Bills vs. Chargers: 3 best prop bets for NFL Week 16

12/23/2023
DB+

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Week 16 of the 2023 NFL season! The Buffalo Bills will try to turn off the Los Angeles Chargers on the Saturday before Christmas, and all we want is a playoff berth under that tree. We’ll have to wait to unwrap that present, but securing another important win against a conference opponent will go down nicely with a mug of eggnog and a plate of cookies.

Last week was an outstanding, cathartic team win against one of the best teams in the league, and nobody saw that game script coming…especially not this bettor.

  • CeeDee Lamb o7.5 receptions, -102 at FD, 0.5u, Result: 7 receptions❌
  • Tony Pollard longest rush o13.5, -114 at FD, 0.5u, Result: longest rush 11 yards❌
  • Dalton Kincaid o4.5 receptions, -125, 0.5u, Result: 0 receptions❌

Cover 1’s Erik Turner and Ant Prohaska reviewed the game in detail, including how the Bills shut down CeeDee Lamb, which was the biggest surprise. Nothing to do but scrape ourselves off the floor and get back at it.

First Things First

Here are a few rules to keep your betting a fun, enjoyable hobby.

  1. Never bet more than you can afford to lose.
  2. Don’t chase a bet.
  3. Don’t bet on what you don’t understand
  4. Check the other sportsbooks’ lines
  5. See Rule #1.

If you think you might have a gambling problem, please contact any of these agencies for help.

National Council on Problem Gambling: 1-800-522-4700.
Gambling Anonymous National Hotline: (888) GA-HELPS (888-424-3577)
Gambling Assistance Hotline: (800) 522-4700

Lastly, these are recommendations, not guarantees. Act accordingly.

Game Script

It’s difficult to write anything about a team like the LA Chargers, who have been a disappointment all season and very recently fired their coach. There isn’t much to expect from quarterback Easton Stick, who, besides the lacrosse-iest name imaginable, has shown little in his brief time replacing the injured Justin Herbert. Stick was able to run in college at North Dakota State University, but Chargers’ OC Kellen Moore didn’t utilize his legs much at all in his first start against the Raiders last week when he had two rushes for 11 yards.

Stick was a fifth round pick by the Chargers in 2019, and he has played in three games over that time. Stick’s lack of playing time will be a weapon for Bills’ Head Coach Sean McDermott, who has a history of confusing inexperienced QBs.

Some are worried about the proverbial dead cat bounce teams sometimes get when they’ve fired a head coach. Anecdotally, the energizing factor of firing a coach comes when the locker room has generally turned against their sideline boss. A recent example is how much Raiders’ players rejoiced when Josh McDaniels was fired. It’s clear McDaniels was despised. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Brandon Staley. From players’ reactions, Staley appears to have been a decent person who was in over his head, and the decision to fire him seems unavoidable and inevitable given the misery of another lost season and not the joie de vivre axing McDaniels brought Vegas. Players won’t mail it in because tape lives forever, but it will be a surprise if the Bills catch a Chargers team sparked with the joy of Andy DuFresne escaping Shawshank.

If Bills’ Interim Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady is intentionally attacking the weaknesses of opposing defenses as appeared to be the case against Dallas, the Bills will punish LA through the air. The Chargers’ pass defense has short-circuited:

  • Third highest passer rating against
  • Sixth worst Yards/Att against
  • Second highest Pass Yards/Gm surrendered
  • Seventh highest EPA/Pass Play given up
  • 20th in Pressure %
  • Fifth highest EPA/Pass Play to the Slot

The Chargers’ pass D should simply be overwhelmed by Josh Allen and the Bills. If the Bills lose this game, they never deserved to be in the playoffs anyhow.

Prediction: BUF 31 – LAC 16

For a thorough breakdown, read Uber Hansen’s Game Matchups Preview.

DVOA Matchup

How the Bills’ offense has grown under interim coordinator Joe Brady

Injury Reports

Be sure to check the inactives list prior to the game.

Weather

From the National Weather Service: It’s a dome.

Recommendations

Easton Stick Interceptions

Book Line o u
DK 0.5 -145 +114
FD 0.5 -148 +112
MGM 0.5 -145 +105

If the Chargers let him throw against a McDermott defense, he will throw an INT. The analysis doesn’t always have to be deep and difficult to be spot on.

Recommendation: Easton Stick Interceptions o0.5, 0.5u. Considering the vig on this line, you could single-game parlay it with LAC Team Total Points u21.5, which brings the odds to -105 at DK.

James Cook Receiving Yards

Book Line o u
DK 23.5 -135 +105
FD 26.5 -114 -114
MGM 23.5 -130 +100

The Chargers are bottom ten in most passing metrics for RBs on the season. Since Week 10:

  • Yards/Att, 6.4 (20th)
  • Yards/Gm, 42.5 (25th)
  • Total Yards Allowed, 255, (30th)
  • Completions Allowed, 31 (29th)
  • EPA/Play, 0.09 (25th)
  • EPA Allowed, 3.68 (28th)
  • Positive Play %, 52.5% (30th)

Even with Cook getting more defensive attention after a big game last week, LA just doesn’t have the juice to stop his ascension.

Recommendation: James Cook receiving yards o23.5 -130 at MGM, 0.5u.

Stefon Diggs’ Receiving Yards

Book Line o u
DK 69.5 -115 -115
FD 67.5 -114 -114
MGM 69.5 -115 -115

Asante Samuel Jr plays both CB positions fairly equally, suggesting the Chargers move him with particular receivers, but they don’t play him in the slot.

From PFF

The Chargers are currently using Essang Bassey and Ja’Sir Taylor as their slot corners, and neither has been great. If the Bills play Diggs in the slot or can position him against the Chargers’ other CB Michael Davis, he could have a very big day. Week 15 was the fewest snaps Diggs has taken in the slot this season, but if Brady truly is weaponizing matchups, this is too big an advantage to ignore.

Even if Samuel travels with Diggs all game, this recommendation is as much about Allen taking care of his boy as anything. Diggs has not had more than 74 receiving yards since Week 9, and he only has one TD over that time. Every time Diggs goes quiet for a little, Allen makes sure to feed him, and this line is too low for one of the league’s best receivers against a highly beatable secondary

Recommendation: Stefon Diggs o67.5 receiving yards, -114 at FD, 1.0u

Conclusion

Beyond hopefully making your wallet or purse fatter, I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and encourage you to give the gifts of compassion and grace all year long.

Also, DESTROY THE CHARGERS!

Record: 26-19, 57.8%, +16.04u

You can find Chris on Twitter (@lowbuffa), getting dirty in #MafiaGardens, or watching football. Go Bills!

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