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Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Chargers Point Spread - Pick

Buffalo Bills (5-4 SU, 5-3-1 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (3-6 SU, 4-4-1 ATS)
Week 11 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 4:05PM EST
Where: StubHub Center, Carson, California
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: BUF +4/LAC -4
Over/Under Total: 43.5

The Buffalo Bills make the trip out west to take on the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center in week 11 action from the south LA enclave of Carson. Neither team had a good time of it on Sunday. The Bills lost conclusively at home to the Saints, 47-10. After a 5-2 start, they have lost two in a row and need to stop the bleeding as to not render a good start to the season moot. The Chargers really should have beaten the Jaguars on Sunday, but one thing they brought from San Diego to LA was their knack for blowing it late. On Sunday, late mishaps contributed to a 20-17 overtime loss on the road. They now return home and look for better this week against the incoming Bills.

The Chargers looked to be running out clock en route to a nice 17-14 win over the Jags, when Austin Ekeler fumbled it away. And even with Blake Bortles tossing two late picks, the Chargers couldn't capitalize and a Philip Rivers pick late in the overtime period set up the Jags for the winning field goal. It was at least the third time this season when a Chargers' win seemed imminent, with only the usual Chargers' twists of fate snatching losses out of the jaws of victory. And it's not like they're so bad, either as a team or as a wagering proposition. But those who have bet on them regularly will attest, if there are any late-game irregularities, it usually won't shake out the Bolts' way.

Normally, the Chargers' offense is in good form, with issues on the other side of the ball ruining their plans. Lately, the offense has been letting the team down and did so again on Sunday. Other than two TD passes to Austin Ekeler, they couldn't get much going. And it was untimely turnovers that ended up spelling the difference in this game. Ekeler had a nice game, but why he had the ball in his hands in a burning-clock scenario is puzzling. So are an endless slew of 4 yard routes on long third down plays. Rivers had developed a reputation for clutch play late in games, but he's been the opposite this season, with a bunch of untimely bad plays undermining the entire team effort. Melvin Gordon ran for 27 yards on 16 carries on a suddenly-stout Jacksonville run-defense. Rivers needs to make more of a ball-catching crew that has talent like Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Hunter Henry, Mike Williams, Antonio Gates, and Travis Benjamin. Granted, Rivers doesn't have the best line with which to work, but they haven't been that bad and are actually really good lately in insulating Rivers from the pass-rush. For this offense to be in the bottom-third in the league in scoring is really a crime. Also, as of press time, we don't even know if Rivers is going to start, as he is in concussion protocol. If not a go, longtim backup Kellen Clemens will start.

The Chargers' defense has been pretty good and was so again on Sunday. The offense just wasted whatever good things the "D" came up with against the Jaguars. They gave up a few big plays on the ground and through the air, but weren't bad in holding Jacksonville to 14 points until very late in the game when the offense found a way to blow it. Joey Bosa had another sack, as the pass-rush is one of the best in the league. The secondary again made some plays, with Tre Boston picking off two balls. Melvin Ingram is a fierce pass-rusher and he and Bosa are the top tandem in the league. Getting LB Denzel Perryman back for the first time this season will help the middle, which is playing well with Jatavis Brown making a lot of plays. Trevor Williams and Casey Hayward have been good at corner. It might be one of the better defenses the Chargers have seen in recent seasons.

Buffalo's offense was awful on Sunday. At home and coming off the long week, albeit against a hot Saints team, one would have been within their rights to expect more out of the offense. They had an opening drive that led to three points, but then they failed to cross midfield on their next eight possessions, as the Saints started piling it on. Their usual go-to guys were all quiet. Even newly-acquired Kelvin Benjamin couldn't help in his first game with the Bills, as he caught three balls and was more or less invisible. Tyrod Taylor put up an anemic 56 yards with an interception. getting pulled for rookie Nathan Peterman, who will start this week. LeSean McCoy was also subdued with 49 yards rushing. With three points until late in the fourth quarter, they added a late TD, but it was an awful performance and they look for better this week, though they are making a faraway road trip and taking on another tough defense.

On one hand, the Saints have been so red-hot and dominant, you want to give the Buffalo "D" a pass for their last game. Still, to look so porous in a game you know they really wanted to win, was a troubling development. They gave up six rushing touchdowns, which no other Bills team has ever done. After giving up 34 to the Jets, this was perhaps a bad game to seek redemption, but the Bills defense appears to have lost some of its strength. Against the Saints' offensive line, you'd think they could muster a pass-rush or something, but the front was useless for the most part. A good second level with Ramon Humber, Preston Brown, and Lorenzo Alexander was not very impactful. The secondary didn't give up a ton, but that had a lot to do with New Orleans having so much success running the ball.

This is a tough spot for a Buffalo team making a long trip coming off two straight demoralizing losses. Another setback against a 3-6 Chargers' team could really resonate badly with the Bills and be the beginning of the end of their borderline-contender status. The coaches and players know this and a strong effort should be forthcoming this week. The Chargers are dangerous and could easily be 5-4 or better. But despite some matchup components in their favor this week, I see an urgent Bills bunch that is getting good value covering the spread this week.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Buffalo Bills plus 4 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Bills vs. Chargers game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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