By Adam Thompson | | 4 mins
Philip Rivers NFL Prop Bet: More Wins For Colts Or Chargers?
The Los Angeles Chargers start a new era with someone other than Philip Rivers under center for the first time since 2006. Rivers is in Indianapolis after signing a one-year deal with the Colts. Which team will be better in 2020 after the big quarterback flip?
PointsBet is offering odds on which team will have the most regular-season wins in 2020.
Bookies.com breaks down the NFL betting prop and offers a pick.
Most Regular-Season Wins: Colts Or Chargers?
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All odds are current as of publication and subject to change.
Last season, Rivers had his worst overall season as a starter, throwing 23 TDs, the fewest since 2006, with 20 INTs, tied for the second-most of his career (though seven of those picks were during a brutal two-game stretch).
The Chargers still finished No. 10 in total offense, No. 6 in total defense — but with a 5-11 record. They couldn’t get out of their own way — Rivers was a part of that, but the lack of a running game (28th) didn’t help.
The Colts went 7-9 last year with Jacoby Brissett at QB. He was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the worst starter in the NFL for the 2019 season. Statistically, Rivers had, for him, a pretty a poor season in L.A., but he still ranked 17th. It’s a major upgrade at the most-important position, and he’ll be behind an offensive line that last year ranked No. 2 in pass protection.
Indianapolis also added star defensive lineman DeForest Buckner from the 49ers in a win-now trade. Last year, the Colts ranked No. 7 in rushing (RB Marlon Mack went over 1,000 yards) and No. 7 in run defense. If the eight-time Pro Bowl QB Rivers can regain his form, the Colts should be a legit playoff contender.
Tyrod Taylor is expected to take over for Rivers at QB in L.A. In his three starting seasons in Buffalo, he averaged a modest 2,952 yards passing per season, but with 51 touchdowns to just 16 interceptions, leading the undermanned Bills to 8-8 or 9-7 seasons in each. It wouldn’t shock anyone to see L.A. use its No. 6 overall pick in the NFL Draft to take a QB, either.
Derwin James is back at safety after missing a chunk of last season and most other key personnel return. On paper, the Colts may be the better team, but it’s close.
We don’t know when or what time games are until the NFL reveals the schedule in May. Of the two, the Chargers have the more-favorable 16-game lineup of opponents.
Los Angeles especially has winnable home games, with out-of-conference games against the Falcons, Jets, Jaguars, Panthers and Patriots. But can it take advantage? The Chargers were just 2-6 last year with a stadium filled of opposing teams’ fans. A sleek new venue may or may not help.
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The Chargers’ road schedule is decidedly tougher, including trips to New Orleans, Buffalo and Tampa Bay.
The Colts have an easier road schedule (Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago and Las Vegas included), but some challenging home games (Packers, Vikings, Ravens). Indianapolis arguably is in the tougher of the two conferences, with the Texans and Titans to compete with in the AFC South. The Chargers have to deal with the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, but the Broncos and Raiders are middle-of-the-road.
There are many similarities when it comes to personnel. The schedules aren’t far off in comparison, either. So what separates these teams?
It comes back to Rivers. Despite his issues last season, the Chargers’ pass offense ranked No. 6 in the NFL. Whether it’s Taylor or a draft pick like Justin Herbert starting for L.A. next year, at least in 2020 that production is going to diminish.
The Colts’ addition of Rivers is an emphatic upgrade of their biggest weakness. The Chargers will likely go to more of a run-based offense for the time being, but their No. 1 RB (Austin Ekeler) is a pass-catching back.
The Chargers have home games, but they can’t count on the home field helping much, and the road schedule is treacherous. On the other side, the Colts’ most-winnable games on paper are on the road, and they’ll get a few they probably shouldn’t at Lucas Oil Stadium.
In this intriguing NFL futures betting prop, go with the Colts winning more games in than the Chargers in 2020.