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

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert flips a pass to running back Austin Ekeler during the Chargers' overtime win.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert flips a pass to running back Austin Ekeler during the Chargers’ overtime win against the Denver Broncos on Monday.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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The bye week is more important to some teams than others. Given where the Rams currently sit — and maybe more importantly, with how things have looked — a lot of soul-searching and problem solving is taking place during Week 7. The Chargers have won three in a row, however, and they are happy to keep right on playing.

If things go right, the Chargers will head into their Week 8 bye having extended that streak of victories and possibly in first place in the AFC West. They’ll need to beat the Seahawks and get some help from the 49ers, but with the Chargers favored by five points and the Chiefs favored by just 2.5, it could happen.

Seattle Seahawks at Chargers (-5, 50.5)

Is a win truly a win? Is the bottom line all that matters? If so, the Chargers came out of “Monday Night Football” with all that mattered. Those who watched the game, however, had to come away concerned. The running game that found a spark against the Browns looked like a lighter out of butane and Justin Herbert failed to throw a touchdown pass out of 57 attempts.

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On one hand, there were some positives. Herbert had 57 pass attempts, while the Broncos ran just 55 plays. The Chargers were 11 for 22 on third down, while the Broncos were just four for 14. What that also means is that the Chargers were extremely inefficient on offense, mustering just 3.6 yards per play. They also only scored one touchdown on four red-zone trips.

At least the defense balled out, holding the Broncos to just one red-zone appearance and 4.7 yards per play. Denver ’s offense has also looked putrid all season long. Let’s see what the defense does this week against the Seahawks, who are racking up all kinds of yardage, but also giving it right back.

Some sites had Geno Smith as the top QB in the league entering Week 6 against the Cardinals, but he failed to take advantage of a bad defense. Still, Smith has completed over 73% of his passes and has a 9/2 TD/INT while enjoying the spoils of throwing to guys like Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf.

Chargers’ prize free-agent acquisition J.C. Jackson was benched for his poor play against Denver last week, but coach Brandon Staley says the corner will continue as a starter.

Oct. 19, 2022

But what has really separated the Seahawks this season is the running game. Rashaad Penny hit the IR with a season-ending injury, but he had 6.1 yards per carry prior to the bad luck. Now second-round pick Kenneth Walker III has taken over and he’s ripped off 5.5 yards per pop, not to mention 4.8 yards per rush for Smith on scrambles and designed runs. This offense is humming right along with 6.2 yards per play.

While those stats are concerning, particularly the rushing ones, the Chargers offense should be in a “get right” situation here. The Seahawks have allowed 6.2 yards per play and rank 31st in points per drive against at 2.48, which means that Herbert should at least have one touchdown toss this week. Seattle has allowed the third-most points and third-most yards in the league through six games. They’ve struggled against both the run and the pass, allowing 5.1 yards per carry and over seven net yards per pass attempt.

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This should be just what the doctor ordered for the Chargers offense, but may lead to a reversal of fortunes on defense. The Chargers have a hard time winning by margin, so a five-point head start with the Seahawks looks promising. The over 50.5 makes some sense as well, but with LA’s inability to make anything easy, Seattle plus the points is the play.

Pick: Seahawks +5

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Ask the L.A. Times’ football team your questions about Los Angeles’ local teams and we will try to answer them.

Aug. 14, 2022

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