(MNF) Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers
Line: Chargers -4
Moneyline: Broncos +185 / Chargers -225
The highly-touted AFC West was supposed to be the best division in football heading into this season. But right now, it looks very average. The four AFC West teams – Kansas City, LA Chargers, Denver, and Las Vegas – are a combined 10 wins and 11 losses.
So, this division loaded with history and great rivalries hasn’t quite lived up to its hype. Nonetheless, the Broncos and Chargers take the national stage on MNF in Los Angeles for a 5;15 pm PT kickoff.
The Chargers enter this game as a -4 point favorite. The total is 45.5. Here's the rest of the odds at SPREADS.CA:
ALL LINES ARE BASED ON WHAT'S AVAILABLE AT SPREADS.CA. ALSO NOTE THE BONUSES, BOOSTED BETS, AND OTHER ATTRACTIONS AT SPREADS.CA
This seemingly inflated number (we'd have made it -3 to -3.5) may be more due to the Bronco’s horrendous offensive lack of production this season. They’re scoring just 15 PPG. The Broncos have also endured some embarrassing mishaps on national TV in two of their games, seemingly clueless about clock management and play-calling.
However, facing the Chargers now gives Denver a wonderful opportunity for a breakout game and a chance for redemption. Not only are they coming in fresh after 11-days rest (previous game was played on Thursday night, Week 5), but Russell Wilson & Co. also get to face a vulnerable defense that’s allowed 11 touchdowns over the last three weeks — and that was to the offensively-challenged Browns, Texans, and Jaguars.
In short, Denver will have NO EXCUSES this week to not finally get on track. The should translate into a better offensive performance. If Denver gets shut down again, heads should roll all over the Broncos organization and some people need to be fired.
We're making a bold prediction and pick on this game, despite some strong evidence the UNDER is justified. Note the O/U has already dropped from 47 down to 45.5.
First, look for Denver to open up the playbook here facing a vulnerable Chargers defense. They simply cannot continue with such poor production, especially inside the red zone. Denver actually moves the ball well, but has trouble scoring. That should change tonight as Chargers are statistically not a goo red zone defense.
So, from Denver's offensive perspective, we get added prep time, a proven veteran QB under pressure to perform, and a soft defense that’s not been able to stop other weak offenses is the perfect opportunity for points being scored.
But what really moves the arrow to the OVER for us is the other sideline — specifically the Chargers’ reliance on their passing game. Even though this offense ranks #5 overall, the Bolts’ running game is almost non-existent. We’d be stunned if the Chargers spent any more than decoy time trying to run the ball versus one of the top rush defenses in the league. So, given they’re tossing the rock for nearly 300 YPG (40 pass attempts per game) look for a now-healthy QB Justin Herbert to sling it early and often (he had injury issues the past few weeks).
This OVER pick flies in the face of strong trends in primetime games and divisional rivalries. But we see the extenuating circumstances overriding all this and want to take advantage of a total that may not quite reflect the pressures on each team and how they’re likely to approach this matchup in game plans.
The Pick: Denver/LA Chargers OVER 45.5