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NFL Week 4 picks: Chargers vs. Buccaneers odds & prediction

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September 30th, 2020

This Sunday sees a matchup between one of the oldest quarterbacks in the league against one of the newest, as the Los Angeles Chargers travel to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay opens as a 7.5-point favorite over the Chargers, and the total for the game is currently the lowest of the week at 43.5 points.

Justin Herbert will make his third start in his rookie season for the Chargers, while Tom Brady looks to continue to improve on a slow start after having a great game last weekend.

Sun, October 4 2020, 5:00 PM

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Spread

-7.5

Moneyline

-335

Total

O 43.5

Los Angeles Chargers

Spread

+7.5

Moneyline

+260

Total

U 43.5

Herbert impressing in his first year

While the injury to Tyrod Taylor was a freak one, it might end up being something that changes the fortunes of the Chargers for the better. Herbert was thrown into the fire in Week 2, and has played decently. Through his first two starts, he has a 64.7 quarterback rating, but it has not been enough to get them a win in either game. He has only thrown two touchdowns, but also has thrown just two interceptions.

Turnovers have plagued the offense, as they lost three fumbles in addition to an interception in last week’s loss to the Panthers. Those turnover issues must be cleared up against Tampa Bay, whose defense is among the elite in the NFL at the moment and features the third-best rush defense in the league.

Herbert will need help from his receivers and tight end Hunter Henry to put up points in this game, which means the loss of WR Mike Williams and RT Bryan Bulaga might prove costly.

Chargers and Buccaneers statistics

TeamPassing YardsRushing YardsPassing Yards AllowedRushing Yards Allowed
Los Angeles Chargers
274 (8th)
151.7 (6th)
227.7 (10th)
109.3 (12th)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
242 (17th)
92 (27th)
237.7 (14th)
70.3 (3rd)

Tampa Bay's defense has stepped up while Brady settles in

Only three teams have given up fewer yards per game in total than the Bucs, and only one team has forced more turnovers so far this season. This has helped offset some growing pains as Brady gets acclimated to the new offense and his new receivers. 

Last week, he seemed to finally be in-sync with his new teammates, as he threw for nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns against the Broncos, while only being sacked twice.  He will be without two of his top three targets from last week due to injury, but TEs Rob Gronkowski and O.J. Howard should cause plenty of matchup problems for the Chargers.

Ronald Jones continues to get the leading number of the carries for the Bucs, as Leonard Fournette has had two poor games in three weeks. If Fournette can get on track, the Chargers may see a heavy dose of the rush, which would help alleviate some of the lost productivity in the passing game.

Who will win this Sunday's Week 4 matchup between Los Angeles and Tampa Bay?

Chargers vs. Buccaneers injury report

Tampa Bay will likely be without WRs Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller, both of whom are fighting hamstring issues and caught a total of eight passes for 147 yards and a touchdown last week. WR Justin Watson is also questionable. Corner Sean Murphy-Bunting is expected to miss the game with a groin injury.

Meanwhile, the Chargers may be without Bulaga on the offensive line due to a back issue, and Williams is doubtful with a hamstring problem. Corner Chris Harris is also questionable with a foot injury. QB Tyrod Taylor continues to be out indefinitely with a punctured lung.

Chargers vs. Buccaneers betting trends

The Chargers have lost five of their last six games outright, and have failed to cover the spread in seven of their last 19 games, with one push. The total has gone under in four of their last five games, but has gone over in four of their last five on the road.

Tampa Bay is 6-3 in its last nine games, and has covered in six of its last eight contests. The total has gone over in all but three of their last 17 games, and has gone over in six of the Bucs' last seven at home.

Tampa Bay should be able to overcome the loss of their weapons on offense enough to win. However, their second-half struggles this season will be amplified enough that we should see the score stay under the projected total. Look for the Bucs’ defense to carry the day as Tampa Bay covers the spread.

Score Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Chargers 13

NFL picks: Buccaneers -7.5, Under 43.5

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