The Chargers are a touchdown favorite against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, but how will Justin Herbert’s rib injury affect the offense?
This season has already run the gamut.Two weeks in, we’ve seen some big upsets, some surprising 2-0 teams, unsurprising 0-2 teams and a lot of sloppy football with few teams taking the preseason seriously. The more games we get, the more everything should settle in, hopefully leading to a little more predictability for bettors.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Chargers (-7, 47)
The big story in the City of Angels this week is the health of Herbert, whose rib cartilage injury is reportedly very painful, but something he could theoretically play through. The question is whether or not the Chargers want to risk it with the Jaguars and Texans on the horizon before the schedule ramps up with the Browns and Broncos in Weeks 5 and 6.
To this point, we don’t have a concrete answer as to whether Herbert will give it a go or Chase Daniel will be called into action. This game likely moves to a pick ‘em or Chargers -1 if Daniel gets the start, so patience will be a virtue heading toward the weekend. The Chargers and a hurting Herbert sneaked in the back door with a late touchdown to Josh Palmer in the 27-24 loss to the Chiefs.
The Jaguars looked like a completely different team from Week 1 to Week 2 as they shut out the Colts 24-0 to improve to 1-1. Doug Pederson’s squad has forced six turnovers through two games and has been stout against the run, allowing just 139 yards on 41 attempts. Jacksonville’s five interceptions are tied for the league lead, but Matt Ryan and Carson Wentz are not on Herbert’s level.
It is tricky to speculate so far in advance of kickoff as to what will happen here as Herbert’s status obviously affects both the side and total. The same can be said about Keenan Allen, who missed the short-week game against the Chiefs but has a good chance of returning for this one. If Herbert does play (and he is trending that way), the Chargers could very well be the best NFL Survivor pick this week.
One bet to consider is Christian Kirk over 62.5 receiving yards at DraftKings. Kirk has played over 90% of the snaps through two weeks and has had 117 and 78 yards, respectively, in those games.
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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.