The last time these teams played a regular season game against each other they were both located in different cities. Four years ago the Los Angeles Chargers were based in San Diego and the Los Angeles Rams called St. Louis home. In a few more years they’ll be roommates once again, this time at the plush new multi-billion dollar stadium, bringing football in the Los Angeles area full circle. The teams shared the Coliseum for one year in 1960 before the Chargers, then playing in the AFL, moved to San Diego.
Kickoff for this regular season Week 3 game is set for Sunday, September 23, 2018, at 4:05 p.m. ET at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
NFL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu
Los Angeles Chargers +7
Los Angeles Rams -7
There’s been no movement on the opening line, but with the Rams taking a lot of the early money that could change. The Rams are 2-0 ATS after an easy cover last week as a 13.5-point favorite and they haven’t allowed a point since the first half of their opener. The total hit the board at 48 with the under being the more popular choice early.
Joey Bosa – Thought to be a minor ailment when it occurred during the preseason, the foot injury to Bosa is now expected to keep him out longer than first anticipated. The Bolts got little pressure on Patrick Mahomes in the opener, but they did take down Josh Allen five times last week. That had more to do with the Buffalo’s weak line than anything. Bosa will be missed against the Rams, who allowed the fewest sacks last season and have given up three in two games this year.
Greg Zuerlein – The Rams have enjoyed remarkably good health over the last two seasons, but The Leg hasn’t escaped pain free. For the second time in two seasons Zuerlein will miss time. He suffered a groin injury in pregame warm-ups last weekend and didn’t kick. Zuerlein made 38 of 40 field goal attempts last season and led the league in scoring with 158 points. Sam Ficken, who handled the chores when Zuerlein was sidelined in 2017, has been signed.
Matchup to Watch
The Chargers were expected to have one of the best pass rushes in the NFL this season, however, the loss of Bosa changed that slightly. The Bolts managed just one sack in their opener and Mahomes had time to pick them apart. Being more creative with his defenders, coordinator Gus Bradley dialed up the pressure last week and the Chargers harassed Allen all day and collected five sacks of the rookie.
Melvin Ingram got on the stat sheet with 1.5 sacks and Derwin James added his second of the season. James was used in a variety of ways against the Bills and had a big game with eight tackles, two TFLs and a pass breakup. The Rams counter with one of the best protection units in the league and they could have starting guard Jamon Brown back in the lineup after he served his two-game suspension.
0 – The Rams made several moves during the offseason to fortify their defense, and so far the investment has paid off. The acquisition of Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib gives them two of the best corners in the game, and Ndamukong Suh adds a run-stopping presence up front.
It took a half of football for the Rams to get all their pieces straightened out, and after a shaky first half in their opener they’ve been money. The Rams pitched a shutout over the final two quarters against the Raiders with Peters sealing the outcome with a pick-six. Last week they blanked the Cardinals for the second time in two seasons with a 34-0 verdict, giving the Rams six consecutive shutout quarters.
Free ATS Pick
The Bolts have too many weapons to get shutout and they have talent on defense. But this isn’t the Bills. The Rams are built to win now and they are trying to take advantage of the championship window that’s wide open.
Philip Rivers has the edge in experience over Jared Goff, but the Rams have Todd Gurley and an impressive offensive line. Two powerful offenses tend to get people leaning towards the over, but both are sturdy defensively and I like the under to cash. The Rams are just too potent and they get the victory, but I like the Bolts and the points in a close affair.
NFL Betting Odds: Rams 26, Chargers 21
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