NFL – Chargers to clean-up in west coast battle

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NFL expert Tom Selwyn (@Tom_Selwyn) shares his expert opinion on the best bets available from Sunday’s action on Week 4.

San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Chargers | Sunday 30th September 2018, 21:25

I picked against the San Francisco 49ers last week as I thought they were going into a buzz saw that is the Chiefs offense, but I still thought they’d be able to score points with Jimmy Garoppolo at QB.

With Garoppolo now out for the year with a torn ACL I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that their season is over. I’m not sure the offense with C.J. Beathard at the helm will be quite the car crash that some think it will be, but I just can’t believe he’ll be able to make up for what is a very bad defence.

San Francisco is giving up just under 30 points a game so far this season and will be without their best CB in Richard Sherman this week, which should make facing QB Philip Rivers and the fifth ranked Chargers offense a daunting prospect.

I was trying to find a better odds angle than the straight handicap, but Los Angeles -10.5 at evens (Bet365) seems fair to me and I’ll be taking it.

The Chargers defence has struggled this season, giving up a huge 31 points a game through three weeks, and they really seem to miss DE Joey Bosa who will once again be missing from their line-up. They could get right against an inexperienced QB in Beathard in this match-up, but I still think the offense will be the driving force.

They rank in the top 10 in the league for points, total yards, passing yards and rushing yards – they’re a nicely balanced offense and I think they can get even better with WR Mike Williams looking an improved player with each week.

I don’t think this game will be completely uncompetitive, but the Chargers have way too much firepower for a depleted 49ers team.

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals | Sunday 30th September 2018, 21:05

The Arizona Cardinals scuppered my Chicago Bears bet last week by remembering how to play offense for a couple of drives before reverting back to the non-scoring entity they had been for the two weeks prior.

Frustrating, but I’m going to be taking them on again and backing the visiting Seahawks -3 (10/11 Ladbrokes) in this week’s game.

In a strange move, Arizona put their rookie QB Josh Rosen in when they needed points late in the game last week. Rosen looked okay, but ultimately ended the game with a costly interception. It was a rookie mistake, not reading the defence correctly, but that’s what you’ll expect as, well, he’s a rookie.

Seattle doesn’t have a dominant defence like they used to, ranking 15th in points allowed (21.3) and 16th in yards allowed (348), but still have the personnel to cause Rosen problems with the likes of LB Bobby Wagner and S Earl Thomas. I’ll be looking at Thomas in particular to confuse him with a variety of different looks and hopefully draw an INT or two.

I also like the Seahawks as their offense finally looks to be trending upwards. They finally got a running game going last week with Chris Carson rushing for 102 yards and this week they look to be getting WR Doug Baldwin back from injury. Even if he’s not 100%, he’s the best Seattle has at that position and they’ve missed him in the passing game.

This year’s rookie QB class has had some nice games so far, but I think Russell Wilson and the Seahawks should have the beating of Josh Rosen here.

New York Jets @ Jacksonville Jaguars | Sunday 30th September 2018, 18:00

Speaking of rookie QBs, Sam Darnold of the New York Jets is who I’ll be focussing on in this match-up between New York and Jacksonville.

You should expect Jacksonville to win here, but I don’t trust QB Blake Bortles and the Jaguars offense to be consistently good each week – putting up an absolute dud against the Titans last week after dominating the Patriots the week before.

Instead I’ll be looking for the Jaguars defence, that is consistently excellent, to lock down a pretty poor Jets offense and force Darnold into some rookie mistakes. It’s a short price, but I’ll be backing the Jets to have the most turnovers in Florida at 19/20 (William Hill).

Darnold hasn’t been particularly bad, in my opinion, but he was prone to a turnover in college and has been the same in the pros so far. He’s thrown five INTs in three games this season, with at least one INT in each game and none of the teams he’s played so far have a good a defence as the Jaguars.

It hasn’t shown up in terms of turnovers thus far, but they are simply a dominant unit and will have opportunities from Darnold to get their turnover numbers up.

After years of poor QB play, the Jets should be rightly hopeful about the future with Darnold under centre, but against a Jacksonville team that has made some of the best QBs look bad, it could be a long day for him.

Best Bets

San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Chargers – Los Angeles Chargers – 10.5 (1/1 Bet365)

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals – Seattle Seahawks -3 (10/11 Ladbrokes)

New York Jets @ Jacksonville Jaguars – New York Jets to have the Most Turnovers (19/20 William Hill)

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Tom got into betting after taking a marketing role at Sportingbet in 2009. He's since moved on to IT, but has remained within the industry. His passion in both betting and watching is the NFL, but also follows many other sports. Other interests include rock music, following the Patriots and being confused as to which Nottingham Forest team will show up each week.

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