This Sunday the Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) will host the Houston Texans (1-1) in an intriguing AFC matchup. Kickoff is set for 4:25 EST at Dignity Health Sports Park and will be televised locally on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened up this game with the Chargers as a 3-point home favorite. You can still find a -3 out there at heavy juice, but most have shifted off the key number to LA -3.5. The total opened at 48 and been bet down a few places to 47.5.
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Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview: Texans vs Chargers
The Texans came a lot closer than anyone expected to starting out 0-2. After starting out the season with a gut-wrenching loss in the final seconds to the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football, Houston needed a stop on a 2-point conversion with 30 seconds to play to pull out a 13-12 win as a 9-point home favorite.
That would have been a crushing blow to the Texans ego had they lost to Jacksonville with a rookie quarterback filling in for the injured Nick Foles.
The defense more than held their own in the win, as they limited the Jaguars to just 281 total yards. The offense on the other hand was not very good. Houston had just 263 total yards for the game and star quarterback Deshaun Watson went just 16 of 29 for 159 yards.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers were considered to be a serious contender in the AFC this season, but so far they have not looked the part. After needing overtime to escape with a 30-24 win at home against the Jacoby Brissett led Indianapolis Colts, they scored just 10-points in a 13-10 setback at Detroit.
Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense actually did a decent job moving the ball, as they had 424 for the game and averaged 6.8 yards/play (Lions only averaged 4.4 yards/play). Rivers went 21 of 36 for 293 yards, but had 0 touchdowns and 1 interception.
Injuries have definitely played a part to the slow start for the Chargers. They were already down tight end Huntry Henry, safety Derwin James and left tackle Russell Okung. Add safety Adrian Phillips to the list and they also have star running back Melvin Gordon holding out.
These two teams haven’t met since Week 12 of the 2016 season. Chargers won that game 21-13, thanks in large part to Texans starting quarterback Brock Osweiler, who threw three interceptions. Houston actually outgained the Chargers in the game 353 to 302.
Free NFL Betting Pick & Predictions: Texans +3.5
My early lean here would be to take the field goal and the hook with Houston. I was all over the Jaguars last week against the Texans. It wasn’t because I’m big on Jacksonville, it was the fact that Houston was coming off a devastating loss and were playing on a short week.
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The other thing is I thought people were overreacting a bit to how poorly the Jaguars defense played in Week 1 against the Chiefs. Mahomes is going to make any defense look bad. Watson isn’t on Mahomes level and that Jacksonville defense came out with a chip on their shoulder.
I think this all adds up to the perfect spot to jump on Deshaun Watson and the Texans in a big rebound spot. Chargers secondary has not been impressive. They let Jacoby Brissett complete 78% (21-27) of his attempts in Week 1 and Matthew Stafford to complete 73% in Week 2.
Lions top wideout Kenny Golladay had 8 catches for 117, which is not a good sign with DeAndrew Hopkins coming to town after being held to just 5 catches for 40 yards by arguably the best corner in the game in Jalen Ramsey.
Chargers have given up 5 sacks already and Rivers is not someone that can escape the pressure. If that struggling o-line struggles to block J.J. Watt, it could be a real long day for Rivers. Offense just doesn’t have the same feel without Gordon in the backfield and there’s no safety valve at tight end with Gates gone and Nery hurt.
One last thing to note, Houston is 7-2 ATS when listed as an underdog with Deshaun Watson starting and that includes a 6-1 ATS mark as a road dog. Give me the Texans -3.5!