The Chargers got off to a rocking start under new head coach Brandon Staley. They were 4-1 and could have beaten Dallas in a three point loss.
The Chargers have fallen back to earth the last two games against Baltimore and New England. However, Staley is deservedly getting accolades from the analytics community. On consecutive episodes of my podcast The Football Analytics Show, Rob Pizzola and George Chahrouri gushed about how Staley gets it as a coach.
For example, the Chargers went for a 4th and 3 from their own 29 yard line. The Chargers were down 14-0 in the second quarter, and the aggressive decision was needed to help them get back in the game.
Those that lack curiosity in analytics couldn’t understand this decision, especially after the play failed. However, Ben Baldwin’s 4th down bot supported Staley’s decision to go for it deep in his own territory.
Under second year QB Justin Herbert, the Chargers pass offense ranks 17th by my adjusted success rate. This seems low for a promising young player throwing to stellar targets in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
The pass defense ranks 18th by my adjusted success rate. However, they have done much better by adjusted yards per play, where they rank 2nd.
No one expected much from Philadelphia and QB Jalen Hurts this season. By my metrics, the Eagles were 27th entering the season.
They thrashed Atlanta to open the season, a win that seems less compelling every week. Philadelphia has a 3-5 record this season, and my adjusted metrics from the current season rank them 26th, not far from my preseason expectations.
My model likes the Los Angeles Chargers by 2.7 points at Philadelphia, close to the 2.9 point prediction from this preseason. This suggests value on Chargers -1.5. This game is a buy low spot on a promising Chargers team coming off two losses against a bad Philadelphia team.
There is only one problem: Justin Herbert’s hand. He hurt his hand against Kansas City but managed to have excellent games against Las Vegas and Cleveland in subsequent weeks.
However, Herbert aggravated the injury against New England. While he was limited in practice on Wednesday, Herbert returned to full practice on Thursday.
Football betting with a PhD edge
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