Los Angeles Chargers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Matchup Preview (10/04/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
The 1-2 Los Angeles Chargers will head to Tampa to take on the 2-1 Buccaneers. After a narrow victory over Cincinnati in week one with Tyrod Taylor at the helm, the Chargers dropped their next two games in heartbreaking fashion with rookie Justin Herbert taking over for the injured Taylor. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has rebounded nicely after falling to the Saints in week one, having won each of their next two games. Tampa Bay looks to stay in control of their own destiny with their early division lead in the NFC South, while the Chargers hope to get back to .500 and stay inside the playoff picture. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Matchup Page.
Date: Sunday, October 4th, 2020
Time: 12:00 PM CT
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
TV Coverage: CBS
Chargers vs. Buccaneers Live Stream
Where can you watch Chargers vs. Buccaneers online? You can stream this game and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Chargers vs. Buccaneers Free Online Now.
Los Angeles Chargers: Joey Bosa (triceps) Q, Justin Jackson (quadriceps) Q, Nick Vigil (groin) Q, Tyrod Taylor (chest) D, Trai Turner (groin) Q, Bryan Bulaga (back) Q, Mike Williams (hamstring) Q
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) Q, Leonard Fournette (ankle), Scott Miller (hip) Q, Chris Godwin (hamstring) O, Sean Murphy-Bunting (hamstring) Q, Travis Jonsen (quadriceps) Q
Los Angeles Chargers Analysis
Los Angeles began the season 1-0, squeaking out a victory over the Bengals with veteran Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. After a miscue with a team doctor, Taylor was forced to sit for each of the next two weeks and was replaced by rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. While he has shown flashes of his playmaking ability, ultimately the Chargers lost both contests and are heading into week four third in the AFC West with a 1-2 record.
Offensively, the Chargers have not been stellar. In the first three weeks, they have posted 16, 20, and 16 points against the Bengals, Chiefs, and Panthers respectively. Taylor was 16 for 30 passing for 208 yards and no touchdowns in week one, and Herbert is 57 of 82 (69.5-percent completion percentage) for 641 yards to go along with two touchdowns and two interceptions through two weeks of play. Herbert and star wide receiver Keenan Allen might have developed a connection in week two, however, as he hauled in 13 catches for 132 yards and a touchdown. At running back, the chargers are once against featuring a two-headed monster, only this time rookie Joshua Kelley has replaced Melvin Gordon alongside recently-extended Austin Ekeler. The offense has weapons, and has shown an ability to move the ball with Herbert, but will need to clean up the four turnovers they allowed on offense (one interception, three lost fumbles) if they want to hang around against Tampa Bay.
Defensively, the chargers have arguably been brilliant. While the offense hasn’t put up many points, the defense’s 19 points-per-game allowed is fourth-fewest in the league. NFL fans watched on Hard Knocks as this defensive unit took a big blow losing star safety Derwin James for the season, but have nonetheless lived up to their hype through three weeks. In addition to their fourth-fewest points-per-game mark, they are ninth-lowest and 11th lowest respectively in terms of passing yards and rushing yards per game. If the offense can protect the football on Sunday, the defense should keep this game competitive.
Los Angeles Chargers Depth Chart
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Analysis
It didn’t take long for the Tom Brady haters to jump all over a week one loss against the Saints, while Cam Newton and the Patriots moved to 1-0. Fast-forward a few weeks and Tampa Bay is atop the NFC South at 2-1. They led Carolina 21-0 at halftime in week two, ultimately winning 31-17, and took care of Denver with a final score of 28-10 in week three.
Offensively, things are beginning to take shape. Tom Brady has 753 passing yards on 71 of 109 passing with six touchdowns and three interceptions. His yards-per-attempt might be a little lower than peak Tom Brady, but he’s more or less been the same. Star wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have been as advertised with a combined 21 catches for 251 yards and five touchdowns, complemented nicely by second-year receiver Scotty Miller. Tampa’s running-back-by-committee features Ronald Jones and former Jaguar Leonard Fournette. The two of them have combined for 265 yards and three touchdowns on 61 carries, for a respectable 4.3 yards-per-carry. Overall, Tampa Bay has converted on 18 of 40 third downs, a 45-percent success rate. They have converted both of their fourth-down attempts, and have scored touchdowns on eight of their 10 trips to the red zone.
On the defensive side of the ball, Tampa Bay’s much-anticipated unit has begun show signs of living up to the hype. Naysayers will point to their opponents, however, allowing 34 points to the Saints, and holding the Panthers to 17 and a hobbled Denver team to 10. In week two, Tampa’s defense didn’t allow any points until halfway through the third quarter. Last week, they allowed 10 second-quarter points and that was it. On average, they’re allowing a respectable 308 yards of offense for 20.33 points-per-game. Coming off a hot game, playing at home against a rookie, has rightfully made Tampa the big-time favorite for Sunday’s matchup and we’re back into the world of Tom Brady being heavily favored in regular-season games.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Depth Chart
Betting Corner Bucs -7.5
Spread: Buccaneers -7.5
Moneyline: Tampa Bay -335, Los Angeles + 260
The 2-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers have opened as large favorites for Sunday’s matchup against the 1-2 Los Angeles Chargers. Week one was the first time Tom Brady had been favored to lose a regular-season game in quite some time, but the world has corrected itself over weeks two and three. Once again, the Buccaneers are favored, and for a good reason. They have looked sharp over the past two weeks, while the Chargers with rookie Justin Herbert have lost two straight.
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Daily Fantasy Picks
Overall, this might be a game you shy away from in DFS. However, Brady could be a sneaky play. He’s a full $2000 cheaper than the top option, Lamar Jackson. The Chargers are right around the middle of the pack when it comes to allowing fantasy points to the quarterback position. Additionally, the Chargers are much stronger against the run, so the Buccaneers might come out passing the ball. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is coming off a game in which Brady threw three touchdowns. That is now four touchdowns Brady has accounted for from inside the three-yard line this season, indicating the Buccaneers are not always going to automatically give Leonard Fournette or Ronald Jones goal-line carries.
You’re paying up for Ekeler, but he has not disappointed. Week one was mediocre, but he’s played really well in weeks two and three, averaging over 100 yards from scrimmage to go along with his one touchdown. He’s not seeing the elite snap percentages that Ezekiel Elliott and Christian McCaffrey do, but his 65-percent snap percentage is 11th highest among running backs. Last week, he was targeted 11 times, the second-highest on the team behind Keenan Allen. Furthermore, Ekeler has a solid matchup, as Tampa Bay is in the bottom third of the league in terms of points allowed to the running back position. The good matchup and opportunity headed Ekeler’s way make him a solid play in fantasy.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option at running back against the solid matchup, consider Joshua Kelley. His lack of work in the passing game can unfortunately limit his fantasy upside in most matches, but overall the work has been there. He’s averaging nearly 15 carries for just shy of 56 yards-per-game to go along with one rushing touchdown. Perhaps most promising, Kelley’s 13 red zone rushing attempts are the fifth-most in the league through three weeks.
Tampa Bay expects Chris Godwin to “miss some time” following a hamstring injury suffered in week three. Meanwhile, the targets will continue to pile on for Mike Evans, who leads the team with 18. While the Chargers may not have yielded huge days to wide receivers through three weeks, they did allow 99 yards and a touchdown to Tyreek Hill in week two, an elite receiver that sees a lot of targets. Expect Mike Evans to receive a lot of opportunity in week three, and at over $2000 less than Hopkins leading the way at $8500, is a solid deal.