With a new starting quarterback in tow, the Buffalo Bills hit the road in Week 11 to face the Los Angeles Chargers. Game time is 4:05 EST on Sunday, November 19 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The game can be seen on Fox in local markets.
The Chargers are viewed as 4.5-point favorites at home, with the line moving up after the Bills announced a quarterback change. The over/under is set at 44 points. Click here for a full list of the Week 11 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Bills vs Chargers Game Preview & Betting Odds
Following two straight losses, Tyrod Taylor has lost his job as Buffalo’s starting quarterback. After the Bills were humiliated by the Saints 47-10 at home last week, Taylor has been benched in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman, who will make his first career start against the Chargers.
Of course, despite the back-to-back losses the Bills are still 5-4 and would be in the playoffs if the season ended today. Buffalo’s schedule the rest of the way is not exactly easy. But if the Bills can get back on track before their losing streak continues to spiral, they have a real chance to break their long playoff drought.
The Chargers have also lost their last two games, dropping them to 3-6 overall. Los Angeles blew a golden opportunity to win in Jacksonville last week and maybe get back into the playoff picture.
Considering how weak the AFC is this season outside of a few division leaders, the Chargers making a run for a playoff spot isn’t out of the question just yet. But they definitely don’t have much margin for error, making this week’s game against the Bills a must-win game.
Free NFL Pick Against the Spread: Bills +4.5
I’m not ready to sell on the Bills just yet. I also don’t see the Chargers as that reliable, especially as the favorites with 4.5-points to cover. Regardless of who wins this game, I see a close, low-scoring affair. I don’t think there’s much value in the Chargers being able to cover. I’ll take my chances with the Bills and the points.
Taylor may have taken the fall for Buffalo’s two-game losing skid, but the real problem the last two games has been Buffalo’s defense. The Bills were one of the best defensive teams in the league early in the season. However, they’ve given up 81 points over their last two games.
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With one of those games being a road game on a Thursday night and the other coming against the high-powered New Orleans offense, I’ll give Buffalo’s defense the benefit of the doubt. Against the Chargers, who are average at best offensively, I think the Bills can get back on track defensively.
Even in their wins this season, the Chargers haven’t run the ball effectively. Melvin Gordon has broken free for a couple long runs, but other than that, there’s been no consistency with the Los Angeles ground attack. The Bills have a strong enough front-7 to stuff the run and make the Chargers one-dimensional. They also have enough of a pass rush to make Philip Rivers uncomfortable.
Of course, the biggest question in this game is how Peterman will perform in his first NFL start. Obviously, I don’t have the answer to that. But the Bills do have LeSean McCoy who can get 20-plus touches. Kelvin Benjamin could also provide a nice safety valve for Peterman if he needs one.
Short of Peterman having an awful game, I don’t see how the Chargers can win this game comfortably and cover the spread. I see both teams having to settle for more field goals than touchdowns, which will keep the game close. All things considered, I don’t believe in the Chargers enough to swallow the points.