Chargers vs. Bengals Predictions, Picks, Betting Tips 9/13/20
Game: Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals
Date: 4 p.m., Sunday, September 13, 2020
Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Odds/Point Spread: Los Angeles -3.0
Tyrod Taylor has been overlooked throughout his career. In Buffalo he was cast aside so the Bills could make room for Next Big Thing Josh Allen. In Cleveland, he was cast aside so the Browns could make room for Next Big Thing Baker Mayfield.
And even now, heading into his first start for the Los Angeles Chargers, Taylor appears to be an afterthought compared to Cincinnati Bengals rookie and Next Big Thing, Joe Burrow.
Burrow is an Ohio native. The No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft and reigning Heisman Trophy winner will be making the first start of his career at home. He is being sold as Cincinnati’s latest savior. And despite a long and comical history to the contrary, the belief is that the Bengals organization will be able to nurture this young talent while he guides them back to respectability.
Despite my skepticism, Burrow may end up having a much better career than Taylor. That wouldn’t be too difficult. But there is no doubt in my mind that Taylor is the superior quarterback in this specific matchup on this specific day. And when I’m betting on this game, that’s all I will care about.
Los Angeles was one of the biggest underachievers in the NFL last season. And the irony is that the Chargers probably would’ve been better off with Taylor at quarterback rather than Philip Rivers. Los Angeles’ -17 turnover differential was the worst in football last year, with Rivers’ 20 interceptions a primary culprit.
The Chargers have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. They won 12 games just two seasons ago. And if Taylor can stabilize the offense, then this could be a team ready to surpass expectations this year, starting in Week 1 on the road.
Cincinnati’s plan is apparently to start Burrow from Day 1. I think that is reckless and irresponsible. He will be behind one of the league’s worst offensive lines, surrounded by a feeble crop of skill position players, and asked to be the leader for one of the worst organizations in the NFL. And Burrow will have to do all that without the benefit of minicamps, OTAs or the usual amount of offseason coordination that most quarterbacks enjoy with their coaching staff.
But then again, that’s why they are the Bungles.
The Bengals will once again be one of the league’s worst teams, and I have no problem betting against them any time, anywhere, against any opponent. Burrow has never seen anything like the size and speed he’ll be matched up against when Joey Bosa, Linval Joseph, Melvin Ingram, Derwin James, Chris Harris and the rest of the Chargers defense comes to town. I think Los Angeles will tee off on the overmatched Bengals, and the steady hand of Taylor should guide this bet home.
Who will win the Chargers/Bengals NFL game against the spread?
Robert Ferringo’s Pick: Take Las Angeles -3.0.
NOTE: Robert made these picks and predictions in May. Things can and will change in the four months between May and September. These May predictions may or may not match his rated Week 1 picks released to his clients on Thursday, Sept. 10.
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