Chargers vs. San Francisco 49ers: Betting odds, lines and picks against the spread

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert looks to pass during a win over the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 6.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert looks to pass during a win over the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 6. The Chargers battle the San Francisco 49ers in prime time Sunday night.
(Danny Karnik / Associated Press)

The Chargers bought themselves a little goodwill and a slight cushion by outlasting the Atlanta Falcons 20-17 coming out of the bye, but it wasn’t exactly the performance you’d like to see with two weeks to prepare. A similar effort this week will lead to a blowout at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers on “Sunday Night Football”, an outcome being suggested by the betting line on the game.

Chargers at San Francisco 49ers (-7, 45.5)

Just imagine what this line would look like if the 49ers had success running the football this season. The Chargers rank among the worst run defenses in the NFL, though it’s not like they’ve fared a whole lot better against the pass either. Now they draw a 49ers offense coming off of a bye week that gave offensive evil genius Kyle Shanahan some extra time to figure out how to incorporate more of Christian McCaffrey into the playbook.

McCaffrey had 149 rushing + receiving yards in the Week 8 win over the Rams and also threw a touchdown pass. It wasn’t a big surprise that he didn’t factor much into the gameplan against the Chiefs, as he played 23 snaps after the midweek trade. He was fully unleashed against the Rams and wound up being a complete game-changer, as he touched the ball on 27 of his 43 snaps.


The Chargers have one of the game’s best playmakers to contend with on defense and they’re going to be short on playmakers on offense once again. Keenan Allen has not practiced throughout the week with his hamstring injury and Mike Williams remains sidelined with a high ankle sprain. Give the Chargers credit for finding a way to beat the Falcons, but Atlanta has one of the league’s worst defenses. The 49ers are a top-10 or top-five defense in virtually every metric.

Even though they are short-handed on the defensive line, the Chargers felt it was prudent to waive defensive tackle Jerry Tillery, a first-round draft pick in 2019.

Nov. 10, 2022

Justin Herbert threw 43 times against the Falcons and the Chargers still managed just five yards per play. Josh Palmer had eight catches for 106 yards after coming off of concussion protocol. Austin Ekeler had 71 yards on his 21 touches, averaging 3.4 yards per carry and per reception. It is tough to evaluate Herbert this season between the rib injury and the losses of his skill players, but this offense is the opposite of dynamic. The team’s longest touchdown play this season is 23 yards.

With a watered-down personnel group again this week, the 49ers are going to provide a stiffer test than the Falcons. It seems unlikely that the Chargers defense will hold up. Atlanta ran for 201 yards on just 35 carries last week. What will the 49ers with a fully engaged McCaffrey do? Not to mention, Jimmy Garoppolo and the passing attack has been surprisingly good. This is a bad matchup for the Chargers at full health. And they’re not even able to say that.

Pick: 49ers -7

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Aug. 14, 2022