Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Date and Time: Sunday, August 13, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: StubHub Center, Carson, CA
Preseason NFL Week 1 Opening Odds: Chargers -1.5, O/U 37.5
Seahawks vs. Chargers TV Coverage: NFL Network
Pete Carroll loves to win and hates to lose, and that's evident in his 18-10 record in the preseason in his career. He's got a sterling 5-2 record in Week 1 of the preseason, though none of this is really due to anything but great fortune. He, like so many other head coaches, won't risk his franchise quarterback for long in this game. Russell Wilson is likely to start, run a few plays, make a few short passes, then head to the bench.
Trevone Boykin showed that he can play at this level last year when he had to take over for an injured Wilson, and that's a good sign for this preseason. He'll probably take the majority of the snaps in this game, and certainly, he should have more opportunities to throw the ball than Austin Davis, the third-stringer who will likely mop up the game.
The Chargers really don't have a choice but to ultimately led Philip Rivers start this first game to get the fans excited for the future in LA. For coach Anthony Lynn, this first drive is going to be important, and we wouldn't be surprised if it ends in a touchdown. The Bolts have a strong looking offense for this year, and bringing back OC Ken Whisenhunt should be welcome for Rivers and company.
After Rivers puts on a ball cap, it'll be up to Kellen Clemens for a couple drives, then the newly acquired Cardale Jones. Jones, who was traded for a conditional late pick, is the one who really needs the most work to prove that he can hang in there as a backup quarterback at this level. Don't be shocked if he gets the whole second half, while Mike Bercovici either gets left out in the cold or only gets a few mop up snaps at the end of this game.
Though ultimately, all football fields are the same 120 total yards in length (including the end zones), there's something special about the football configuration at the StubHub Center. There's flat out no room behind the end zones on either side of the field, meaning the cameramen are going to be right on top of the players and allow virtually no room for fades to the back of the end zone. The media will effectively act as a 12th defender on the field.
Furthermore, the way the sun beats down on the field is going to be interesting. The Galaxy often complain about these late afternoon starts with the sun setting, as the glare at field level tends to be a lot to handle.
These are all factors that we're seeing for the first time in play on Sunday night, and the Chargers will hope to ultimately have that play into their hands.
Seahawks vs. Chargers Free Picks
We're a little concerned over all of the factors that come with this field. The Bolts figure to enjoy all of their little home field advantages in this one. The under is probably also a reasonable play in what we're projecting will be a relatively low scoring first week of the preseason all across the NFL.
But this is too important of a game for LA for it to fail, especially early on. The Chargers are expecting to come to Tinseltown and win, something that the Rams didn't do right away in their first season. That parlayed with the home field advantage that will come with the StubHub Center will be too much for the Seahawks to overcome.
Seahawks vs. Chargers ATS Pick: Chargers -1.5 at BookMaker.eu
Seahawks vs. Chargers Score Prediction: Chargers 23, Seahawks 13