Chargers vs. Falcons NFL Week 9 Picks and Prediction: Strength vs. Weakness Battle

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Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers signals a play against the Seattle Seahawks. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP.

This is one of these nonconference clashes for most NFL fans that just doesn’t pop into your head that you can visualize the uniforms of the teams going head to head.

If you are a Chargers or Falcons fan it might feel more familiar seeing they played 2 years in SoCal with the Bolts a 20-17 winner as a one-point favorite. Though the contest might not attract everyone’s interest, the records of the two clubs say otherwise.

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Los Angeles Chargers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Sunday, November 6, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

What to Expect From the Chargers

Once again catching Kansas City in the AFC West appears an uphill task for many of the same reasons the last couple of years for Los Angeles. While all teams suffer their share of injuries, seemingly each of the past several seasons, the Chargers have among the highest in that category which ultimately limits what you can do.

Also, for a 3rd consecutive year, the Bolts are ranked 21st or lower in rushing the ball in the league and have a Top 6 passing attack. This imbalance forces Justin Herbert to carry the offensive load, which he’s capable of, at least to a point. If Los Angeles can run the ball, the offense has more options and chances for success.

If the offense seems redundant, so is the defense. The Chargers over the years are average in yards allowed versus the pass. This is in part because they do such a poor job stopping the run, among the worst in the NFL.

The more things change, the more they stay the same for Lightning Bolts.


What to Expect From the Falcons

As we have reached the midpoint of the season, if everything about the L.A. Chargers seems the same, that could not be less true for the 1st place Atlanta Falcons.

Atlanta is 4-4 making them the only squad, not below .500 in the NFC South. At the end of August, Atlanta was expected to finish comfortably in last in their division, and instead, they are one victory from surpassing their season win total of 4.5, long before Thanksgiving.

Credit 2nd-year head coach Arthur Smith, who is among the new wave of coaches that teaches belief and getting the most out of what he has, and the Falcons players have bought in.

Atlanta has one of the top rushing offenses in the NFL and though names like Cordarrelle Patterson (former WR, now on IR), Caleb Huntley, Tyler Allgeier, and QB Marcus Mariota are not going to make many fantasy teams, this team’s production is elite behind an underrated offensive line. This makes them a good matchup against L.A.

At the same time, the Falcons' pass defense is just plain bad. The secondary needs blankets to try and cover opposing pass catchers, permitting over 300 pass yards a contest, easily the worst in the league.


Who Covers the Spread?

The feel of this contest is what team can impose their strength against the weakness of the opponent. Atlanta can run and Los Angeles cannot stop it and the Chargers can throw and the Falcons cannot contain it.

The Chargers should be fresh coming off a bye week and having the ugly 37-23 home loss as a 4.5-point favorite should not sit well with them. History has shown they rebound well at 10-2 ATS  in road games off an upset loss by 10 points or more as a home favorite.

Nevertheless, Atlanta is tempting as a home underdog that can run the ball but in this matchup, Los Angeles has more motivation off a bad loss and wins in a close one for NFL picks.

NFL Pick: Chargers -3 (-109) at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review)

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Chargers -3 (-109)
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What Is the Right Side for Totals?

With two vulnerable defenses that can be exposed by their opponent, we are looking for points with the betting odds sitting at 49. Both clubs also have a prior history that is quantifiable.  

Atlanta is 7-1 Over after facing division rival Carolina and the Bolts are 15-1 Over on the road after Game 1 if the total is below 50.

Following the best sportsbooks, let’s call for L.A. to take this high-scoring affair 31-27.

NFL Pick: Over 49 (-109) at GTbets

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Over 49 (-109)
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What Prop Bets Appear Safe?

Why there are no locks, given the NFL odds on the total, there should be points, so taking Austin Ekeler for an anytime touchdown with him having 9 already sure appears as a wise wager. Depending on the yardage, Ekeler for Over on receiving should have merit.

On the Atlanta side, tight end Kyle Pitts has a TD in 2 of his last 3 games and seems to have found a connection with Mariota, making for an anytime touchdown.

NFL Pick: Austin Ekeler Anytime Touchdown Scorer (-148) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Austin Ekeler Anytime Touchdown Scorer (-148)
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NFL Pick: Kyle Pitts Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+170) at Bovada

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Kyle Pitts Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+170)
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*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.