Last Updated Dec 25, 2021, 1:00 AM

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Houston Texans Predictions, Odds, Picks

Dec. 26, 2021
Joe Hedrick
VI Betting Expert

The Los Angeles Chargers (8-6) will look to avoid a two-game losing streak as they travel to face the Houston Texans (3-11). Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET at NRG stadium in Houston, Texas and will broadcast on CBS.

Score Prediction

Chargers 28, Texans 14

Best Bets

Chargers -10 (-110) at Peppermill

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Houston Texans Predictions

The Chargers are currently in the sixth playoff spot in the AFC, even after last week's loss to the Chiefs, 34-28. QB Justin Herbert has had an excellent season thus far, throwing for over 4,000 yards, 32 TD, 12 INT, and the second best QBR in the league at 66.2. With games against Denver and Las Vegas remaining, the Chargers will not want to mess around in this one to avoid falling out of playoff contention.

The Texans have not had a good season, but did manage to get a win last week defeating the Jaguars 30- 16. Rookie QB Davis Mills looks to be the Texans guy the remainder of the season after benching Tyrod Taylor following the 31-0 loss to the Colts on December 5th. Bad news for the Texans, leading WR Brandin Cooks will be out after being placed on the teams COVID-19 list. That brings the Texans to 23 total players listed on the COVID-19 list as of Thursday.

Houston has nothing left to play for at this point while Los Angeles will look to remain in the playoff picture. The Chargers offense has been on fire all season and that should be no different going up against a Texans defense that is ranked 29th in points allowed (26.6 PPG). Chargers get the win + cover in this one.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Houston Texans Betting Odds

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Los Angeles Chargers vs. Houston Texans Betting Resources

  • Matchup: AFC West vs. AFC South
  • Date: Sunday, December 26, 2021
  • Venue: NRG Stadium
  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • TV-Time: CBS - 1:00 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Chargers Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 8-6
  • ATS: 7-7
  • O/U: 7-7
  • ATS - Away: 4-2

The Chargers are coming off a SU and ATS loss to the Chiefs, 34-28. L.A. is 7-7 ATS but have faced only one team with a current record of below .500 (WK 14 NY Giants). The Chargers have seen success when playing Houston in the past. In the last seven meetings Los Angeles is 6-1 ATS and 5-2 SU against the Texans. Los Angles has a 7-7 O/U record but have gone over the total in four of their last five games.

Los Angles enters week 16 with one of the top offenses in the league. They are averaging 388.3 total YPG (4th), 277.1 passing YPG (5th), 111.1 rushing YPG (18th), and 27.1 PPG (7th). The Chargers offensive plan may include a bit more rushes on the ground as Houston’s defense ranks dead last in rushing yards allowed per game (145). The Chargers will be without starting RB Austin Ekler (COVID), and instead RB Justin Jackson will get the start.

The Charger's defense does not rank as well as the offense. Entering week 16 they are allowing 358.6 total YPG (22nd), 221.8 passing YPG (10th), 136.8 rushing YPG (29th), and 26.4 PPG (27th). Los Angles has created 20 turnovers on the year (11 INT, 9 FUM), while Houston has given the ball up 21 times (14 INT, 7 FUM). If the Chargers are able to create a turnover or two, they should be in very good shape to cover this game. Bad news however for the Chargers defense, as they will be without leading LB Joey Bosa (COVID).

Houston Texans Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 3-11
  • ATS: 6-8
  • O/U: 6-8
  • ATS - Home: 3-4

The Texans got a rare SU win and managed to cover ATS last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, winning 30-16. On the season, Houston is 6-8 ATS but are just 2-4 ATS in their last six home games. The total has gone over eight times on the season for Houston but has gone under in four of their last six games played.

One could argue that Houston’s offense is currently the worst in the league. Coming into this matchup they are averaging 265.4 total YPG (32nd), 188 passing YPG (31st), 77.4 rushing YPG (32nd), and 14.8 PPG (32nd). With leading Cooks more than likely out (COVID), rookie Mills does not have many other targets. The Texans will have to rely on veteran RB Mark Ingram II and Rex Burkhead for an offensive boost.

Houston’s defense ranks a bit better than the offense but still towards the bottom of the NFL. To-date they are allowing 378.4 total YPG (28th), 233.4 passing YPG (14th), 145 rushing YPG (32nd), and 26.6 PPG (29th). The Texans have been able to create 21 turnovers on the season (14 INT, 7 FUM). If the team stands any chance in this game they will need to add to this number and give the offense as many opportunities as possible.

Inside the Stats - Los Angeles Chargers

  • Record: 8-6
  • Division Standing: 2nd - AFC West
  • Points Scored: 379
  • Points Allowed: 370
  • PS/G: 27.1 (1st)
  • PA/G: 26.4 (27th)

Inside the Stats - Houston Texans

  • Record: 3-11
  • Division Standing: 3rd - AFC South
  • Points Scored: 207
  • Points Allowed: 372
  • PS/G: 14.8 (31st)
  • PA/G: 26.6 (29th)

Key Players to Watch

  • LAC: Justin Herbert - QB (360/542, 4,058 yards, 32 TD, 12 INT)
  • LAC: Austin Ekeler - RB (173 carries, 789 yards, 10 TD)
  • HOU: Davis Mills - QB (198/302, 1,946 yards, 10 TD, 9 INT)
  • HOU: Brandin Cooks - WR (80 catches, 945 yards, 5 TD)

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Houston Texans Betting Conclusion

Houston’s performance after 15 weeks along with 23 players on the COVID list is not a recipe for success. This game should be dominated by the Chargers on both sides of the football. Unless Herbert gets put on the COVID list, I like them all the way up to –14 in this one.

The total is set at 45.5 which I am personally not crazy about. This is a game that the Texans will more than likely not score a ton of points, but the Chargers could end up going over the total by themselves. Bettors should keep an eye on total rushing yards for Chargers running back Austin Ekler (56 YPG). Houston ranks dead last in rushing yards allowed so Ekler could see more carries than he normally does.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Houston Texans Betting Trends

  • Texans have gone UNDER the point total in eight of their last 12 games.
  • Texans have seen the road teams cover the spread in five straight games.
  • Texans have lost 21 of their last 22 games when playing as a +7-point underdog or more.

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