San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Chargers: Preview, Prediction & Odds - Aug. 22, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 7:30 p.m. ET; Aug. 22, 2021
Venue: SoFI Stadium, Inglewood, CA
Where to watch: NFL Network

Preseason to date
49ers: 0-1 (last game, lost 19-16 vs. Chiefs)
Chargers: 1-0 (last game, won 13-6 vs. Rams)

Last week’s stats leaders

Passing: Trey Lance -- 5-for-14, 128 yards, 1 touchdown
Rushing: JaMycal Hasty -- 10 carries, 63 yards, 1 touchdown
Receiving: Trent Sherfield -- 1 catch, 80 yards, 1 touchdown
Defense: Justin Hilliard -- 8 tackles

Passing: Chase Daniel -- 15-for-24, 104 yards; Easton Stick -- 7-for-7, 63 yards
Rushing: Larry Rountree III -- 8 carries, 63 yards
Receiving: Joshua Palmer -- 6 catches, 36 yards
Defense: John Brannon -- 1 interception

Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: 49ers -5, Chargers +5
BetMGM: 49ers -5, Chargers +5
FanDuel: 49ers -5, Chargers +5

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49ers - Chargers preview

It looks to be another quarterback rehearsal for the San Francisco 49ers when they visit the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFI Stadium on Sunday.

Not that there should’ve been a clear-cut winner already, even though all signs point to Jimmy Garoppolo leading the Niners on the field for Week 1. And perhaps that distance in the race has grown a bit after No. 3 pick Trey Lance made his 49ers debut last week in the 19-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Levi’s Stadium.

The good: Lance threw an 80-yard touchdown to Trent Sherfield that showed flashes of why San Francisco took the North Dakota State quarterback that high.

The bad: He went 4-for-13 for 48 yards the rest of the way, showing he may not be ready for the NFL spotlight yet.

San Francisco’s offense seems tailor-made to Lance’s style of play. His speed out of the pocket, as with that arm, could one day be the future of the 49ers.

Right now, it’s Garoppolo’s time to lead the passing game. He started the game and went 3-for-3 for 26 yards. That’s all coach Kyle Shanahan needed from his incumbent starter. Josh Rosen played a part of the second half, going 10-for-15 for 93 yards and also an interception.

While the numbers weren’t eye-popping in Inglewood a week ago, it was still a promising first preseason game for the Chargers. They only needed one touchdown to defeat the Los Angeles Rams 13-6, but didn’t need much from their backup quarterbacks. 

Chase Daniel took most of the reps but didn’t turn it over; Easton Stick was a perfect 7-for-7 and led the game-winning drive in the fourth quarter.

It’s likely going to be a couple more weeks before Justin Herbert, or any of the starters, get into such action. But much will be asked of the Chargers defense to help out the offense. A returning Derwin James will certainly help on the backend, as will an expected resurgent year for Joey Bosa.

Betting trends

The Chargers have seen the over cash in 29 of the last 43 games (+13.6) when coming off a game when the under was the previous result.

The over is 4-0-1 in San Francisco’s last five when they’re favored on the road.

Against the spread, the 49ers are 9-24-1 in that stretch as the favorite.

The under is 11-4 in the last 15 Chargers home games.

The road team is 4-1 against the spread in the last five.


We’re looking forward to the 49ers quarterbacks continuing to battle throughout August. There’s so much to like in terms of compelling stories, and this is one of them. We’d expect Garoppolo to get more reps this week and lead some scoring drives. 49ers win 20-14.

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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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