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The Detroit Lions will host the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, with CBS broadcasting the game at 1:00 P.M ET.
Both teams are coming off exciting performances in Week 1, though the Lions probably hoped for a different outcome. Up 24-6 against the Arizona Cardinals, head coach Matt Patricia and company allowed Kyler Murray to engineer a comeback in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Once there, they each kicked field goals en route to a 27-27 tie. As for the Chargers, they also went to overtime, though they were able to come away with a 30-24 victory over the Colts.
This will be the first meeting between the Lions and Chargers since 2015 when the two teams had a 61-point shootout. While the Chargers won the game 33-28, it took place in San Diego, as they hadn’t moved to Los Angeles yet. This will be the first Lions-Chargers game in Los Angeles.
Chargers Start Strong
Even though the Los Angeles Chargers don’t have their biggest playmaker, Melvin Gordon, and their leading tackler from 2018, safety Derwin James, they were able to start the season with a win against the Indianapolis Colts. Both sides of the ball played well and now they’ll head on the road for an even bigger test in the Detroit Lions.
no complaining, no excuses. pic.twitter.com/ZBoweHVD46
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) September 12, 2019
The loss of James on defense is big and he’ll miss Week 2 as well. His absence leaves a big hole on running plays and the Colts took advantage. They ran for 6.2 yards each carry and went over 200 yards on the day. Their secondary faired much better, allowing just six yards per attempt.
James is now Coach James.
“I’m in coach mode right now,” the second-year defensive back said. “I’m Coach James right now. Still having the mental part of the game, still being there mentally, even though I’m not physically out there, going through my plays.”
Offensively, their No. 2 receiver, Mike Williams, exited Week 1 after catching two passes for 29 yards. As of now, he’s questionable for the game against Detroit. On the bright side, the guy filling in for Gordon, who’s holding out still, flourished in Week 1 — Austin Ekeler. Altogether, Ekeler totaled 154 yards with three touchdowns from the running back spot.
Lions Coming Off Up & Down Game
If you’re a fan of the Detroit Lions, you’re probably not too happy about Week 1. After all, the Lions blew a 24-6 lead and eventually tied a game they had no business tying. On the bright side, the Lions looked really good for about three quarters. In Week 2, they’ll finally be home and they’ll hope to keep it together for four quarters this time.
A lot of people are saying T.J. Hockenson is the best TE in the NFL pic.twitter.com/KWTuSFAUHB
— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) September 8, 2019
You can’t talk about the Lions without mentioning their breakout rookie, tight end T.J. Hockenson. The Lions made Hockenson the highest-drafted tight end in over a decade, taking him at No. 8 in the 2019 NFL Draft. A master pass-catcher in college, Hockenson showed his skills right away, snagging five balls for 131 yards and a touchdown. The performance was the best debut by a tight end EVER, breaking a record set in 1960.
On defense, they looked good for three quarters, allowing just six points through 45 minutes of action. Ranked No. 15 before the season by FTW, they definitely showed glimpses of greatness, sacking Kyler Murray five times and picking him off once, before letting Murray have his way down the stretch. That said, the lapse in the fourth quarter was more good offense than bad defense, in my opinion.
The Lions, luckily, don’t have any major injury concerns heading into Week 2.
- 3-0 ATS in their last 3 reg. season games vs. AFC.
- 8-17 ATS in their last 25 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- 1-6-2 ATS in their last 9 games in September.
Updated on Sep 15 at 4:20am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
The Chargers have gone from -2.5 down to -1.5, despite getting 70% of the bets. The Sharps are clearly on the side of the lions in this one.
Injury / Weather Report
Los Angeles’ Impact Injury Report
Questionable: Kicker Mike Badgley, LB Jatavis Brown, LB Denzel Perryman, DB Roderic Teamer, and WR Mike Williams.
Doubtful: DB Michael Davis
Out: TE Hunter Henry
Detroit’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: LB Jarrad Davis, OT Taylor Decker, and DE Da’Shawn Hand
Gametime Weather: Domed Stadium
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
There’s a lot to like about the Lions in Week 2. For starters, they’re a good team and they’re getting a field goal at home. Getting points at home is always nice when you’re betting NFL but they’re not always given to good teams. Here, we get them, so we’ll capitalize. The Lions should have won in Week 1 and it can’t be discounted how well they played for three quarters. Being at home will definitely make it easier for them to play a complete game from start to finish. After all, Detroit loves their football and this will be their home opener. Additionally, the Chargers have injury issues, with their leading tackler from a season ago out (D. James) and their No. 2 receiving option questionable (M. Williams), and they also are getting the majority of the public action (70% via Covers). In NFL especially, fading the public is always a good option because there’s so many square bettors getting bets in.
Prediction: Detroit Lions +3
Full-Game Total Pick
With a raucous crowd always in the building, games in Detroit are usually slugfests. In the last five games at Ford Field, the UNDER has hit all five times. This year, the defense for the Lions is solid, regardless of what happened in the fourth quarter against the Cardinals in Week 1. The Chargers will have a tough time moving the ball against them and Philip Rivers is going to get A LOT of pressure. In Week 1, they allowed four sacks on Rivers and the Lions’ pass-rush is serious, recording five sacks themselves in Week 1. Detroit rolls in a slugfest at home against the Chargers, 23-14.
Prediction: Under 48