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Game Predictions | Bills at Chargers | Week 16


The Bills (8-6) are 12.5-point favorites heading into Saturday night's game in SoFi Stadium against the Los Angeles Chargers (5-9). This week's game will air at 8:00 pm ET on Peacock.

For the latest point spreads, check FanDuel.

The Bills are one of four AFC teams with an 8-6 record and sit in ninth place in the AFC playoff race. The Chargers are on a two-game losing streak and have lost five of their last six games. This week's game will be the first for the Chargers with Giff Smith serving as the interim head coach.

Here's a list of additional notes for this week:

  • Bills are 8-0 in 2023 when allowing 20 points or less
  • The Bills are 16-0 when Josh Allen does not have a giveaway since 2020
  • Bills are 16-2 in December/January regular season games since 2020 - best record in NFL
  • In Week 15 or later, Buffalo is 11-0 in regular season games since 2020 - the NFL's best record in that span
  • Bills are 13-8 in primetime games under Sean McDermott; This will be Buffalo's sixth primetime game in 2023
  • The Chargers are 0-5 against teams with winning records in 2023

Storyline to watch: Despite their issues this season -- which resulted in the firing of coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco last Friday -- and the Bills' recent resurgence, the Chargers have won four of their past five games against Buffalo dating to 2011 and have dominated the all-time series with a 25-13-2 record. This game will be something of a reunion for Chargers safety Dean Marlowe, who played for the Bills from 2018-2020. -- Kris Rhim

Bold prediction: The Bills' offense will score at least 40 points. The Buffalo offense has put together some of its best performances of the season under interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady, scoring more than 30 points in three of those four games. Coming off the blowout victory vs. the Cowboys, both the run and pass are a serious threat. The Chargers' defense has allowed the second-most touchdowns and first downs, and it gave up 63 points last week. With two teams on opposite trajectories, the Bills should be able to put up some major points. -- Alaina Getzenberg

Stat to know: Bills quarterback Josh Allen is seeking his fourth straight season with 40 combined passing and rushing touchdowns. He already holds the NFL record with three straight seasons, and he can tie Tom Brady for the second-most seasons overall with three touchdowns on Sunday.

Matchup X factor: The Bills' defense. Suddenly, it's coming together. After scuffling in the middle part of the season following injuries to linebacker Matt Milano, cornerback Tre'Davious White and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, the Bills' defense showed a major resurgence over the past couple weeks against the Chiefs and Cowboys -- especially their pass defense. As long as that continues, Buffalo should roll with no problem. -- Walder

What's at stake: There isn't much in play for the Chargers, but there is a lot riding on this game for the Bills. A victory gives Buffalo a 71% chance to make the playoffs and a 35% chance to win the division. But a loss means 29% for the playoffs and 12% in the AFC East.

Betting nugget: The Chargers are 0-5 ATS as underdogs this season, including 0-3 ATS as home underdogs. They are 0-5 outright and ATS against teams currently with winning records, too.

Moody's pick: Bills 27, Chargers 14

Walder's pick: Bills 35, Chargers 13

FPI prediction: BUF, 81.7% (by an average of 12 points)

The Bills have won two straight against two top teams and now get to play a Chargers team that has an interim coach and a quarterback making his second start. The Buffalo offense has really played well the past few weeks, and that will continue here. Josh Allen will complete more than the seven passes he hit last week as the Bills roll on. 

Pick: Bills 31, Chargers 17

The Chargers need a shock to the system. It won't come until the playoffs.

Florio: Bills, 42-10.

Simms: Bills, 34-13.

Scroll to see photos from Thursday's Buffalo Bills Week 16 practice as the team prepares to take on the Los Angeles Chargers.

It's hard to take the Chargers. But there are a couple of factors in play. They just were utterly embarrassed and often teams have a dead cat bounce for a new coach. Also, this might be a little bit of a breather for the Bills. Yes, they need to keep winning to keep AFC East hopes alive and they're not a wild-card lock either. But after playing the Eagles, Chiefs and Cowboys, it'll be hard to get up for the Easton Stick-led Chargers

Prediction: Chargers +12 over Bills

The Bills have reinvented their offense to a run-heavy attack to better complement their defense and take pressure off Josh Allen. To that end, James Cook is living up to expectations as an explosive feature back. Buffalo can feel great about a playoff return, even as AFC East champions again. The Chargers will play a little more inspired under interim coach Giff Smith, but their injuries and defensive holes are too much to overcome here.

Pick: Bills win 30-13 and cover the spread.

... Six of our experts confidently picked the Bills, though Gagnon thinks we'll see the Chargers play with a little more pizzazz under interim head coach Giff Smith, which will allow them to cover the spread.

"This is an energy pick. Buffalo is coming off a hell of a high (prime-time home victory over Dallas), and the Chargers are coming off the ultimate low (blowout divisional loss leading to the firing of their coach)," Gagnon said.

"So, of course, everyone expects the Bills to pile on, but it'll be hard for them to keep that energy flowing on the road against a Bolts team that is still quite talented and could be fired up to send a message under interim head coach Giff Smith."


Davenport: Bills

Gagnon: Chargers

Hanford: Bills

Knox: Bills

Moton: Bills

O'Donnell: Bills

Sobleski: Bills

ATS Consensus: Bills -11.5

SU Consensus: Bills

Score Prediction: Bills 33, Chargers 16

The Los Angeles Chargers' 63-21 loss to the Raiders last Thursday night is among the worst defeats in recent memory. That embarrassing effort led to coach Brandon Staley being fired. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, firing Staley doesn't bring back injured quarterback Justin Herbert. Now, with Easton Stick under center, the Chargers host the red-hot Buffalo Bills.

The Bills have beaten the Chiefs and blown out the Cowboys over the past two weeks. Perhaps more importantly, Buffalo has won both of those games without needing Josh Allen to carry the team. If the Bills continue to play like they have since their Week 13 bye, the Chargers could lose by distance again.

Buffalo is still a desperate team that wouldn't make the playoffs if the season ended today. Expect them to be highly motivated against the free-falling Chargers on Saturday night.

Score Prediction: Bills 33, Chargers 13

Why Ali is picking the Bills: Imagine you've spent the last 30-some years in the coaching ranks -- including the last 14 in the NFL -- working toward an opportunity to be the top dog. And when you finally get a chance to sit in the big chair, your first test is against a desperate and dangerous Buffalo squad that just downed two of the league's best teams. Oh, and you'll be without your franchise QB and probably your No. 1 WR and second-best defensive player. Major yikes. I feel for Giff Smith, whose head-coaching debut is likely to end up being memorable for the wrong reasons. The Bills need this win to keep pace in both the wild-card and AFC East races. They leave no doubt in this one.

Happy Holidays from the Buffalo Bills. Check out this year's edition of Bills-inspired holiday cards based off these popular Christmas movie classics. This gallery is presented by St. Bonaventure.

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