The San Francisco 49ers lost the game but more importantly lost their franchise quarterback for the season last Sunday in Kansas City. But the Niners can't afford to spend time feeling sorry for themselves as they are tasked with fielding a team to face the Los Angeles Chargers this Sunday. Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective.

When: Sunday, September 30th, 2018 at 1:25pm PT (CBS)
Where: StubHub Center, Carson, California
Odds: Chargers -10, total at 46.5

Los Angeles Chargers
Despite being considered one of the top teams in the AFC heading into this season, the Chargers are now 1-2 coming off a convincing loss to the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. The Chargers offense ranks fifth in the NFL with 415.3 yards per game and and eighth with 27.3 points per game, good for a 11.5 percent offensive DVOA-Adjusted for Variation Early (DAVE) rating that ranks fifth among all teams. The Bolts are giving up 392 yards per game and 31 points per game, ranking 24th and 31st, respectively, and a 5.9 percent defensive DAVE that is 24th in the NFL.

Philip Rivers is fifth in the NFL with a defense-adjusted yards above replacement (DYAR) of 372 and third with a total QBR of 83.3. The Chargers are 1-2 against-the-spread (ATS) this season.

San Francisco 49ers
After three weeks, San Francisco's offense is ranked 17th with 359.7 yards per game, 12th with 24.3 points per game and 27th in offensive DAVE rating at -9.7 percent. The Niners defense is giving up 384.7 yards per game and 29.7 yards per game, ranking 22nd and 27th, respectively, and a 6.7 percent defensive DAVE that is 25th in the NFL.

In 2017, C.J. Beathard finished with a 30th ranked DYAR of -176 and total QBR of 35.4 which was 31st among 35 NFL quarterbacks with a minimum of 200 passes in 2017. The 49ers are 0-3 ATS this season.

Prediction
In the blink of an eye, the 49ers' season aspirations were dealt a crippling blow with Jimmy Garoppolo's ACL tear. All previous preseason expectations and predictions go out the window, and the Niners' Super Bowl odds have dropped from 20-1 to 200-1 and they will likely not come close to winning even seven games. But even before the injury, the 49ers were under-performing, particularly on defense. The return of Reuben Foster did little to mitigate the missed tackles from piling up and the opposing offense from marching up and down the field last Sunday.

The 49ers offense has kept the team in games with a rushing attack that is ranked second in the NFL, but the question that remains is not if but how much of a drop-off in offensive production will occur with C.J. Beathard as the starting quarterback. But it's not like Jimmy G was playing like Aaron Rodgers before he went down and the 10 point spread seems like a bit of overreaction to the loss of Garoppolo and decent value. We could easily see Beathard playing better than expected and the Niners covering this inflated spread, but find it hard to trust the 49ers ATS based on recent trends and Beathard's past performances.

The Chargers may be 1-2 but their two losses came against arguably the two best teams in the NFL in the Chiefs and the Rams. The Bolts are known for slow starts, are probably better than their record indicates and returning home angry after being beatdown by the Rams, ready to take their frustration out on the wounded 49ers.

Kyle Shanahan is likely to lean on the running game as it is the highest performing aspect of the offense and will help keep Rivers off the field and C.J. from having to air it out, potentially leading to a lower than expected score. Philip Rivers is a substantially better quarterback than Beathard and we anticipate that the Chargers offense will have its way with the 49ers defense and the Niners offense ultimately having no way to keep up with the Bolts, leading to a Chargers victory straight up.

The Chargers defense is not as bad as their current statistics imply, as they faced the two most potent offenses in the league in the Chiefs and Rams, and they are primed to step up at home. Even without Joey Bosa, the Chargers defense will not fear Beathard and stack the box against the run which will likely stifle the Niners' offensive production. And since Robert Saleh is starting to feel the heat on the heels of consecutive poor defensive performances, we also expect the 49ers defense to perform better in this game, all of which will lead to a lower scoring game that goes under the total. Pick: Under 46.5 points

Season
1-2 ATS
3-0 SU

Poll

  • What is your best bet for 49ers at Chargers on 9/30/18?
  • 49ers +10
  • Chargers -10
  • Over 46.5
  • Under 46.5