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San Diego Chargers Odds Preview

2010 was supposed to be business as usual for the San Diego Chargers. After all, they had an elite offensive attack, a strong pass defense, and the weakest competition in football: the AFC West.

But some of the Chargers’ divisional rivals made major changes this offseason and, more importantly, two of San Diego’s most vital cogs are set to miss most or possibly all of the season. Does that mean bettors must approach their odds differently at books like SBG Global? Odds to win Division: -500 Regular Season Win Total: 10.5 (OV -115, UN -115) Super Bowl Odds: 15 to 2 The Chargers were kind to most bettors in 2009, breezing through the inferior AFC West competition. They walloped opponents on the strength of the NFL’s 10th-ranked offense. San Diego did most of its damage through the air last season, ranking fifth in passing offense. Philip Rivers remains one of the game’s most underrated quarterbacks and he used his weapons well last year, making big, athletic targets like Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson 1,000-yard receivers.

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With LaDainian Tomlinson aging before our eyes last year, however, the Chargers stumbled to the second-worst rushing offense in the NFL in 2009. In theory, that rank should rise dramatically in 2010, as the Chargers let LT2 walk and traded up to draft Ryan Mathews. He’s expected to give San Diego the every-down power back they’ve lacked for the last few seasons. There’s just one major problem – and one that could threaten San Diego’s win total of 10.5. Vincent Jackson and starting left tackle Marcus McNeill both plan to hold out until at least the Chargers’ 10th game this year. Subtracting a Pro-Bowl wideout and Rivers’ best protector could set the Chargers back. Since the Chargers still have plenty of talent – and stop the pass well – their divisional odds of -500 look safe. When you factor in their easy-as-pie schedule, it’s enough to wonder if San Diego can eclipse 10 wins without Jackson and McNeill after all. Opening 2010 with Kansas City, Jacksonville, Seattle, Arizona, Oakland, and St. Louis? Wow. That looks like at least five wins right there, doesn’t it? A deep playoff run still could be possible; another AFC West title almost looks probable.