Los Angeles Chargers vs Los Angeles Rams: Prediction, Preview & Odds -- August 14, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 10 p.m. ET; Aug. 14, 2021
Venue: SoFI Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Where to watch: NFL Network

2020 season results
Rams: 10-6 (2nd place, NFC West; lost in divisional round to Green Bay)
Chargers: 7-9 (3rd place, AFC West)

Statistical leaders in 2020


Rams:
Passing: Jared Goff -- 3,952 yards, 20 touchdowns, 13 interceptions
Rushing: Cam Akers -- 625 yards, 2 touchdowns
Receiving: Cooper Kupp -- 974 yards, 3 touchdowns
Tackles: John Johnson (105)
Sacks: Aaron Donald (13.5)
Interceptions: Darious Williams (4)

Chargers:
Passing: Justin Herbert -- 4,336 yards, 31 touchdowns, 10 interceptions
Rushing: Austin Ekeler -- 530 yards, 1 touchdown
Receiving: Keenan Allen -- 992 yards, 8 touchdowns
Tackles: Kenneth Murray (107)
Sacks: Joey Bosa (7.5)
Interceptions: Michael Davis (3)

Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Chargers -3.5, Rams +3.5
BetMGM: Chargers -4, Rams +4
FanDuel: Chargers -4, Rams +4

Get help with those three-game parlay bets, teaser bets, prop bets or any football wager. Will Rogers has been dominant this last month with his MLB Selections. Now we shift gears to football. Get Will’s NFL picks at our Shop Picks page, where you can find all of this week's National Football League premium pick predictions.

Rams - Chargers Preview


Fans are finally going to see what SoFI Stadium looks like from the inside.

And unlike the fine folks that share MetLife Stadium, there’s some reason to be excited for both Southern California squads.

The Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams will meet in their new spaceship-like stadium Saturday in a battle that would be best fit for the regular season.

Many would probably like to see new Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford take on reigning offensive rookie of the year Justin Herbert, but who wouldn’t like Chase Daniel and John Wolford instead?

But big years are expected for the teams residing in the new stadium. The Rams made the move to trade Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions for Stafford, the former No. 1 overall pick who hasn’t tasted playoff success in his career. He’ll now get a chance to unlock a new level under head coach Sean McVay with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods as his top targets. Think of what could happen if he revitalizes DeSean Jackson’s career.

Unfortunately the Rams’ running game will take a hit with Cam Akers missing the entire season with a torn Achilles. The bulk of the carries will go to Darrell Henderson, who split time with Akers a year ago.

But the Rams will find success with their defense, of course with three-time Defensive Player of the Year, defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Jalen Ramsey, now entering the $100 million territory of his NFL career, spearheads that dangerous secondary. It’s hard to discredit the Rams on both sides of the ball.

It’s officially a new era for the artists formerly from San Diego with Brandon Staley now the head coach, replacing Anthony Lynn. Fortunately he’ll still have Herbert, last year’s first-round pick who has shown to be a guy capable of leading the Chargers back to the playoffs in the future.

Another year with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams is going to make that L.A. offense exciting. Now only if they can get a reliable running game.

Trends


August preseason games are always a hoot to figure out. The Rams’ defense won’t be out for long, and the Chargers’ offense won’t have the first team out long enough to dictate how the game will go. 

Keep an eye on the Rams’ running game and how it pans out. Someone is going to have to step up for the backup role when the first-team offense goes out. Any given Sunday will be a real moniker here going forward. Whoever separates themselves from the pack through many reps will be key.

As for the Chargers, they’re 16-6 when they force and commit the same number of turnovers. It’s a weird thought but if the defense can do its part, it might be able to offset any deficiencies from the second team offense. 

Prediction


Offenses likely will not rule the day, but the home team will win. Cheer for special teams. Chargers win 20-10.

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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