Chargers vs. Baltimore Ravens: NFL betting picks, odds and analysis

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws against the Browns on Oct. 11.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws against the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 11.
(Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

The Chargers (4-1) visit the Baltimore Ravens (also 4-1) on Sunday at 10 a.m. PDT in one of the marquee games of Week 6.

Las Vegas oddsmakers have the Ravens as three-point home favorites, though early money has come in support of the Chargers as the line has dipped to 2 1/2 at some books.

VSiN’s Dave Tuley, who gave out the Browns plus-8 in teasers in last week’s Los Angeles Times and hit when the Chargers won 47-42 as well as his recommended teasers on the Cowboys, Bills and Ravens, is on the Chargers this week, plus Ben Brown from Pro Football Focus adds a prop.


Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-3, O/U 52)

Tuley: While the Ravens could be 5-0 if the Las Vegas Raiders’ Dan Carlson hadn’t made a 55-yard field goal in the season opener, we all know that they easily could have also lost to the Chiefs, Lions (an especially miraculous comeback and win on Justin Tucker’s record-setting 66-yard field goal) and last Monday night vs. the Colts.

The Chargers are the more complete team at this time, and while their most lackluster performance was in Week 1 when traveling all the way to the East Coast in a 20-16 win at Washington, they showed they can take their show on the road when they went to Kansas City in Week 3 and upset the Chiefs 30-24.

I see a similar result here. Bettors should grab the +3 if possible just in case the Chargers come up short by a field goal. The better play might be to just take the Chargers in six-point teasers and take that spread up to +9, or +8 1/2, if using books that lowered the game spread to 2 1/2. There aren’t as many “advantage teasers” this week that pass through the key numbers of three and seven (since those are the most common margins of victory in the NFL), but I’d recommend using the Jaguars +9 vs. the Dolphins in London; Chiefs down to -1/2 at Washington; Panthers up to +8 vs. the Vikings; and Raiders +9 1/2 at Denver.

Chargers coach Brandon Staley told the team before the season that fourth down won’t always mean a punt is coming, and the offense has come through with first downs on all seven attempts.

Oct. 13, 2021

Pick: Chargers +3 and in teasers

Brown: The Chargers are now in the driver’s seat as favorites to win the AFC West, with Justin Herbert sitting seventh in MVP odds. The Chargers quarterback has looked every bit the part to start 2021 and has gone over his passing touchdown prop in each of the past three games. The Chargers’ aggressive offensive identity has already paid off against one of the best defenses in the NFL and shouldn’t be expected to slow down against a Ravens defense ranked 15th in our opponent-adjusted grades.

Another reason to like Herbert to throw for multiple touchdowns on Sunday is the Chargers personnel. Austin Ekeler is by far the best running back for the Chargers, and also measures up as the best pass-catching running back in the NFL. His involvement in the passing game limits their rushing percentage, as 14 of the Chargers’ 18 offensive touchdowns have come through the air. The Chargers are throwing in order to score. This matchup has the second-highest total on the Sunday slate. If it gets close to hitting that number it will be because Herbert has easily eclipsed this passing touchdown prop at a heavy-plus price.


Pick: Justin Herbert over 2 1/2 passing touchdowns (+170)

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