Two struggling AFC West teams meet on Sunday when the Denver Broncos host the Los Angeles Chargers. The Broncos have been an absolute disaster at home dating back to last season while the Chargers were pretty much knocked out of the AFC Wild Card picture in back-to-back losses to the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs in their last two games. Even so, sometimes there’s value in games like this. What’s the best bet in this spot?
- Opening Line: Pick’em
- Current Line: Los Angeles -3
- Over/Under: 38.5
- Location: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
- Start Time: 4:25 PM ET
- Last Meeting: Broncos 20 at Chargers 13 (12/30/18)
Consecutive losses to the Raiders and Chiefs pretty much eliminated any shot Los Angeles had to rally for a playoff spot this season. While they haven’t officially been eliminated just yet, the Chargers need to win out just to finish 9-7. Quarterback Philip Rivers has clearly taken a step back this season, tossing seven interceptions in the last two weeks. While some have already written him off, it will certainly be interesting to see how he responds in this matchup. One thing Los Angeles absolutely can’t afford is more turnovers. Rivers already has 16 giveaways this season, which is the third-most in the NFL. Still, the Chargers are finally getting healthy on defense, with safeties Derwin James and Adrian Phillips set to return. If they can play mistake-free football on offense, Los Angeles will have a legitimate shot to win this game outright.
Meanwhile, Denver is coming off a brutal 20-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills in which its offense was held to just 4.8 inches per play over its final five possessions. Yes, you read that right. To say the Broncos have hit a wall is an understatement. One week after Brandon Allen and company were completely overmatched by the Bills, it’s hard to imagine them bouncing back in a big way against a Chargers’ defense that will get some key pieces back. The Denver defense has kept them in a lot of games by holding opponents to just 19.7 points per game. If they can limit Rivers and the Los Angeles offense and force some turnovers, they could have a shot in this matchup.
- Chargers are 6-0-1 ATS in last 7 road games vs. teams with losing home records
- Los Angeles is 4-1 ATS when playing on Sunday following MNF game
- Broncos are 0-4 ATS in last 4 December games
- Denver is 1-4 ATS in last 5 games vs. AFC West opponents
- Broncos are 10-21-1 ATS in last 32 games on grass
It will be interesting to see how the Broncos respond over the final few weeks of the regular season. Despite the fact that they are unlikely to make the playoffs, Denver could still play spoiler and rally for a strong finish. How they perform will determine the fate of head coach Vic Fangio, who has had a rocky first season.
As bad as Denver has been this season – they’ve lost four of their last five – they’ve actually been decent at home. They’ve won two of their last three games at Mile High. While they’re 2-3 at home overall, two of the losses were on last-second field goals. With that in mind, expect them to be competitive again in this spot and cover.
Check out our other NFL Sports Betting Guides for Week 13
- Philadelphia Eagles at Miami Dolphins (+10)
- New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals (+3)
- San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens (-5.5)
- Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (+2)
- Green Bay Packers at New York Giants (+6.5)
- Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers (-10)
- Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-2)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5)
- Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals (+3)
- Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-10)
- New England Patriots at Houston Texans (+3)
- Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (-2.5)