Los Angeles Chargers (0-2; 0-2 ATS; 1-1 O/U) vs. Los Angeles Rams (2-0; 2-0 ATS; 1-1 O/U)
NFL Preseason: Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 8:00pm EST
Line: LA Rams -2.5
The Los Angeles Rams will host the Los Angeles Chargers as the new cross city rivals square off in exhibition play Saturday night from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Chargers dropped a 13-7 decision to the Saints in week two, and the Rams are coming off a 24-21 road win over the Raiders last week.
Chargers Offense Stumbles with Rivers Sitting Out
The Los Angeles Chargers could not muster any offense in their 13-7 home loss to the Saints last Sunday. Philip Rivers sat out last week, however, he should see a good amount of playing time in this one. Kellen Clemens saw a good amount of action and completed 10 of 17 passes for 99 yards. Clemens has now tallied a total of 199 passing yards with one touchdown and two interceptions through two preseason contests. Melvin Gordon only made three carries for eight yards last week, however, he should see more playing time in this one. The 24-year old running back had a strong 2016 campaign, accumulating 997 rushing yards in 13 games. Overall, the Chargers could get nothing going on the ground last week, rushing for a team total of only 66 yards off 29 carries. Joey Bosa made one one tackle last week. Bosa is primed for a huge season after an outstanding 2016 rookie season that saw him record 10.5 sacks along with 41 tackles. The 22-year old defensive end was the third overall pick in the 2016 draft.
Last season, the Chargers averaged a solid 25.6 points per game, ranking them ninth in the NFL. Their defense struggled last season, conceding an average of 26.4 points per game, placing them 29th overall.
Goff Shines in Rams Win Over Raiders
The Los Angeles Rams used a strong first quarter to win their second straight preseason contest 24-21 over the Raiders last week. Jared Goff was tremendous, connecting on 16 of his 20 passes for 160 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions. The 2016 first overall draft pick has drawn a lot of criticism from his shaky play last season, making his performance last week a welcome sight. Goff notched 1089 passing yards with a 5:7 TD to INT ratio in eight games in his first taste of the NFL last season. Backup quarterback Sean Mannion also looked good last week, throwing for 132 yards and one TD. The 25-year old QB tallied 144 passing yards in week one. Todd Gurley came through with a strong performance last week, racking up 38 rushing yards off eight carries, resulting in an average of 4.8 yards per carry. Sammy Watkins made his first appearance in a Rams uniform and brought in two catches for eight yards. The 24-year old wide receiver was a big addition to the Rams receiving core as he instantly slides in as the Rams number one receiver. Watkins made 28 receptions for 430 yards in eight games with the Bills last season.
The Rams struggled big time offensively last season, averaging an NFL low 14 points per game. The Los Angeles defense allowed an average of 24.6 points per game, positioning them 23rd overall.
The Los Angeles Chargers are:
- 10-4 ATS in their last 14 road games.
The Los Angeles Rams are:
- 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- 1-10-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
- 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass.
I am siding with the Chargers in this one. The Chargers hardly gave their first team offense any playing time last week with Rivers sitting out and Melvin Gordon only seeing a few carries, plus their top receivers did not play much, however all are expected to play longer in this one. The Chargers are the better offensive team with a lot more depth than the Rams, and I will take Rivers over Goff. Also, the Chargers defense was sharp last week, while the Rams conceded 21 points to the Raiders who had third string QB Connor Cook see a majority of the action.
Pick: Los Angeles Chargers
The Rams offense looked good last week, and Chargers will give their starters a lot more playing time which should result in a strong night offensively. Jared Goff and Sean Mannion were outstanding last week, so I am confident they can put some points on the board, and the over is 6-2 in their last 8 Saturday games. Look for Philip Rivers and the Chargers first team offense to do some damage, plus the over is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these two teams.