Despite having a 5-3, Los Angeles Chargers come in as heavy underdogs against the 4-4 San Francisco 49ers. Both teams have been up and down this season, but the 49ers have been rejuvenated by the acquisition of All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey.
We’ll take a closer look at this matchup to see where we can cash in at the best sportsbooks.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, November 13, 2022 – 08:20 PM EST at Levi’s Stadium
Chargers Have Too Many Injuries
The San Francisco 49ers come into this game as -7 point favorites against the banged-up Los Angeles Chargers. Despite having the better record, the Chargers' injury concerns might be too much to overcome against this very talented 49ers team. Star quarterback Justin Herbert is still in the lineup, but it’s clear the injury to his ribs has affected his game.
Herbert has been good, but if he was completely healthy there’s still another level his game can go to. He’s also missing his starting left tackle Rashawn Slater who is out with a torn bicep. The injury problems don’t end there as Herbert will also be without his 2 best wide receivers in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. On the defensive end, they will also be without their best player Nick Bosa who has been out since Week 3.
While Herbert got the job done against the Falcons without his star receivers, the 49ers' defense is on a whole different level. The Falcons are last in the league in terms of creating pressure on the quarterback. The 49ers have Nick Bosa who is tied for the NFL lead with 8.5 sacks. Herbert will not have nearly as much time in the pocket which is one of the many reasons his team comes into this game as big road underdogs.
New Look 49ers Finding Their Feet
It’s been an up-and-down season for the 49ers by their standards. That said, they have a bad habit of starting out slowly while finding their groove. The talent is certainly there and with the addition of doing it all running back, Christian McCaffrey has taken their ceiling even higher. Many experts around the league believe they paid too much for McCaffrey and I tend to agree with that statement.
As good as he is, McCaffrey is not a quarterback which means his impact on the game is somewhat limited. He also plays a position where an injury is a major concern and McCaffrey has had his issues there in the past. The biggest thing holding the 49ers back from reaching their full potential is Jimmy Garoppolo’s ceiling. There’s a reason this team went after Trey Lance so hard; Garoppolo is closer to a game manager than an elite quarterback.
The best evidence of this was the 49ers' 44-23 loss to the Chiefs. While it's hard to blame Garoppolo for a loss where his team gave up 44 points, the reality is his team was in that game in the second half and when they needed him to respond with points, he simply couldn't, which has been the story of his career in San Francisco.
Chargers vs. 49ers: Game Prediction
The Chargers have one of the worst defenses in the league, but it’s not like the 49ers are an offensive juggernaut. San Francisco has a ball-dominant offense that moves the chains due to the superior play-calling of head coach Kyle Shanahan. This team doesn’t need Garoppolo to light up the scoreboard to win a game.
While the Chargers' offense is good, they haven’t exactly played the best defenses in the league so far this season. The last time they played a defense of this caliber was in Week 6 when they beat the Broncos 19-16. The 49ers' defense is as good as Denver’s, if not better, and I think Herbert will have similar struggles in this game as he did against the Broncos where he finished the game with 0 touchdowns and 1 interception.
In that Broncos game, Herbert had 57 pass attempts which tell you all you need to know about their run game at the moment. Remember, the Broncos only scored 16 points and Herbert still had to drop back to pass that many times. They rank 30th in the league in rushing yards which is a recipe for disaster against this 49ers pass rush.
The closest any opposing quarterback has come to 57 pass attempts against San Francisco, is the 48 by Matthew Stafford in Week 4. He ended up with 0 touchdowns, 1 interception, a fumbled loss, and was sacked 7 times in that game.
NFL Pick: Under 46.5 (-110) at Bovada
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.