The Los Angeles Chargers welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to state-of-the-art SoFi Stadium to cap Sunday Week 11 National Football League play. The Steelers are getting nearly a touchdown on the point spread, and the Chargers are looking to bounce back following last week’s home loss to the Minnesota Vikings, 27-20.
There is a pattern developing in Chargers land; that is Justin Herbert looking great running the offense, but the Chargers unable to consistently post wins. They opened the season with victories in four of their first five games, only a loss to the Dallas Cowboys in second week action, 20-17, interrupting a perfect start. The Chargers picked up their fourth win in five starts with an offensive explosion against the Cleveland Browns, 47-42.
Since that emotional offensive victory at home six weeks ago, the Chargers have only won once, a conquest over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field two weeks ago, 27-24. If the Chargers quick 4-1 start was a win/loss mark ahead of their actual talent level, then a 5-4 mark entering play tonight is a record a tad bit below the current skill level of the Chargers.
We are used to the Steelers being among the best teams in football, a perennial postseason participant. But this year’s Pittsburgh squad is a notch below recent editions. Reports I trust indicate that Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is more banged up than the Pittsburgh coaching staff wants to reveal to the Chargers. Fearing Los Angeles would devise a game plan to further aggravate Roethlisberger’s ailments.
Spoiler alert for the Steelers; the Chargers are devising a defensive game plan aimed at interrupting Roethlisbger any way possible.
The Chargers coming off recent down times, and the Steelers suffering through a campaign that may quickly morph into a rebuilding year, points my preference in this game to the more cohesive and healthy Chargers. At the same time, the point spread pinned so high, six points, makes a wager on Los Angeles appear reckless.
In balance, I would take the risk on the bloated point spread, interpreting it as a number that indicates the books want Steelers money. Never give the books what they want. Which leaves me with a clear lean tonight to the Chargers without the elements necessary to make it a money play.