NFL Football: Los Angeles Chargers vs. Seattle Seahawks Preview, Prediction & Odds -- 8/28/21

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 10 p.m. ET, Aug. 28, 2021
Venue: Lumen Field, Seattle, WA
Where to watch: NFL Network 

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Seahawks -5.5, Chargers +5.5; O/U 35; Seahawks -240, Chargers +195
BetMGM: Seahawks -5.5, Chargers +5.5; O/U 35; Seahawks -230, Chargers +190
FanDuel: Seahawks -5.5, Chargers +5.5

Preseason record
Chargers: 1-1 (last game, lost 15-10 vs. 49ers)
Seahawks: 0-2 (last game, lost 30-3 vs. Broncos)

Sean Murphy made it three straight NFLX big-ticket O/U winners with his 10-star Total of the Week, kicking off Friday night. Check out Murph’s picks and the rest of our thoughts for this week’s preseason action. It's available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Chargers - Seahawks preview and analysis


I’ll admit: Seeing the Seattle Seahawks favored by this much heading into their final preseason game, where Russell Wilson might not even play, shocks me.

It’s not that the Los Angeles Chargers have been any better, but the Seahawks’ reserves have looked, well, reserve.

But it is what it is, and the Seahawks enter their preseason finale Saturday as near-touchdown favorites against the Chargers for no clear-cut reason as to why.

The Seahawks are coming off a 30-3 thrashing at the hands of the Denver Broncos last week. On a night where Teddy Bridgewater may have won the Denver starting quarterback job, Seattle may have a conundrum behind Wilson. Alex McGough got the starts and threw two interceptions in the first quarter while rushing for 17 yards. Sean Mannion wasn’t any better, going 13-for-23 for 118 yards and averaging 5.1 yards per attempt.

And unless Pete Carroll is seriously considering a tuneup for his NFC West-champion starters before the regular season, don’t count on Wilson, DK Metcalf or others to be geared up for a Preseason Week 3 contest that carries no weight.

The same goes for Justin Herbert and the Chargers, as it appears Easton Stick and Chase Daniel will battle to the very end to see who backs up the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year. Stick threw the lone touchdown for the Chargers in their 15-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at SoFI Stadium, a three-yard score for Joshua Palmer. Stick went 10-of-14 for 85 yards in a rather efficient day.

Daniel, the veteran, looked awful. A 14-for-21 passing day would be good in any other game, but not for only 60 yards and an interception.on 2.9 yards per attempt. It appears the Chargers have their backup in place, but the world of NFL preseason football can get weird in August in an exhibition contest.

Offensive analysis


One key battle to keep an eye on for the Chargers is the backup running back spot behind Austin Ekeler. Right now, that appears to be Justin Jackson, but he’s been dealing with a nagging groin injury. Joshua Kelly and Larry Rountree III combined for 15 carries for 21 yards in the loss to San Francisco.

There just hasn’t been anyone to break out of the pack for Seattle’s reserves. Right now, Mannion could be the third quarterback on the roster behind Geno Smith. McGough is an interesting dual-threat option, but he played his way out on Saturday.

Defensive analysis


San Francisco’s offense has always been a run-dominant style, and now Wayne Gallman II has entered as a potential threat for the 49ers. The former New York Giants running back had 15 carries for 72 yards, while JaMycal Hasty saw 19 carries for 58 yards. It was a tough day to stop 37 total tallies for the Chargers defense.

It’s not Legion of Boom status, but Seattle’s defense will look solid come Week 1. No need for fans to be scared of these abysmal showings. Jamal Adams is signed long term, and that’s really all you need if you’re Seattle.

Prediction


Los Angeles getting the points almost seems too good to be true. Chargers win 24-14.

Betting trends


The Chargers are 16-4 (+11.6) against the spread in their last 20 after a home loss.

The Seahawks are 49-28 (+18.2) in non-conference games in their last 77.

Key injuries


Chargers: WR Mike Williams (hip, questionable), RB Justin Jackson (groin, questionable)

Seahawks: LB Ben Burr-Kirven (torn ACL), WR Tyler Lockett (groin, questionable)

Players to watch


Chargers: Eyes should be on Easton Stick heading into this finale. The former fifth-round pick out of North Dakota State can put the pressure on Chase Daniel in this quarterback battle.

Seahawks: Because of his name alone, watch if DeeJay Dallas can make an impact. He had a 45-yard kick return on Saturday, and is currently the fourth running back on the depth chart in Seattle. Expect him to see more time in this matchup.

Statistical leaders from last week


Chargers:
Passing: Easton Stick -- 10-of-14, 85 yards, 1 TD
Rushing: Easton Stick -- 3 carries, 15 yards
Receiving: Jalen Guyton -- 1 catch, 39 yards
Defense: Nick Niemann -- 8 tackles

Seahawks:
Passing: Sean Mannion -- 13-of-23, 118 yards
Rushing: Josh Johnson -- 9 carries, 30 yards
Receiving: John Ursua, Cade Johnson -- 3 catches, 34 yards
Defense: Jordyn Brooks -- 7 tackles

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

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