National Football League
NFL odds Week 9: How to bet Chargers-Falcons
National Football League

NFL odds Week 9: How to bet Chargers-Falcons

Updated Nov. 4, 2022 3:20 p.m. ET

The Los Angeles Chargers will travel to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to play the Atlanta Falcons on Week 9 of the NFL season. 

Los Angeles, coming off a bye week, will try to bounce back from a Week 7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks

Atlanta is coming off a nail-biting victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 8 and seeks the opportunity to go over .500 for the season against the Chargers.

Here's everything you need from a betting perspective on the Chargers-Falcons game, from the point spread, moneyline, total Over/Under and expert picks (odds via FOX Bet):


Los Angeles Chargers at Atlanta Falcons (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX and FOX Sports App)

Point spread: Chargers -3 (Chargers favored to win by more than 3 points, otherwise Falcons cover)
Moneyline: Chargers -162 favorites to win (bet $10 to win $16.17 total); Falcons +125 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $22.50 total)
Total scoring Over/Under: 49.5 points scored by both teams combined

AFC Playoff standings: Will Chargers, Bengals or Patriots snag the final spot?

Emmanuel Acho, Joy Taylor, LeSean McCoy and David Helman decide on who would clinch the final spot.

Pick via FOX Sports Betting Analyst Jason McIntyre:

Even with the Chargers potentially limited at receiver (Keenan Allen’s hamstring; Mike Williams’ ankle), they should move the ball early and often against a very bad Falcons defense. 

Even if Atlanta gets CB A.J. Terrell back, they still generate no pressure (last in the league, 11.5 percent), so Justin Herbert should finally have time in the pocket to find open receivers. The Falcons let Carolina's fourth-string quarterback, P.J. Walker, throw for 317 yards, for goodness' sake. 

LAC’s secondary lost JC Jackson - who had been struggling - so they'll have problems defending Kyle Pitts, who seems out of the doghouse after catching five passes on a season-high nine targets for 80 yards and a TD against the Panthers. 

I’m nervous about backing the Chargers here if they can’t stop the Falcons run game, which may get Cordarrelle Patterson back from IR. This is why I'll go with the Over.

PICK: Over 48.5 points scored by both teams combined at FOX Bet

Pick via FOX Sports Gambling Expert Warren Sharp:

The Falcons defense ranks dead last in success rate allowed to opposing RB targets on early downs.  

Now they must go up against the team that uses RB targets more than anyone else in the NFL.

The Chargers have played just seven games, whereas all other teams in the top 5 have played eight, but early-down RB routes run:

333 – LAC
281 – IND
265 – WAS
265 – NYJ
263 – TB

And RB targets paint the same picture, as all other teams have played eight games while the Chargers have played only seven.

73 – LAC
57 – IND
56 – WAS
54 – TB
54 – NYJ

It’s the Chargers… and then it’s everyone else. Austin Ekeler should feast in this matchup.

He’s not the only one.

So should Justin Herbert.

Herbert may be getting back the services of his No. 1 WR, Keenan Allen. It’s wild to think this, but Allen has been targeted just six times all season, and that’s because he played only part of Week 1 and part of Week 7. But if he’s back and anywhere close to 100% against the Falcons, it could be a huge boost.

As great as Justin Herbert can be, like most QBs, he is susceptible to pressure. Look at his YTD splits on early downs:

Pressured: -0.33 EPA/att, 29% success, 4.4 YPA, 1:2 TD:INT
Not pressured: +0.16 EPA/att, 48% success, 7.1 YPA, 11:2 TD:INT

And the last three games the Chargers played, look at the defenses they faced ranked by pressure rate since Week 4:

No. 3 – Denver
No. 10 – Cleveland
No. 17 – Seattle

Now they get the worst pressure rate team in the NFL, the Falcons.

We liked the Panthers last week because the Falcons don’t get pressure, they allow the highest completion rate, and they were down multiple starters in their secondary.

They’ll still be down Casey Hayward, for certain. And they already allowed the fourth-most production to WRs from the slot. This would be a huge edge for Herbert if he gets Keenan Allen back.

Lastly, out of 35 QBs, Justin Herbert ranks No. 32 in rate of passes thrown 10-plus yards downfield. This has been a problem with Joe Lombardi’s offense and is frustrating.

However, in this matchup, it’s actually not a bad thing.

That’s because NO TEAM allows more success on early-down passes than the Atlanta Falcons in the first three quarters.

It’s been insane.

The Falcons are allowing:

+0.26 EPA/att (No. 31)
69% success (No. 32)
81% completions (No. 32)

This should equate to a ton of success for Herbert.

On the other side of the ball, the Falcons should be able to rely on their rushing attack, which might get the services of Cordarrelle Patterson back.

But even bigger than that will be the simple fact the Chargers are terrible against the run, and the Falcons have faced a brutal stretch of run defenses.

Over the last four weeks, the Falcons played nothing but top-12 run defenses of the 49ers, Bucs, Bengals and Panthers.

Now they get the Chargers, who rank No. 31 in yards before contact per attempt to RBs.  

Additionally, they rank dead last in yards AFTER contact per rush.

So they get moved off the line AND they struggle to tackle well.

As a result, they rank dead last in YPC allowed to RBs at 6.1 yards.

If allowing 6.1 YPC sounds bad, let’s put it into context.

No team since 2000 allowed over 5.75 YPC to RBs on the season, and the Chargers are at 6.1.  

And even if you look at the first eight weeks of a season only, there is still not a single team that allowed more than 5.95 YPC to opposing RBs (KC in 2008).

The Chargers are the only team since at least 2000 to allow 6-plus YPC to RBs in the first eight weeks of the season.

Marcus Mariota was passing more last week, and while I don’t know that he’ll pass a ton in this game, thanks to the production Atlanta should see on the ground, he should be quite efficient when he does pass.

The Chargers are allowing 9.3 yards per target to TE targets (No. 31), which bodes well for Kyle Pitts.

Additionally, the Falcons passing offense is effectively the anti-Joe Lombardi offense.

They don’t throw underneath at all.

They have the fifth-highest rate of all passes thrown 10-plus yards downfield and the sixth-highest rate of all passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield.

And guess which defense is the worst in the NFL vs. passes thrown 10-plus yards downfield?

The Chargers.

They are allowing +0.59 EPA/att and 52% success on these passes 10-plus yards downfield, allowing 11.6 YPA.

Although it looks unlikely that Keenan Allen will be up for this game, I believe bets on either the game exceeding the total or the Falcons exceeding their team total are decent looks in this game.

PICK: Over 49.5 points scored by both teams combined at FOX Bet

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