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Chargers vs Rams Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Aug 11, 2023

The Chargers and Rams will both have the luxury of staying “home” for their first game of the NFL preseason this weekend, as the two Los Angeles teams will square off at SoFi Stadium in Saturday’s nightcap.

The Chargers are coming off another season of tremendous highs and heart-breaking lows, as they lost in the Wild Card round to the Jacksonville Jaguars despite leading 27-0 late in the 2nd quarter. Among swirling “hot seat” rumors and some minor controversy over his decision-making, Brandon Staley returns to lead Justin Herbert and the Chargers for at least one more year.

The Rams struggled with injuries and consistency all last year, limping to a 5-12 record while starting Baker Mayfield for the final few games. Retirement chatter surrounds head coach Sean McVay and star defensive lineman Aaron Donald, while concerns over Matthew Stafford’s health remain prevalent. Expectations are low for the 2021 Super Bowl champions heading into 2023.

Chargers vs Rams Odds

NFL odds used for this Chargers vs Rams preview were found at DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of 8/7 and 4:00 ET.

  • Moneyline: Rams (-148) • Chargers (+124)
  • Spread: Rams -3 (-108) • Chargers +3 (-112)
  • Total Points: Over 33 (-112) • Under 33 (-108)
  • Implied Score: Rams 18, Chargers 15

Chargers vs Rams Predictions

Score Pick: Chargers 23, Rams 17

We have two teams that were hurt by the injury bug time and time again last season, so while both feel like this is a big year to turn things around for the better, it’s safe to assume that both coaches will be conservative when it comes to playing their star players. As such, we can expect most, if not all, of the big names to sit out Week 1 of the preseason.

At first glance, I was a bit thrown off by the Rams as favorites, but I imagine most of this edge comes from the buzz around rookie Stetson Bennett taking a good chunk of snaps at quarterback.

He’ll likely be throwing to names like Puka Nacua, Lance McCutcheon, Brycen Hopkins, and maybe Tutu Atwell (if he’s lucky), and I envision this simple, quick offense being as vanilla as possible despite Bennett’s many years of experience playing the position in a pro-level scheme.

On the other side, we’ll see plenty of Easton Stick and Max Duggan for the Chargers, which actually excites me a bit more, thanks to the new play-calling responsibilities taken on by offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

Stick is coming into year four as a Chargers backup, so he’ll have all the confidence he needs to execute Moore’s intentions. Duggan is a natural playmaker, so while he may make a few mistakes, he should fit in brilliantly with what Moore wants to do to spice things up in LA.

When we factor in much better backup running backs for the Chargers (Joshua Kelley and Isaiah Spiller), more electricity in the passing game led by Quentin Johnston and Jalen Guyton, and play-calling that should be a bit more aggressive, I’m completely on board with fading the Bennett hype and take the underdog in a neutral field environment.

Chargers vs Rams Best Bets & Props

Over 33 (-112)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 2 unit(s)

This NFL bet of the day took very little deliberating, and I’m even willing to throw an extra unit on it because I’m that confident we get 34 points in this preseason opener for the two LA teams.

We have serviceable backups who will take what is given to them in Stick and Bennett. While their weapons aren’t ideal, they are fine, and there should be enough chunk plays to get us into field goal position consistently.

Assuming two or three of those scoring chances turn into touchdowns early, we are well on our way to cruising past this total. When Duggan comes in the game, we have the potential for some over-aggressive turnovers, which can lead to easy points the other way without clock-draining plays like punting and short-distance first down runs in a team’s own territory.

With all of the defensive stars on the sidelines in this one, there should be enough defensive miscues to lead to points. Simply put, 33 points is too low.

Chargers Team Total Over 15.5 (-115)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

My confidence in Stick and Duggan to run Moore’s offense effectively, as outlined above, is all you need to know to understand why I’m on this side of the Chargers team total wager. Tack on what should be a strong running attack from two serviceable backup running backs and a depleted Rams defense due to player departures and resting, and we have a surefire Over for 15.5.

Chargers to Win by 1-6 (+370)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.33 unit

Because of the low total, this is the play to make if you’re trying to hit a winning margin bet on either team. Coaches tend to play more conservatively toward the end of these preseason games, and scoring should slow down. As such, this one could stay close in the 4th quarter, providing some value at +370.

Chargers vs Rams Same Game Parlay

Chargers vs Rams SGP (+258)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 unit

  • Chargers +3 (-112)
  • Over 33 (-112)

With how confident I am in the Over portion of this parlay, it only makes sense to hedge a small amount on the Chargers and take the points, and therefore we’ll still cash if the Rams win on a last-minute field goal so long as 34 points are scored. I fully expect the Chargers to win, but for +258 instead of +324, we’ve bought ourselves a few different outs while still enjoying a same-game parlay for the final game of the Saturday night NFL preseason card.

Author

Tommy Bell

Tommy Bell is a long-time season-long and daily fantasy sports analyst who has recently shifted gears to the sports betting world. He's spent many years writing for RotoBaller, SB Nation, and even a stint with USA Today Sports. During graduate school he spent time creating and publishing video content and podcasts for RotoBaller and RosterCoach. When Tommy's not teaching, coaching, or changing his daughter's diapers near Raleigh, NC, he's watching and analyzing sports. He dabbles in many areas but specializes in NFL, MLB, and PGA while really starting to expand his horizons to CFB and CBB. Tommy has also become a diehard Newcastle United supporter since the Premier League returned from its Covid pause. Howay the lads!

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