The Los Angeles Chargers Are Ready for the Spotlight
The Los Angeles Chargers begin the season on Sunday with an afternoon affair against the Las Vegas Raiders. In years past, this match might not have been highly anticipated, but now it’s a marquee match on a loaded opening weekend.
The Raiders enter the season as one of the teams to watch in the AFC West, especially given the addition of All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers. Yet, all eyes will be on the favorites to not only win the division but also contend for a Super Bowl: the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Chargers have never won a Super Bowl and have only made the playoffs once since the 2013 season. The team took a step forward last season, producing the second-most points in franchise history (474) but it’s defense ranked bottom 10 in both points and yards allowed.
Now, there’s real optimism surrounding the Los Angeles Chargers on both sides of the ball. Third-year quarterback Justin Herbert headlines the team’s group of six players on CBS Sports’ Preseason All-NFL Team. The others are: Rashawn Slater (tackle), Corey Linsley (center), Joey Bosa (outside linebacker), J.C. Jackson (cornerback), and Derwin James, Jr. (safety).
Herbert is a Legit MVP Candidate
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, CBS Sports writers narrowly voted Herbert as the best quarterback in the league. It’s not all that crazy of a stretch when you consider his first two seasons in the league and the betting odds to win the MVP this season.
Herbert is +900 to win the MVP and has even shorter odds at some sportsbooks. Past favorites like Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers might have shorter odds, but that’s largely a byproduct of having more name recognition. Josh Allen has the shortest odds at +600.
“Everyone’s buying into Herbert’s laser-armed pocket passing for the Los Angeles Chargers Chargers, especially now that he’s got a loaded supporting cast on both sides of the ball,” wrote CBS Sports writer Cody Benjamin.
A Pro Bowl quarterback for the first time last season, Herbert finished the year with 38 touchdowns and 5,014 passing yards. He’s protected by a strong offensive line and has good chemistry with veteran receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen.
Los Angeles’ Super Bowl Odds
There’s enough history of the Los Angeles Chargers failing to meet expectations that bettors should be wary of expecting them to win the Super Bowl. Yet, betting action has placed Los Angeles with the sixth-best odds to win the Lombardi trophy at +1600.
The Buffalo Bills have the best odds to win the Super Bowl at +600, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are next at +750. The Los Angeles Chargers’ divisional rival, the Kansas City Chiefs, have the third-best odds at +1000. The Los Angeles Rams (+1100) and Green Bay Packers (+1200) have the fourth- and fifth-shortest odds, respectively.
Los Angeles also has the third-shortest odds to win the AFC Championship (+750) behind the Chiefs (+500) and Bills (+300).