But if there has been some behind-the-scenes talk about the Bolts, well, bolting, that might be one reason for it. The guy doesn’t even want the smog of Los Angeles; you think he’d prefer the fog of London?
The reason I bring some of this up is that when you don’t really have a home anymore, you have a way of feeling more comfortable on the road, and that is where Anthony Lynn’s team finds itself on Thursday night. And ironically, they are facing a team that we KNOW is a lame duck, as the Oakland Raiders, who are going to Las Vegas instead of Los Angeles because of the Chargers’ move, await them for the 8:20 PM ET start on both Fox and the NFL Network. While BetAnySports customers are watching the game at the Ring-Central Coliseum on either of those networks, they can place wagers in real time through Sports Betting Ultra.
Hera are the Thursday Night Football betting odds, remembering that they are infused with reduced juice, so you don’t have to lay the 11-to-10 (check the website):
Los Angeles Chargers -2 (-107)
Oakland Raiders +2 (-103)
Over 48.2 points (-102)
Under 48.2 points (-108)
This number represents some late movement on the Chargers, who had originally been a one-point underdog in this game. So the “sharps” have been hitting them.
Did you know that the Chargers have a 13-4-1 straight-up record the last eighteen times they have ventured outside of Los Angeles County in regular season play? I don’t know if that’s a trend that interests you, but they have covered 14 of their last 19 on the road. And if you have followed the NFL over the years, you know that this is the time of the year where the Chargers generally start heating up. And they played like it last week as they really did slap the Green Bay Packers around, outgaining them by a 442-184 margin in a game they won by 15 points but could have made the difference a lot bigger. Four times they had to settle for field goals when they probably shouldn’t have. And the Packers’ lone touchdown was rather incidental.
If you know anything about Anthony Lynn, you know that he would run the ball down the opponent’s throat on every play if he could. So you know he was gleeful to see his team rush for 159 yards in a game where Melvin Gordon (who famously held out until the season’s fourth game) got untracked a little. With Gordon, Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson, they are a handful.
There is no doubt they will be challenged up front by the Raiders, who have allowed just 3.7 yards a carry, but if there is better balance there’s a better chance. And Lynn made a bold move before last week’s game by sacking offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and promoting Shane Steichen, presumably to carry out his own vision a little better. He had some of the “element of surprise” going for him against Green Bay; will Jon Gruden and his Oakland staff be more prepared for his play-calling?
It is true that Derek Carr has completed 71%, has been sacked just nine times and has center Rodney Hudson back and expected to play. But did you also realize that Rivers leads the NFL in passing yards? Oakland has been very subpar in terms of defending the pass, allowing 22 TD’s with four INT’s and 8.5 yards an attempt. Plus they have traded Gareon Conley, who may have been their best corner. And that have not shown much ability to cover guys on short routes, which includes running backs and tight ends. Remember that all these Charger RB’s can catch it out of the backfield.
Oh, and continuing with that “road” theme, they have covered the last four times they’ve played in Oakland. This shapes up as a pretty decent matchup for them, so I will lay the short number.
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