The Chargers are now 5-6 after back-to-back blowout wins over the Bills and Cowboys. I’ll preface this article by saying that they absolutely should have blown out both of those teams and I’m not losing perspective – Zeke was out for the Boys and Nathan Peterman started for the Bills. Easy wins. But the fact of the matter is that San Diego (I’ll never call them LA,  I don’t care) is strong on both sides of the ball with a ridiculous pass rush, a strong secondary, and a ton of weapons in the passing game that can beat teams. They could easily be 7-4 right now if not for missed field goals at the end of two different games. Despite that, they still have a shot to make the playoffs because they’re right on Kansas City’s tail in the West and they’re flat out better on both sides of the ball than most of the teams in the hunt for the wild card. If the Bolts can get in the playoffs I’m expecting them to win the Wild Card game and then would need them to win their 2nd game to create a profitable hedge/middle scenario for the AFC Championship, which I explain towards the end of this article.
The Chiefs are just one game ahead of them as the AFC West leader (6-5) and both teams face each other in Arrowhead in Week 15. The next two weeks for the Chargers are home games against the Browns and the Redskins in Week 14. The Chargers should take care of business vs the Browns and then they should beat the Redskins by pressuring their beat up offensive line. 7-6 is likely for the Bolts.
If the next two weeks go according to plan then the Bolts will have a chance to get even in the standings with the Chiefs in Week 15 regardless of what the Chiefs do against the Jets and Raiders the next two weeks. Barring injuries, I love the Chargers in this spot at Arrowhead. A lot of you reading this were with me last year when I bet the San Diego big in Arrowhead in Week 1 – they were 7 point underdogs and took a 21-3 lead before Keenan Allen tore his ACL and took the wind out of the Chargers’ sails. They still covered +7 but spiraled downward after the injury and lost the game 30-24 in overtime. This is revenge time. The year before that the Chargers lost in Arrowhead as well on a dropped touchdown as the clock expired. They were badly short-handed in that game and still competed the whole way. Healthy this year (hopefully), I’m all over the Chargers in this game.
The Chargers finish the season on the road vs the Jets and at home vs the Raiders.
If they get to the playoffs, anything can happen. The AFC is by far the softer conference right now with just the Patriots, Steelers, Jags, and Chargers playing well. The Titans are the worst 7-4 team I think I’ve ever seen and the Ravens offense is led by a $100 million quarterback with 9 TDs & 11 INTs so far. The NFC isn’t as clear of a picture because the Eagles, Vikings, Saints, and Rams are all playing dominant football and the Panthers and Falcons are getting hot as well.
If the Chargers face the Jags in the Wild Card round, my money is on the Chargers. The Bolts took them to OT in Jacksonville two weeks ago and would have won the game if Jacksonville didn’t score a TD on a fake punt. Jacksonville is also the younger team and may not be ready the big moment in the playoffs just yet.
If the Chargers can win the Wild Card game I’m obviously hoping they have to travel through Pittsburgh instead of New England. Pittsburgh can be beaten by a great pass rush and strong pass coverage – two things San Diego does well.
If they get to New England I think they get out-coached and likely lose, but at that point I’m salivating at a 14 to 1 payout if the Chargers win and likely a -400 Patriots moneyline on a 7 point spread (Pats were -7 home vs the Chargers last month on a -390 moneyline). My gameplan in this dream scenario is to bet the Patriots moneyline and give myself a chance to profit regardless of who wins the game.
Here’s one dream scenario: Bet $200 on the Chargers +1400 today
Situation: Chargers at Patriots, AFC Championship. Pats -400 moneyline.
Hedge/Middle: Bet $500 on the Patriots moneyline.
If Chargers win —>  Collect $2800 on the Chargers win, pay out $2000 on the Pats loss.  Profit $800
If Patriots win   —>  Collect $500 on the Patriots win, pay out $200 on the Chargers loss. Profit $300   
If your bankroll could afford it, the payouts are even juicier the more you risk. I built a whole chart with different scenarios and different payouts for this dream scenario. Keep an eye out for a tweet later with this info.
Let’s hope the Bolts get hot. It’s going to take a lot to go right but I’m confident that the Bolts are good enough and tough enough. This is my first future bet since my O/U win totals in the preseason but I plan on releasing more AFC futures as the season winds down to create scenarios where I have a few chances at high payouts.



Here’s a look at the rest of the odds to win the AFC:

**Updated 11/29: Here is the table I created with hedge & middle payouts for this future bet: