The Los Angeles Chargers look to keep their playoff hopes alive as they visit the New York Jets in Week 16. Game time is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday, December 24 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The game can be seen on CBS in local markets.
Oddsmakers view the Chargers as 7-point favorites on the road. The over/under is set at 42.5 points. Click here for a full list of the Week 16 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Chargers vs Jets Vegas Odds & Game Preview
For Los Angeles, last week’s loss to the Chiefs snapped a four-game winning streak, dropping the Chargers to 7-7 on the season. Unless the Chiefs lose their final two games of the season, the Chargers will have no chance to win the AFC West.
However, Los Angeles does remain in contention for a wild-card spot. Of course, the Bills, Ravens, and Titans are all tied for the two wild-card position at 8-6. The Chargers will have to win their remaining two games and get plenty of help elsewhere to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
The Jets, meanwhile, are far from contention. With just two wins in their last nine games, the Jets are 5-9 on the season. They can only play for pride and the chance to spoil another team’s season, and perhaps to save the job of head coach Todd Bowles.
The silver lining is that with Josh McCown out for the season, the Jets can continue to evaluate quarterback Bryce Petty. In a start last week against the Saints, Petty completed less than 50% of his passes and threw two interceptions, so there’s definitely room for improvement from him.
Free Pro Football Pick Against the Spread: Chargers -7
This is a tough game to call because you’re swallowing a lot of points for a west coast team coming to the east coast for an early game. The Jets have also played well at home this year, even in their losses. But with Petty starting at quarterback and Los Angeles desperate for a win, I’ll lean toward the Chargers.
The Jets are actually 4-3 at home this season. That includes wins over the Jaguars, Bills, and Chiefs, three teams that could end up in the playoffs. Their three home losses this year have all come by single digits, so they are definitely a competitive team at home that will be tough to beat by more than a touchdown.
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That being said, I have no faith in Petty being able to keep the Jets competitive in this game. Even with a couple injuries, the Los Angeles defense is still one of the best in the league. The Chargers are giving up just 18 points per game. Obviously, they struggled last week against the Chiefs. But in their three games prior to that, they gave up a total of 29 points.
Aside from having to rely on Petty against such a talented defense, the Jets are lacking playmakers on offense. Outside of Robby Anderson, I don’t see anyone on New York’s offense giving the Chargers much of a problem. Also, with Petty’s inexperience, he may struggle to sit in the pocket and read the defense, which could allow Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, and the Los Angeles pass rush to have a big day and force turnovers. With Petty starting, the Jets definitely won’t be able to overcome turnovers.
I also look for the Los Angeles offense to have a bounce-back game this week. The Jets are a little beat up on the defensive line, which could open the door for Melvin Gordon to pick up chunks of yards. If Gordon can get going, Philip Rivers should have an easier time attacking the New York secondary.
As difficult as it is to take a road favorite with a 7-point spread, I have to lean toward the Chargers. I don’t think much of Petty, and I don’t see him having much success against the Los Angeles defense. That should allow the Chargers to win by more than a touchdown.