Los Angeles Chargers vs Cincinnati Bengals Predictions, Odds, Picks

  • Right now the 6-5 L.A. Chargers would be the seventh seeded wildcard in the playoffs
  • The Cincinnati Bengals’ whooped the AFC North rival Steelers last week, 41-10
  • In four of the last five Chargers home games, the visitors have covered the spread

Chargers vs Bengals Odds

Cincinnvsi Bengals vs Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, December 5, 2021; 1:00 PM ET
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Chargers vs Bengals Week 13

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Right now the 6-5 L.A. Chargers would be the seventh-seeded wildcard in the playoffs, good news for a team coming off a Week 12 loss to the Broncos in which they only gained 72 rushing yards and converted half their third and fourth downs, but they have QB Justin Herbert who is playing at a high level, his 8th ranked offense designed to give teams like these Bengals trouble.

As if the Cincinnati Bengals’ offense wasn’t scary enough led by QB Joe Burrow and his rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase, but now there is RB Joe Mixon (below) finding his mojo as demonstrated in the team’s whooping of the Steelers last week, 41-10, and now they have a chance to gain more AFC traction by getting a win at home against the up and down Chargers.

These two AFC rivals have played each other 37 other times (including 2 postseason games), with the Cincinnati Bengals winning 15 of those games and the Los Angeles Chargers winning 22 of the games.

Los Angeles Chargers vs Cincinnati Bengals Predictions

Can the Chargers Rushing Attack Step Up in Cincy?

The Chargers’ run game led by Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson is ranked 22nd in the league after generating a combined 103 yards per game this season, a part of their offensive game plan that needs to get better if they expect to compete with Cincinnati’s improved defense.

Ekeler averages 4.5 yards per carry this season, with 135 rushes for 604 yards and 7 touchdowns along with 51 receptions for 473 yards and 7 more touchdowns, a dual-threat that so far has a total of 186 touches this season.

Jackson serves more of a backup role to give Ekeler some breathing time on the sidelines, so far this season with just 14 carries for 103 yards along with 7 catches for 34 yards, his longest carry a 75-yarder in Week 8 against the Patriots.

Can Bengals RB Joe Mixon Continue to Provide a Solid Ground Attack?

Now in his fifth NFL season, Bengals running back Joe Mixon is beginning to turn heads again as he makes his way towards the third 1,100+ yard season of his career, his 2020 campaign cut to just six games due to injury so it’s a great sign that he is back to his old production.

This year he already has 208 carries in 11 games for 924 yards and 11 touchdowns along with 26 catches for 192 more yards and 2 receiving touchdowns, a playmaker who has become a mainstay in Bengals OC Brian Callahan’s offensive game plan.

The combination of Mixon’s rushing attack and Burrow’s passing game is deadly when executed in tandem, with defenses not sure which area to focus on more likely to leave part of the field uncovered for guys like WR Ja’Marr Chase and TE C.J. Uzomah to get open.

Chargers Key Player: (QB) Justin Herbert

In only his second NFL season, Chargers’ Justin Herbert often plays like a seasoned veteran, this year leading his team to a 6-5 record and keeping them on the postseason bubble, a team leader who is accurate enough to hit his targets consistently and quick enough to escape sacks.

This season Herbert has completed 66 percent of his passes, with 289 completions for 3,230 yards and 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, coincidentally the same number of picks he threw all last season, with at least one interception thrown in six of his last seven games.

At 6’ 6” and 237 pounds, Herbert is large enough to take a hit and fast enough to elude most tackles with a slide, and to win this one against the Bengals he will need to have a game like he did in Week 3 against the Chiefs when he completed 26 passes for 281 yards and 4 TDs.

Bengals Key Player: (QB) Joe Burrow

Watch Joe Burrow in his press conferences and it is clear he is this Bengals team’s leader, his never satisfied football manner a good think in Cincinnati, a city that has not had much success lately due to a lack of that exact type of winning attitude.

Now Burrow has led his Bengals to a 7-4 record, and they are challenging the AFC North-leading Ravens to lead that division, this season having 235 completed passes for 2,835 yards and 22 TDs with 12 INTs, veteran numbers from a second-year QB that speak for themselves.

Burrow is what the Bengals needed under center, and now he has a dependable front line with outstanding targets plus an effective run game to counter his passing attack, so watch for this offense to try and up the score against this 14th ranked Chargers’ defense.

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How to Watch Chargers vs Bengals

Chargers vs Bengals Information
What Los Angeles Chargers vs Cincinnati Bengals
Where Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH
When Sunday, December 5, 2021; 1:00 PM ET
How to watch CBS

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Mike Lukas

Expert on NFL

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]