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Health is Going to Be Key For Chargers in 2016

After posting consecutive nine-win seasons, the San Diego Chargers won only four games a year ago. The good news is the Bolts likely won’t be that bad again, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be that much better either.

The offense, which boasts quarterback Phillip Rivers, wide receiver Keenan Allen and running back Melvin Gordon, is very capable. The defense, however, hardly resembles an NFL unit. Expect teams to have big days against the woeful Chargers defense.

Staying healthy will be key if San Diego wants to even think about being competitive in 2016. The starting offensive line missed more than 40 games a season ago, and Allen was sidelined for eight. Future Hall of Fame tight end Antonio Gates was out for five contests as well.

Here’s a look at their odds for this season:

Super Bowl +7500

The Chargers have only appeared in the Super Bowl once when they fell to the San Francisco 49ers in 1994. To put it lightly, the odds are stacked against them to get back there again in 2016. I’d stay away from placing this bet if you value your hard-earned money.

AFC Champion +3300

Considering powerhouses like New England, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Denver roam in the AFC, it’s going to take a small miracle for the Chargers to break into the mix this year. When you examine who’s in their division, it gets even more daunting.

AFC West +600

The Broncos may have lost Peyton Manning, but they still have a deep and talented team with Super Bowl rings. Kansas City is always steady, and Oakland is one of the most talented young teams in the NFL. Anything can happen in this league, but it looks like the Chargers are the odd ones out in the AFC West.

OVER/UNDER win total: 7

This is an interesting number. While I don’t think the Chargers will post another four-win campaign, I’m not sure if they can reach seven. They’ve passed the seven-win mark eight times in the last 10 seasons, although this is a much different team. My money is on the UNDER here because of their tough eight divisional games.

Rivers (+800) to lead the league in passing yards

Rivers led the NFL in completions and attempts last season, and he’s going to be firing once again in 2016. The Chargers will likely be playing from behind in many games, which means they’ll be forced to abandon the running game early and focus on their signal-caller. Rivers is consistently one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the league despite his steady play since getting drafted in 2004.

Having Allen is a huge boon for Rivers, and it’s a big reason why the +800 price for Rivers to lead the league in passing yards is attractive. He’s won the award once in 2010 when he tossed for 4,710 yards.

2016 San Diego Chargers Futures Odds
Super Bowl+7500
AFC Championship+3300
AFC South+600
Win Total7

Odds as of August 31 at Bovada