San Diego vs. San Francisco NFL Odds: In the race for the AFC West title, the Kansas City Chiefs at a record of 8-5 hold the advantage but don’t count out the San Diego Chargers (7-6). The Chargers are still alive in the playoff race after a 31-0 beating of the Chiefs at home and now face a must-win in a Thursday night versus the San Francisco 49ers at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Chargers are a +9 point favorite at home in what has been a topsy-turvy season. San Diego looked like world beaters in home wins against the Jaguars (38-13) and Cardinals (41-10) early in the season and then embarked on a baffling three-game losing streak that included losses against the Raiders and Rams. Left for dead at 2-5, the Chargers battled back, winning four straight, before another tough loss to Oakland, which completed the season sweep. Last week’s win may have saved their season, but for how long? One constant has been quarterback Phillip Rivers (3,868 yards and 26 TDs) and TE Antonio Gates and WR Malcolm Floyd are having solid seasons. The defense is highly ranked statistically but let-up against weaker teams such as Seattle and the Raiders.
San Francisco (5-8) seems to be stuck in neutral (and sometimes reverse) all season but, amazingly, are only one game out of the playoffs in the NFC West, the weakest division in the NFL. With Frank Gore hurt, Brian Westbrook has made a big contribution and Alex Smith, back from injury, three for three touchdowns against the Seahawks last week, providing a needed spark for a struggling offense.
This game looks like a mismatch on paper, but San Diego cannot afford another let down on Thursday night or they will be looking at another mystifying loss.
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