NFL Week 3 Betting Breakdown: San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills

E.J. Manuel-bills-2014Chargers-Bills
Spread: BUF -1
Total: 46

Betting Odds c/o Bovada

The Buffalo Bills are probably thankful for a soft schedule to open the 2014-15 season. After wins against both the Chicago Bears in week 1 and Miami Dolphins in week 2, the Bills have a nice start after a rough year last season. The Bears win required OT to knock nail the game winning field goal, while the Dolphins game wasn’t close, a 29-10 Bills victory.

Former Florida State Seminole E.J. Manuel is looking more like the talent the Bills thought he would be when they traded up to grab him in the 2013 NFL draft. Thus far, Manuel has thrown 32-of-48 for 375 yards.

Against the Bears, he was 16-of-22 with 1 TD and 1 INT passing, and the other via the rush. He throw for 173 yards at that 72 percent completion rate, and posted a QB rating of 91.7. In week 2, he managed 202 yards on 16-of-26 throwing 1 TD and 0 INT.

C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson have both been very solid in the backfield. Spiller has rushed for 122 yards on 27 attempts,and he scored a TD in the win over the Bears. His per-yardage was better against the Dolphins, when he managed 69 yards on 12 carries (5.8 ypc). He’s also caught 4 passes for 20 yards on the season, and that accounted for his lone TD. He has yet to fumble.

Jackson has done well on limited carries, managing 85 yards on 19 carries thus far. He’s also caught for an additional 40 yards, including a 28 yard play against the ‘Phins. He’s fumbled once, but it was recovered.

San Diego has been tough in the air and poor on the ground. The Chargers rank 8th in the NFL in passing yardage (257 per game) but manage just 76 yards per game via the rush (27th). Still, the Chargers are averaging 23.5 points per game while allowing 19. The week 1 lost to Arizona was a 1-point loss, and San Diego could easily be 2-0. Following this matchup, the Chargers will face Jacksonville, New York and Oakland before much tougher games against Kansas City and Denver. Winning now is imperative for the Chargers.

Philip Rivers has racked up some major numbers thus far, averaging 261 yards per game on 49-of-73 passing. Antonio Gates has once again been the major recipient, with the TE managing 177 yards on 13 receptions (13.6 yards per catch). Keenan Allen has also impressed with 92 yards on 10 receptions, but it is Gates who has scored 3 TDs. He’s always been a major red zone target.

The backfield for the Chargers has struggled though. Ryan Matthews and Danny Woodhead have combined for just 105 yards on 37 carries between them, and Matthews has the lone TD.

The Chargers have a shot if they can get the run going, but with such a tough passing offense, Buffalo will have its hands full either way. Even so, NFL oddsmakers know this will be a close one, setting the line just 1-point in favor of Manuel and the Bills.

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