Los Angeles Chargers Odds
Like Cincinnati, Los Angeles will feature a new starting quarterback as it looks to rebound from a dismal 5-11 season. Tyrod Taylor will get the nod for the opener as the Chargers complete the transition from Philip Rivers (Indianapolis), who started all 16 games during 14 consecutive seasons for the club.
Taylor likely will rely on a healthy dose of Austin Ekeler (career-high 1,550 scrimmage yards and 11 TDs), who had 92 receptions in 2019 to fall just 12 shy of three-time Pro Bowler Keenan Allen’s career-high total. Allen was paid handsomely for his efforts with a four-year, $80.1 million deal to become the NFL’s second highest-paid receiver behind Atlanta’s Julio Jones
Tight end Hunter Henry also provides an attractive outlet for Taylor. He set career highs in catches (55) and receiving yards (652) in 2019.
Cincinnati Bengals Odds
Cincinnati came off a 2-14 season in 2019 and selected Burrow in April’s draft and tabbing the southeastern Ohio native as its starter by late July. Burrow comes to Bengals after throwing an FBS-record 60 touchdowns to lead LSU to the national championship while winning the Heisman Trophy to boot.
Burrow would be wise to lean on versatile running back Joe Mixon, who is coming off back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons. He was a workhorse the second half of the 2019 campaign with 194 carries over the final nine games.
The health of A.J. Green will go a long way in determining any semblance of success for the Bengals. The seven-time Pro Bowl wideout is trying to regain his form after missing all of the 2019 season with torn ligaments in his left ankle.
Chargers at Bengals Betting Pick
Burrow is going to learn that success with the Bayou Bengals is much easier than that with the NFL’s version.
After all, there was a reason Cincinnati held that top overall pick to select Burrow — and that was because it was coming off the franchise’s worst record in 17 years.
Chargers at Bengals Betting Pick: Chargers (-3.5), Bengals (+3.5)
Chargers 23, Bengals 14
Chargers at Bengals Best Bet
Los Angeles has undergone significant change to its offensive line during the offseason and will need to get used to the absence of star safety Derwin James (knee), who could miss the entire 2020 season.
The Chargers still have defensive end Joey Bosa, who recorded a team-high 11.5 sacks in 2019 to notch a double-digit total for the third straight season.
He’ll try to get out of the blocks in a hurry on Sunday and welcome Burrow to the NFL.
Chargers at Bengals Best Bet: UNDER 43 total points