Los Angeles Chargers vs. Washington Football Team – NFL, Week 1 (2021)

| September 10, 2021 11:57 am PDT

The Brandon Staley era in Los Angeles gets underway Sunday afternoon in the nation’s capital. The Bolts kick off the year playing the invigorated Football Team, and yes, we’re stuck with that moniker for at least another season and until the Snyder family can decide on a new name.

In any case, the books are expecting a tight game between last year’s offensive and defensive rookies of the year. The plan is to offer some insight into the matchup and leave you with my best Chargers vs. Washington betting pick.

The first item on the agenda is to check in on the odds.

Chargers vs. Washington Odds

Chargers (PK)-110
Washington (PK)-110
Over 44.5-110
Under 44.5-110

Vegas opened this line with the Chargers as a two-point favorite. Fast forward to September 10th, and some of the top NFL betting sites have swayed the line all the way to the Football Team -1. However, the sites I like to bet on football the most – the ones with easy and direct mobile access (BetUS, BetOnline, MyBookie) – all have this game sitting as a Pick’em.

Those undecided who has the edge in this week 1 tilt, perhaps the total is a bet you want to take a look at. All signs are pointing to Washington once again having an elite defense, and we’re not exactly sure what we’re going to see out of a Brandon Staley-coached offense. Not to mention, LA has some athletic freaks on D who are itching to wreak some havoc.

Chargers vs. Washington Preview

Let’s pick up right there with what I believe is a very underrated defense heading into 2021. The Chargers ranked 10th in the NFL last season in yards allowed despite not having Derwin James on the field for the majority of the season. Joey Bosa missed a chunk of the year, and Kenneth Murray was just a rookie; all three of these players are locked and loaded, ready to contribute.

Of the trio, the former All-Pro safety is especially eager to resume his duties on the gridiron.

“A lot of times guys get injured and they just want to try and come back and just be healthy. No, I’m coming back to be dominant. To be the same person that I was before, and that’s the kind of mindset I look at it as.”

James will have his hands full roaming the secondary with the likes of Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel running routes. Logan Thomas is in line to play every offensive snap and create mismatches in the middle of the field, while Antonio Gibson is looking to build on a fantastic rookie campaign.

Should Ryan Fitzpatrick execute what he was brought to Washington to do – push the ball down the field and make big throws when it counts – the Football Team has a chance to make some genuine noise.

It’s no surprise that Nick Sterling featured this contest among his best NFL games to bet on in week 1.

Chargers vs. Washington Prediction

If these two teams are as evenly matched as the betting sites are making them out to be, give me the team with the better QB. Sure, “Fitzy” might be an upgrade over the likes of Alex Smith and Taylor Heinicke. However, he’s still a mid-to-bottom tier guy when you evaluate the landscape of NFL quarterbacks.

On the flip side, Justin Herbert is squarely in the conversation of the best young signal-callers in the league. Standing 6’6” and strapped with a cannon of an arm, we no longer have to talk about Herbert’s oozing potential. We can instead point to his lofty numbers as a rook and anticipate that he’ll be even more effective in 2021.

Justin Herbert Balled Out As a Rookie
Completion Rate Passing Yards Passing TDs Interceptions Quarterback Rating
66.6% 4,336 31 10 98.3

Justin also ran for 234 yards and five scores; the dude is unquestionably the “real deal.” I think he marches his troops into D.C. and heads back to Cali with a 1-0 record.

Chargers vs. Washington Pick

I’d be remiss if I went this entire Chargers vs. Washington prediction post without bringing up Chase Young. The guy is a killer off the edge and on a fast track to becoming a perennial Pro Bowler. At the same time, Chase will be trying to tee off against the one man who’s already proven he can manhandle Young in the trenches. I’m talking about the Chargers rookie left tackle, Rashawn Slater.

Slater and Young clashed when Northwestern battled Ohio State back in 2019 – and let’s just say that Slater got the better of that matchup.

The under is firmly in play, but my favorite Chargers vs. Washington pick is to back LA to win the game.

  • Chargers (PK)
Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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