The Los Angeles Chargers took care of business this week winning and covering with ease as -3 point road favorites at Jacksonville. Now they’ll look to build some momentum as they host the Minnesota Vikings at Dignity Health Sports Park. Minnesota is coming off a 20-7 win at home against the Detroit Lions in which they *barely* failed to cover as a -13.5 chalk. The Vikings have won 5 of their last 7 SU but have just 2 ATS covers during that stretch.
Our premise using the Chargers last week was simple: they’re a better team than their record indicates. That was certainly evident as they shredded Jacksonville 45-10 and we’re going to come back with the Chargers here. The concept should apply in this matchup and they’ve been excessively downgraded by the betting marketplace to the point that they’re a home underdog to a team that doesn’t play very well on the road.
The Vikings have been a beast at home this year going 6-0 but haven’t been anything special on the road. They’re 3-4 SU/ATS with a +1.3 PPG differential this year and 10-12 ATS on the road over the past three seasons. They’ve also been a poor play on a grass field for several years going 0-3 SU/ATS this year and 5-8 SU/4-9 ATS during the last three seasons. This is also a huge lookahead spot for Minnesota who will conclude their season against division leading Green Bay next week and divisional rival Chicago the following week.
Much of the Chargers problem has been simple bad luck. They’re just 2-3 SU in their last 5 games but yet they’ve out yarded their opponents by an average of 171 yards per game during that stretch. They’ve also got a +38 point differential on the season making them one of only two teams (Indianapolis is the other with a +1 differential) with a positive differential and a losing record. +38 is a better differential than the 8-5 Steelers and the 8-5 Texans. Melvin Gordon has quietly been rounding into form after missing the first four games due to holdout. Phillip Rivers will be able to exploit the Vikings’ secondary which is their biggest liability on defense.
Even at 5-8 the Chargers still have an outside shot at making the playoffs and have a winnable home game against Oakland on deck. They’ll conclude the season at Kansas City and by that point the Chiefs could be in a situation where they don’t need that game and could rest personnel. At any rate, the Chargers are an extremely dangerous home underdog and this looks like a spot where they’ll get another outright win.