Sunday, November 15, 2020, Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida, 4:05 p.m. ET
Chargers at Dolphins Betting Preview: Chargers (+2.5/-110), Dolphins (-2.5/-110)
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers (2-6) have found ways to lose all season and their setbacks have been by an average of four points with seven representing the largest margin of defeat. Their only victory in the past seven contests has come against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars so beating the Dolphins is a must if the team aims to make a second-half playoff charge.
A defense allowing 27.0 points per game needs to make sharp improvement after allowing at least 29 in each of the past five games.
Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert has excelled with four 300-yard passing outings in his first seven NFL starts and the first-round pick has thrown for 2,146 yards, 17 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Star receiver Keenan Allen (62 catches for 651 yards and four touchdowns) has 586 career receptions to tie for second in club history with Hall of Famer Charlie Joiner from the franchise’s “Air Coryell” era in San Diego. The Chargers have just seven takeaways (four interceptions, three fumbles) and the failure to make impact plays on defense has been an issue.
Defensive end Joey Bosa (concussion) has a team-best 4.5 sacks and he was a limited practice participant after missing last week’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Left tackle Bryan Bulaga (back) departed early against the Raiders and is hopeful of being cleared to play versus Miami.
The Dolphins (5-3) are seeking their fifth straight victory and are making a strong run at reaching the postseason for the first time since 2016 and only the third time since 2001.
Rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will be making his third career start after being promoted over Ryan Fitzpatrick and the first-round pick was much sharper in his second outing, a 34-31 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Tagovailoa completed 12 of 22 passes for 93 yards and one score in his first start against the Los Angeles Rams before hitting 20 of 28 throws for 248 yards and two touchdowns against Arizona.
Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah has been a difference-maker with sacks in five straight games and he is tied for fourth place in the NFL with a career-high seven. Cornerback Xavien Howard also is enjoying a strong campaign and is tied for second in the NFL with four interceptions as he chases his career best of seven in 2018.
Kicker Jason Sanders is performing like a Pro Bowl possibility as he is 17-for-17 on field goals and has made a franchise-best 20 straight dating back to last season.
Receiver Preston Williams (foot) was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday to further dent the skill positions. Running back Myles Gaskin (knee) remains on injured reserve and replacement Matt Breida (hamstring) was injured against Arizona so rookie Salvon Ahmed (seven rushes for 38 yards in his NFL debut vs. the Cardinals) will be prepared to play a role even if Breida starts the game.
Chargers at Dolphins Betting Pick for Week 10
A lot of attention will be placed on the quarterback duel as Miami elected to take Tagovailoa as the fifth overall pick ahead of Herbert, who went sixth to the Chargers. Tagovailoa looked much more comfortable in career start No. 2 and could make another jump this Sunday.
Herbert has been sensational since becoming the starter earlier than expected due to Tyrod Taylor’s lung being punctured by a pain-killing injection to treat his injured ribs. Herbert has kept the Chargers in games but wins have been hard to come by.
Chargers at Dolphins Betting Pick:
Dolphins 24, Chargers 20
Chargers at Dolphins Best Bet for Week 10
Miami allowed 17 or fewer points in three straight games prior to giving up 31 in the win over the Cardinals. The Chargers have been giving up lots of points but perhaps Tagovailoa’s inexperience and the Dolphins’ running back injuries help make the total go under.
Chargers at Dolphins Best Bet: UNDER 48.5 total points (-110)