The San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills are both coming off impressive Week 2 wins and will look to build on those victories when they square off in what is now one of the more anticipated games on the Week 3 docket.
Better yet, is the fact that this expert betting breakdown on this pairing of longtime AFC rivals, is going to give you a great opportunity to cash in with a potentially winning wager when these playoff hopefuls battle at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday.
San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills
Time: 1:00 PM
NFL Week 3 Betting Odds – San Diego Vs. Buffallo
One week after beating Chicago 23-20 in overtime to win their regular season opener, the Bills (2-0 SU,2-0 ATS) picked up an even m ore convincing 29-10 win over the Miami Dolphins to easily cover the spread as a 1.5-point home favorite to move to 2-0 ATS on the season.
How do you keep 2-0 in perspective? "It's easy: Don't act like you've arrived, because you haven't" @EJManuel3
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) September 17, 2014
The Chargers (1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS) bounced back nicely from their narrow 18-17 Week 1 loss to Arizona to upset the defending league champion Seattle Seahawks and cover the spread as a 4.5-point home underdog to move to a spotless 2-0 ATS on the season.
Analysis: The Bills are looking to end the league’s longest playoff drought, having not reached the postseason since 1999, but they need to address some of their issues on offense, particularly their inability to get in the end zone once they get inside their opponents’ red zone.
Despite ranking an impressive 6th in scoring (26.0 ppg), the Bills are tied with New Orleans with a league-high 10 drives inside their opponents’ 20-yard line. Unfortunately, Buffalo has been able to manage just three touchdowns. Even in their convincing Week 2 win over Miami, the Bills struggled in scoring just one TD in six trips into Miami’s red zone last.Veteran place kicker Dan Carpenter matched a career high with five field goals in six attempts.
"It’s sad to just be kicking field goals. That’s something we have to fix," said gifted rookie wideout Sammy Watkins, after he nabbed eight passes for 117 yards against the Dolphins.
"How we played (Sunday) won’t win for us later in the season," guard Chris Williams said.
The Bills have been very good defensively in ranking fifth against the run (83.0 ypg) and sixth in points allowed (15.0 ppg). Buffalo has also forced five turnovers and racked up six sacks and pressured Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill unmercifully in their Week 2 win.
Cerebral second-year signal-caller E.J. Manuel has just 375 passing yards and two touchdown throws in two games, but the former Florida State quarterback has also tossed just one interception while completing an impressive 66.7 percent of his passes.
"You’re never going to be perfect, but the good thing is we’re still coming out with two wins versus two great teams," Manuel said. "As long as we win, I’m happy."
After ranking second in rushing last season, Buffalo is back to its ground-and-pound attack as they currently rank sixth in rushing (153.0 ypg).
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) September 19, 2014
The Chargers won’t have starting running back Ryan Matthews for a while after he suffered a sprained right MCL in Week 2, but the Bolts didn’t need Matthews in their stunning win over Seattle last weekend.
Mathews played in all 16 games for the first time in his four NFL seasons in 2013 and rushed for a career-high 1,255 yards.
"Everyone recovers differently," coach Mike McCoy said. "… We’ve had players who were supposed to be done for the season and the next thing you know they come out there Monday or Wednesday and they’re practicing with something torn or something broken or this or that. I don’t want to put a timetable on anything."
Without Matthews at his disposal, veteran quarterback Philip Rivers went back to one of his favorite targets in veteran tight end Antonio Gates to repeatedly (okay, everyone except Richard Sherman) toast the Seahawks secondary.
Gates caught seven passes for 93 yards and matched a career high with three touchdown grabs to earn the AFC offensive player of the week award.
Rivers completed a blistering 28 of 37 pass attempts against Seattle for 284 yards with the aforementioned three TD passes and no interceptions. San Diego ranks 15th in scoring (23.5 ppg) and 12th in points allowed (19.5 ppg).
Analysis: I’m going to urge you to back the San Diego Chargers as a pick ‘em in this Week 3 matchup.
For bettors that don’t know what the ‘PK’ means when you’re looking for NFL odds, it simply means that neither team is favored, hence the name ‘Pick ‘Em’.
Anyway, if you didn’t see last week’s win over Miami, you should know that, Miami had more than its share of chances to either get back in the game – or take a lead against the Bills.
Yes, Buffalo relentlessly pressured Miami’s Ryan Tannehill, but the fact of the matter is that Miami’s mediocre third-year signal-caller is mediocre at best and failed to take advantage of several opportunities against Buffalo’s defense.
In this contest, I think Philip Rivers will make Buffalo pay whenever the Bolts’ cocky signal-caller is able to find single coverage. I’ve already picked the Chargers to contend for the AFC west title at the very least and I expect them to show some moxie in Buffalo to get the win and ATS cover.
Despite their early-season success, facing Rivers and a rejuvenated Gates doesn’t bode well for them right now. The Bills have allowed their first two opponents to throw for a combined 590 yards while the opposing tight ends caught a combined 16 passes.
The Chargers are a perfect 6-0 ATS in their last six road games against a team with a winning home record and 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games in the month of September.
The Buffalo Bills have gone 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games and that ATS trends is fantastic no doubt. However, the Bills are also just 5-12 ATS in their last 17 Week 3games and just 8-22-1 ATS in their last 31 games following an SU win.
Last but not least, the Chargers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games and my pick to win and cash in!