Chargers at Lions Week 2 NFL Prediction and Pick

By Taylor Smith in Picks on September 11, 2019

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Minute Read

The Chargers and Lions had similar experiences in Week 1. Both teams went to overtime, with the Chargers earning a 6-point victory over a resilient Colts team in Los Angeles. The Lions, meanwhile, blew a big lead in the fourth quarter in Arizona before eventually finishing tied with the Cardinals. It was certainly a disappointing result for Detroit, especially considering they looked home free with a 24-6 lead to begin the fourth quarter.

Regardless, Matt Patricia’s squad will have to shake off the result and look forward to Week 2, where they’ll play their home opener against the Chargers. Detroit is a 3-point home underdog at the time of this writing, while the Chargers are listed as -135 favorites on the moneyline at most NFL betting sites.

Betting Data Chargers Lions
2019 Straight-Up 1-0 0-0-1
2019 Home 1-0 0-0
2019 Away 0-0 0-0-1
2019 ATS 0-0-1 0-1-0
2019 ATS Home 0-0-1 0-0-0
2019 ATS Away 0-0-1 0-1-0
2019 O/U 1-0-0 1-0-0
2019 O/U Home 1-0-0 0-0-0
2019 O/U Away 0-0-0 1-0-0

Melvin Who? 

The Chargers didn’t miss a beat without star running back Melvin Gordon in Week 1. With Gordon still sitting out amid a contract dispute, the team has turned to Austin Ekeler to lead the rushing attack. Ekeler was certainly up to the task in Week 1. The Western Colorado product finished with 154 total yards from scrimmage along with three touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime.

Justin Jackson also chimed in with another 57 yards rushing on six carries, to bring the Chargers’ total to 125 on the day. Philip Rivers also had a huge day through the air, finishing with 333 yards passing after going 25-34 with three touchdowns and an interception.

The Chargers got past a solid Indianapolis team at home last week, and they get a bit of a gift going to Detroit in Week 2. However, they did get some bad injury news, as tight end Hunter Henry reportedly suffered a knee injury that will keep him out for a few weeks. Henry missed most of last season after tearing his ACL in the preseason, which means the Chargers will likely turn to Virgil Green as the primary pass-catching tight end this week.

Wide receiver Mike Williams is also dealing with a knee issue of his own, and head coach Anthony Lynn admitted that he is worried about Williams’ long-term prognosis. He hasn’t yet been ruled out of this week’s game, but it’s not sounding too good. So, Rivers will likely be a little bit short-handed in terms of weaponry this week. If Williams is a no-go, expect more snaps for the likes of Dontrelle Inman and Travis Benjamin, while Keenan Allen may see a few more targets on the outside.

Lions’ Woes

The Lions had a great chance to get off on the right foot, following a disappointing 2018 campaign before their unfortunate tie in the desert.

On the bright side, Matthew Stafford played quite well. The former No. 1 overall pick threw for 385 yards with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions, completing 27 of his 45 passes along the way. One situation to watch in Detroit is in the backfield. Many expected Kerryon Johnson to carry the load, but he got just 16 carries in Week 1, while CJ Anderson carried the ball 11 times.

Neither back was all that effective, though they did have a couple of 100-yard receivers. Rookie tight end TJ Hockenson caught six passes for 131 yards with a touchdown in his first-ever NFL game, while veteran Danny Amendola also topped the century mark on seven catches with a score of his own. Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. also combined for another 98 yards on eight combined catches with a touchdown.

Lions head coach Matt Patricia was the mastermind behind the Patriots’ defense for years, but he wasn’t able to turn the Detroit defense into anything special in his first season at the helm. Based on their collapse against the Cardinals last week, it’s safe to say they are still a work in progress on that side of the football. The defense let rookie Kyler Murray walk up and down the field in the final quarter of the collapse, and they’ll have a tough task this week against a high-octane Chargers offense.

The Pick

Winning on the road is no easy task in this league. That said, I saw nothing from the Lions defense last week to give me much confidence that they have improved. They looked solid for three quarters against Arizona before allowing a rookie quarterback to nearly win the game. Needless to say, I’m not bullish on their prospects against a much more experienced QB in Rivers this week. While the Chargers are without a few key offensive weapons and that may make this game a bit more competitive than it otherwise may have been, it’s hard to imagine LA not coming out of this one with a victory.

The Chargers are notorious slow-starters, but I think they get off to a 2-0 start. For the Chargers vs Lions game, take the value that comes with the Chargers covering the three-point spread in this one at +100.

Pick: Chargers SU
+100

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Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, but he’s willing to take one for the team on that front every now and then.

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