Desperate Chargers Need to Beat Broncos to Stay in Division Race
The Denver Broncos are in a position where they have to keep winning to maintain a realistic shot at having home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. Remember that this team has to finish ahead of the New England Patriots, who they already lost to. As far as the AFC West is concerned, they can clinch the division title with a victory on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, who may be in pretty decent position for wild-card berth but trail Denver by two games at the moment. Game time for NFL betting action is 4:05 PM ET at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
Denver beat the Buffalo Bills last week by a 24-17 score, but it was not one of Peyton Manning’s shining moments. Manning threw for only 173 yards, and in the process chalked up his lowest passer rating since the 2008 season. Manning has now thrown for only 352 yards over the last two games, but Denver has won both of those, because they are doing other things to win. For one thing, they are running the ball with a lot of authority behind youngsters CJ Anderson and Juwon Thompson. And they are also formidable on defense.
The Broncos have a 10-3 straight-up record, although they are only 6-7 against the football pointspread. San Diego has that same ATS mark, but they are 8-5 straight-up.
NFL Betting Line – Broncos vs Chargers
In the NFL betting odds that have been posted on this game at Pinnacle, Denver is the road favorite:
Point Spread: Denver Broncos -4, 1.909 – San Diego Chargers +4, 2.000
Money Line: Broncos 1.480, Chargers 2.860
Over/Under: 50.5 points
When we talk about a resurgence on the part of Denver with regard to their stop unit, we mean it. This is a team that has allowed only 4.8 yards per play. There are only two defenses in the league that have allowed fewer yards per drive, and no team in the NFL forces three-and-out situations more frequently than Denver does.
Pinnacle customers thought that San Diego might be on the verge of pulling a mild home upset last week. The Chargers know they squandered an opportunity by blowing a 14-3 lead against the Patriots, not necessarily in the way they defended Tom Brady and his offense, which was rather commendable, but by gaining a meager 216 yards on the day. Philip Rivers, a 68% passer, needed to do better, especially as he’s got Ryan Mathews back to help the running game.
NFL bettors are well aware that Denver can launch an aerial assault. Demariyus Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are both above 1200 yards receiving, and Manning has 36 touchdown passes with 67% accuracy. Tight end Julius Thomas, who has a dozen touchdown catches, is on track to return after an ankle injury. But it is the running game that should have the San Diego defense worried. Both Anderson and Thompson are averaging over five yards every time they carry the football, and if Manning can kill clock and pick his spots, giving the defense a rest at the same time, that’s the way he is going to go.