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Chargers vs. Texans: Betting odds, lines and picks against the spread

Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. celebrates after intercepting a pass as fans in Chargers jerseys cheer.
Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. celebrates after intercepting a pass against the Las Vegas Raiders at SoFi Stadium on Sept. 11. After last week’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Chargers are eager to bounce back with a win over the Houston Texans on Friday.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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The Chargers and Rams have big games in very different ways in Week 4. The Chargers absolutely need to get back to .500 by beating the winless Texans. Here’s a look at how to approach the game from a betting perspective.

Chargers (-5, 44) at Houston Texans

Brandon Staley’s decision to let his injured quarterback play in the fourth quarter of a blowout has been a big enough story to distract people from how bad the defense played against the Jaguars. Justin Herbert certainly wasn’t great, going 25 of 45 for 297 yards with a touchdown and a pick, but the Chargers allowed 413 yards of total offense to Trevor Lawrence and the Jags. The final score should have been even worse, but the Jaguars settled for three short field goals in the second quarter.

Herbert’s injury and unnecessary usage deflected some of the blame by becoming an incendiary talking point, but the reality is that the MVP candidate doesn’t play defense. The Chargers have not gotten consistent pressure on the quarterback and that task becomes even harder with Joey Bosa on injured reserve. Star cornerback J.C. Jackson has been on the injury report most of the season, as opposing QBs have completed two-thirds of their passes. Los Angeles hasn’t forced a turnover in the last two games and has allowed 65 points to the Chiefs and Jaguars.

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Joey Bosa’s groin injury is worse than first thought and will require surgery to repair. They hope he can return this season. Meanwhile, rookie Jamaree Salyer to start at left tackle.

Sept. 28, 2022

Does it all change this week against a Texans team that is clearly not on the level of the teams that the Chargers have played to date? The injury report is still ugly, as Herbert is still clearly banged-up, but Jackson is questionable, Keenan Allen and Donald Parham Jr. are also questionable and now Herbert likely will be without star left tackle Rashawn Slater for the rest of the season.

Through it all, the Chargers remain a five-point road favorite against an inferior foe. As injured as they are, this should be a fruitful trip to the Lone Star State, but winning by six or more points may prove difficult. This is a spot for the Chargers to try and get the run game on track. Houston has allowed 5.6 yards per carry thus far.

With limited explosive play potential given the injuries for the Chargers and the poor offensive performance to date for the Texans, the under looks like the safest play here.

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The Chargers have been hit with injuries and the Rams can’t seem to run the football. Fans wonder what teams can do about their regressing offenses.

Sept. 29, 2022

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