After both teams suffered very close losses on opening weekend, the Titans are visiting the Chargers in an interdivisional AFC Matchup this Sunday (9/17/23). Get Chargers vs. Titans odds, predictions, and best bets below as our best bet is Chargers -3.
Chargers vs. Titans Prediction & Best Bet
Chargers vs. Titans Prediction & Best Bet: Chargers -3
As predicted, the Chargers opening game of the season was an absolute delight, and the definitive game of the week. The Bolts put in a solid performance on offense as their 34 points scored was the fourth-highest total of any team in week one, but their defense let them down as the Dolphins scored 36, the third-best output of the week.
Of course, there’s hardly a better pass catching duo in this league than Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and other than two showdowns with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, the Chargers won’t see a better passer than Tua Tagovailoa all season, so they won’t be allowing 466 passing yards every week.
Still, some serious pass coverage issues were exposed in week one, and rectifying them fast will have to be a priority. Going up against a Titans air game that also struggled in their opening matchup could be a great opportunity for the Bolts to have some successes and gain confidence going forward.
The Titans also had a rough outing in week one, although their issues were very different from what the Chargers experienced. After the team invested in former All Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a horrendous opening day performance, completing less than half of his passes, threw three interceptions and no touchdowns, and racked up a passer rating of 28.8.
The Titans are and will always be a run-first team as long as Derrick Henry is in town, but when the air game provides absolutely no threat, the ground attack suffers as well. Henry is excellent but can only do so much, he ran for 63 yards as the Titans offensive line struggled mightily with the Saints run-stopping unit. They’ll have another stiff test this week as they go up against a highly talented Chargers front seven.
With the ambiguity surrounding the Chargers’ defense as far as talent versus early outcomes, and the question of whether the Titans offense just needs time or simply doesn’t work, I can’t recommend playing the total for this game; Vegas did a good job with this one, placing it in the mid-40s.
As far as the spread, I’m a huge fan of the Chargers as three point favorites. They should have no issues scoring against Tennessee after a strong performance against a highly-touted Miami secondary, and even if it’s not a total neutralization, they should force enough bad plays out of Tannehill to keep the Titans at a comfortable distance.
Chargers vs. Titans Betting Odds
LAC @ TEN
Sep. 17, 5:00 PM
67% of staff picked LAC to cover the spread
Odds updated September 17th, 2023, at 8:04 pm
The Chargers are currently three point road favorites, with -115 odds to cover compared to -105 for the Titans. The total is sitting at 45, a decent football number, with -110 odds for either side to hit.
Chargers vs. Titans Key Injuries
Both teams are relatively healthy this early in the season, but Titans DBs Amani Hooker and Kristian Fulton are both listed as questionable, as is star Chargers running back Austin Ekeler.
Chargers vs. Titans Key Matchups
With absolute star power on the Chargers’ side of the ball, the Titans will have their hands full all day, let’s take a look at how some of their key position groups might stack up.
Titans Offensive Line vs. Chargers Front Seven
The Titans offensive line had some mixed results in week one against a strong saints defense. They did relatively well pass blocking for a quarterback who did not deliver, although center Aaron Brewer and left tackle Andre Dillard struggled mightily. First round pick Peter Skoronski had a great debut at guard with an 81.3 overall grade, tops on the team. One issue is that they didn’t create much space for Henry, with everyone other than the pair of guards struggling to some degree.
They’re going up against a Chargers front seven that is as talented as any in the league, but did not get off to a hot start this season, as they failed to sack Tua Tagovailoa even once, and hit him just one time. Star edge rushing duo Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa graded poorly on PFF, but combined for 10 hurries against the Dolphins, combined to 6 for the rest of the team combined. Rookie Tuli Tuipulotu had a decent debut on the edge, and will look to improve as the season goes on. The linebacking duo of Eric Kendricks and Kenneth Murray Jr. both had tough starts to the year after both were mediocre in 2022; they’ll need to do more with Henry on the other side.
Ryan Tannehill vs. Chargers Pass Defense
Tannehill’s play must improve, as his three interceptions in week one were not fluky ones; PFF considered him to have four turnover worthy plays. That absolutely will not fly with a Chargers offense on the other side that will punish you for giving them a short field. After a shaky 2022, Tannehill continues to age and fail to reproduce the excellent play he exhibited his first two seasons in Tennessee; if he doesn’t turn things around quickly, young QB Malik Willis is waiting in the wings.
Tannehill has a great opportunity to get right against an LA secondary that had a dreadful week one against an explosive Miami offense. Corner J.C. Jackson had a few moments that were bad enough to bring his football acumen into question, while Derwin James and the rest of the safety group completely failed to cover the deep third. The Chargers will need better performances from this group to reach their goals this year, and a meeting with a floundering Titans air attack is a great place to start.