A couple of years ago, the city of Los Angeles didn’t have any NFL teams. Now they have two! And for the first time as city rivals, the Chargers and Rams square off on Saturday night for bragging rights – as much as you can brag by winning an exhibition game in the NFL Preseason. With that said, let’s take a look at why the Rams are the NFL odds favorites over the Chargers this Saturday.
How to Bet on LA Chargers at LA Rams NFL Preseason Odds & PickNFL LiveOpening NFL Preseason Lines: Rams -2.5 (41.5)
- Clear: 23°C/74°F
- Humidity: 70%
- Precipitation: 2%
- Wind: 5 mph WSW
- Cloud Cover: 0%
- Type of Stadium: Open
Chargers Have Been AwfulThe Chargers were clobbered 48-17 at home to open the preseason vs. Seattle and then lost 13-7 there last week to New Orleans. Philip Rivers didn’t play vs. the Saints. In his lone series this preseason, Rivers completed 5-of-6 passes for 56 yards, one touchdown and a 145.1 passer rating.Chargers running back Melvin Gordon had eight yards rushing on five carries and had a catch for seven yards in the first quarter vs. the Saints. Kellen Clemens was 10 of 17 for 99 yards and added 26 yards rushing on three carries. The Bolts will emphasize getting their ground game this week going after Head Coach Anthony Lynn stressed it as a major focal point heading into the final two preseason games.
Is There Any Bad News for the Chargers?The Bolts got some bad news this week when center Max Tuerk, who was competing for the starting job, was suspended for the first four games of the regular season without pay for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Tuerk, who can still play in the preseason, is the second Charger who will have to miss time this season for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Defensive tackle Tenny Palepoi still has to serve one game on his four-game suspension that was levied last season.The Chargers could have three new starters along the offensive line when the NFL season opens. With Tuerk out, Spencer Pulley should start at center. The undrafted rookie out of Vanderbilt was a surprise addition to the final roster last season, playing 163 snaps at guard and 44 snaps at center. Now he’ll get a chance to earn a starting job.Cornerback Craig Mager returned to practice this week after missing the first two preseason games with a hamstring injury. The injury was the same hamstring Mager tore as a rookie, so the Chargers’ training staff took extra precaution. Left tackle Russell Okung returned to practice after missing last week’s game against the Saints with an ankle issue. However, right tackle Joe Barksdale, who also missed last week, remained out with a sore foot.Chargers OC Ken Whisenhunt said it’s important for his young offensive line to see exotic blitzes and looks in preseason as an evaluation tool. The Chargers allowed eight sacks vs. Saints.
Rams Look ImprovedThe Rams, meanwhile, are 2-0, beating the Cowboys 13-10 and last week the Raiders 24-21. Jared Goff led three scoring drives vs. Oakland. Goff finished 16 for 20 for 160 yards and a 23-yard TD pass to Cooper Kupp. Kupp, who set FCS records at Eastern Washington with 428 catches for 6,464 yards and 73 TDs, caught six passes for 70 yards and a TD while playing with the starters.Sammy Watkins got his first action for Los Angeles since being acquired in a trade with Buffalo this preseason. Watkins converted a third down on his first catch and added one more reception. Coach Sean McVay said that he believes having success like the offense did against the Raiders will give all players — including Goff — even more confidence moving forward.
What Can We Expect from the Rams Defense?On defense, linebacker Mark Barron will begin the regular season without having played in any preseason games, and a handful of other starting defensive players might, too. McVay said Tuesday that Barron will be kept out of the third preseason game. Outside linebacker Robert Quinn and cornerback Kayvon Webster — who, like Barron, also missed the first two preseason contests — could also miss the game, though McVay said “there’s a chance” that they play.The Rams defense has been without five projected starters in the first two preseason games, a list that includes Quinn, Barron, Webster, and defensive linemen Aaron Donald (holding out because of his contract situation) and Dominique Easley (out for the year after an ACL tear).
LA Chargers vs LA Rams Game HistoryThe Rams lead the regular season series vs. the Chargers, 6-5, and hold an 18-16 edge in preseason play. The two teams last met during the regular season in 2014, with the Chargers emerging with a 27-24 victory. The last time the two teams met in the preseason was in 2008, when the Rams won 7-6.
- Total Meetings: 11
- First Meeting: October 4th, 1970. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Los Angeles, California.
- Last Meeting: November 23rd, 2014. Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego, California.
- All-Time Series: LA Rams 6-5-0
- Largest Margin of Victory: LA Rams 57-31 (2000)
- Longest Win Streak: LA Chargers (1979-1988)
- Current Win Streak: LA Chargers 1 (2014)
NFL Preseason Game Trends
- Chargers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Rams are 1-10- 1 ATS in their last 12 games overall.