The Buffalo Bills come out of their bye week and into a home game matchup with the Chargers who won only their third game of the season last week beating the winless Jets 34-28. Can the Chargers win back to back games for the first time this season or will the Bills continue their run of winning the game after their bye week, something they last failed to do in 2014.
The Chargers have the man who will be the Offensive Rookie of the Year at QB, Justin Herbert has been nothing short of exceptional since stepping in late on very late notice to replace Tyrod Taylor in week 2 and although he only has two wins he boasts one of the most impressive stat lines of any rookie passer in history with 22 TD’s to only 6 INT’s and averaging just a tick off 300 passing yards a game. The man who’s benefitted the most from Herbert taking over the offense is Keenan Allen who leads the league in receptions and has been the rookie passer’s go to guy and has caught a TD pass in each of his last 4 contests. This Offense runs through Allen but the potential if unlikely return this week of Austin Ekeler would improve this unit, the pass catching back would not only give Herbert another elite target in the passing game but also improve their ability to run the ball whish is something they’ve struggled to do since Ekeler went down. The Defense isn’t a bad unit either especially against the pass which is the Bills main offensive strength but they will be missing two important starters in Casey Howard Jr and Melvin Ingram III, the Corner and Pass Rusher are two of the more important pieces to this Defense and their loss against a top 5 Bills passing attack will be felt.
The Bills probably needed their bye week after a heart breaking last second Hail Mary cost them the game against the Cardinals in week 10 but their bye week went about as perfect as a bye week could go with every other team in the AFC East losing including the Miami Dolphins who with a win would’ve sat at 7-3 the same record as the Bills atop the division. Sean McDermott made a point of improving the Bills running game during the bye week and it’ll be an interesting watch to see if one of the bottom 5 run games in football can show a marked improvement against a Charger run D which is just on the right side of league average but regardless if they can or can’t establish the run the Bills chances of winning the game again lay with Josh Allen, the third year signal caller has probably been the most improved player in the league from last season to this and has thrown his name into the MVP chat with some truly fantastic game winning performances and will need to do the same again here if he’s going to keep up with the rookie phenom on the other side. The Bills Defense has been slowly improving all season but is still a long way away from the dominant unit we witnessed last season and will rely heavily on their All-Pro Corner Tre White who I assume will be tasked with tracking the aforementioned target hog Keenan Allen.
Despite the records of these sides (Bills 7-3 / Chargers 3-7) this isn’t as straightforward as it should be. The Chargers are probably the best 3 in team in the NFL and have a QB who has shown the ability to keep games close with the Chargers yet to lose a game by more than 8 points and that will play a part in our best bet. The Chargers have given up 29 or more points in six of their last 7 games (they gave up 28 in the other) whilst the Bills have scored 29 or more points in 5 games this season including their last two games and interestingly Josh Allen and the Bills offense had their best performance of the season against the Seattle Seahawks who play a very similar defense to this Chargers team. In that game the Bills posted a season high 44 points and although the Chargers defense is better than the Seahawks the Bills have proven that they can succeed and put points up against that scheme.
PREDICTION: BILLS 33 – 32 CHARGERS
BEST BET: CHARGERS + 8.5 points and BILLS to score 28.5 or more points – 1.83/1 with Betway. 1 point bet.
NEXT BEST: Josh Allen and Justin Herbert both to throw for 250+ yards and 2+ TDs’s – 9/4 with SkyBet (RequestABet up to 5/1) 0.5 point bet.