NFL Win Totals 2024: Betting the Los Angeles Chargers' Win Total

NFL Win Totals 2024: Betting the Los Angeles Chargers' Win Total

This article is part of our NFL Picks series.

NFL Futures Bets: 2024 Chargers Win Totals 

Betting team wins, and other full-season futures, requires patience. If placing a bet in the preseason, the payout usually won't occur until January. That said, there are edges to be gained in the betting market. The more knowledge we have about each team's talent on each side of the football provides an edge. 

In addition, projecting potential intangibles can add value. Examples of intangibles are teams that add a new coach/coordinator, or teams that made multiple moves to the less glamorous positions on the field. For those who followed this article series I wrote last season, we projected nine teams, winning six for a 66.7 percent win rate. Overall, the series was a moneymaker. This year, we'll look to continue that win percentage.

In this article, we'll look at the Los Angeles Chargers under 8.5 wins at +130 odds. These odds, as well as all other NFL win totals odds, can be found at DraftKings Sportsbook.

NFL Win Totals 2024

Last year, the Chargers finished the season 5-10. Coach Brandon Staley and GM Tom Telesco were relieved of their duties as the team underperformed. On offense, Mike Williams suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 3. In addition, Austin Ekeler suffered a high-ankle sprain injury in Week 1. Once Ekeler returned in Week 6, he wasn't the same player we were used to seeing. On defense, the team had a few stars, but they lacked the overall talent to slow opposing offenses.

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Chargers Outlook: Offense

During the offseason, Los Angeles made major changes. Ekeler, Williams and Keenan Allen all left the team in free agency. Ekeler was replaced by Gus Edwards, J.K. Dobbins and sixth-round draft choice Kimani Vidal. The receivers were replaced with second-round draft pick Ladd McConkey and free agent DJ Chark.  

Coach Jim Harbaugh was hired, and he brought in Greg Roman to run the offense. In free agency, the Chargers added a pair of tight ends and spent a first-round pick on offensive tackle Joe Alt

All of the offseason signs point to the offense being one of ball control with heavy personnel groupings while leaning on the rushing attack. The first problem is that none of the Chargers' offensive lineman were strong run blockers last year. The next problem is that Edwards is merely an adequate runner. Also, Dobbins has not been fully healthy since 2020. 

If the team is counting on Vidal, not many sixth-round players excel as rookies. A final issue is that the wide receiver group will not likely threaten opposing defenses. As a result, defenses can send extra bodies to attack the run game. Yes, Justin Herbert is an excellent quarterback, but he may not have enough help from receivers for it to matter.

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Chargers Outlook: Defense

This is largely a 'stars and scrubs' defense. Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack are the only two players in the front seven who project to be above-average players. Although Bosa and Mack are still solid pass rushers, Mack will be 33 years old this season. In addition, after Bosa averaged 10 sacks in his first four seasons, the veteran has averaged 6.75 over the last four years. 

At linebacker, Denzel Perryman is strong against the run but offers little in coverage or as a pass rusher. In the draft, the Chargers used a third-round pick to select Junior Colson. The team will be counting on Colson to be a difference maker immediately.

In the secondary, cornerback Asante Samuel is very good, but the other cornerbacks project to be below average. At safety, Derwin James is coming off arguably the worst year of his career. At least free safety Alohi Gilman was excellent in pass coverage. The lack of depth at corner is likely to be a significant issue.

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Schedule

It's possible that the main reason the Chargers are 'juiced' to plus odds to go under the 8.5 wins is the schedule.

Within the AFC West, the Broncos and Raiders have issues at quarterback. Those division rivals account for four games. In addition, Los Angeles faces the NFC South (Panthers, Buccaneers, Saints and Falcons). However, even if those NFC South teams don't seem great, a strong case can be made that the Panthers are the only team the Chargers may be better than. Otherwise, the other games that may be favorable are matchups against the Patriots, Titans and Cardinals.

In terms of difficulty, the Chargers face the Chiefs twice. In addition, Los Angeles will take on the AFC North and are unlikely to be better than any of those teams. 

If this was the Chargers team of years past, the schedule would appear to be a gift. Given the current state of the team, that advantage is minimized.

Best Bet for 2024 Chargers Win Total

Although getting +130 odds to take the Chargers to win fewer than 8.5 games looks too good to be true, it's possible the betting markets are giving too much credit to Jim Harbaugh taking the team over. Offensively, and despite having Justin Herbert at quarterback, the skill position players on offense appear to be well below league average. On defense, the Chargers lack depth at corner and playmakers at linebacker. Opposing offenses should have little trouble moving the ball on them. 

Finally, don't forget that Los Angeles has one of the weakest home-field advantages in the league. Over the last three years, the Chargers are 12-14 at home. Not only do I expect Los Angeles to win fewer than 8.5 games, but six wins may be an excellent season for them.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jim Coventry
Coventry was a finalist for the FSWA football writer of the year in 2022. He started playing fantasy football in 1994 and won a national contest in 1996. He also nabbed five top-50 finishes in national contests from 2008 to 2012 before turning his attention to DFS. He's been an industry analyst since 2007, though he joined RotoWire in 2016. A published author, Coventry wrote a book about relationships, "The Secret of Life", in 2013.
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