The model is an unpredictable beast. Occasionally it will relentlessly target specific teams, whether it will be to continuously fade or bet them. My favorite iteration of this by far was the 2018 season where we consistently bet on the Chiefs. I'm not sure this will happen per say with the Cowboys or Chargers, but so far we're 2 for 2 on betting/fading both teams.
The Cowboys kicked off week 1 by losing a tough one to the Bucs, but the 3 point deficit was easily enough to cover the 8.5 point spread. Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and CeeDee Lamb came in exactly as advertised, easily moving the ball against a very good Buccaneers defense. Though they did lose WR Michael Gallup to a calf strain (now on IR), they have more than enough weapons on offense to contend with anyone in the league. The offensive line also played well -- having Tyron Smith back protecting Prescott's blind side was a huge lift over last season. All world guard Zack Martin missed week 1 after landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list -- he'll return, but they'll lose RT La'el Collins to a suspension. On defense, we got some very unfortunate news after we recommended the bet that defensive end Demarcus Lawrence injured his foot in practice, which will place him on IR. They could also potentially be without DE Randy Gregory, who also landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. It leaves their defense extremely thin, relying on a solid linebacking core to pick up the rest of the slack is often a recipe for disaster -- but as we've seen in the last few years in the NFL, offense is what matters most.
The Chargers -- to their credit -- had an impressive win over the Football Team in Washington. That said, I'd like to take some credit away. On offense they were heavily reliant on third down conversions, which is traditionally a great way to lose football games. Per sharpfootballstats.com, they were the 26th best team of the week in success rate on 1st and 2nd down, while they were the best team on 3rd down. Justin Herbert did get off to a hot start, earning a 84.7 grade from PFF. The offensive line, which has been a disaster for years, may be finally creeping toward average with the additions of C Corey Linsley and 13th overall selection Rashawn Slater. Against the Football Team's beast of a defensive line, Slater managed to somehow not allow a single pressure. The receiving options continue to be limited to Keenan Allen and a few complementary players. The defense projects to be middle of the pack -- they have Joey Bosa and nobody else on the line, and struggle at the linebacker spots as well. The secondary has Derwin James and an aging Chris Harris Jr, but it's one I still fully expect the Cowboys to take advantage of.
We ranked the Chargers 24th and the Cowboys 12th. Los Angeles has a DAVE rating from Football Outsiders of -7.1% while the Cowboys are at 4.6%. Somehow, Dallas is getting 3 points. Don't overthink this one.