Week 1 is here and betting lines are OPEN at DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Chargers pulled off an upset against the 2022 Dolphins, besting them 17-23 despite being 3.5-point underdogs at home. Despite suffering numerous injuries, missing notable starters such as Joey Bosa, Rashawn Slater, Trey Pipkins, Derwin James, Bryce Callahan, and Sebastian Joseph-Day, the Chargers played an excellent defensive game and came out on top.
It’s only fair to point out that Tua Tagovailoa struggled through multiple head injuries last season, and looked like a different quarterback in the back half of the year than the first. Tua’s completion percentages in his first four games were 69.7%, 72%, 72.2%, and 57.1%. Against the Chargers, he crashed down to 35.7%, with his only touchdown coming on a rare Michael Davis miscue where he tripped over his own feet on a Tyreek Hill fly route.
Much of the success in this game was credited towards Staley’s defensive approach. Staley clogged and flooded the throwing lanes between the hash marks most of the day, forcing Tua to make sideline throws that exposed his arm strength.
Coach McDaniel was touted as an offensive mastermind last year after Tua posted a six-touchdown performance against the Ravens, but the biggest blemish on his season (besides the questionable handling of Tua’s head injuries) was his showdown with Brandon Staley. When asked about how that has influenced his game plan heading into Week 1, McDaniel was dismissive of the significance of this matchup.
Mike McDaniel was caffeinated today. Closest I’ve seen him to giving the other team bulletin board material. pic.twitter.com/2uvkS72KKE— Chris Kouffman (@ckparrot) September 4, 2023
Despite his nonchalance, McDaniel will likely have a couple new tricks in his bag for this matchup.
Despite the defense being largely responsible for the last victory, excitement levels should be riding high for Justin Herbert’s return. Although Justin didn’t miss a game last year, the rib injury that affected his throwing motion and confidence in the pocket produced a different quarterback than fans were accustomed to seeing. Letting Kellen Moore unleash this offense with a healthy Justin Herbert is all the reason many bettors will need to justify taking the “over” of 51 points in this matchup.
Happy (responsible) gambling, friends!