Broncos vs. Chargers Odds & Best Bet

by | Dec 22, 2020 | nfl

Denver Broncos (5-9 SU, 8-6 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (5-9 SU, 7-7 ATS)

Week 16 NFL

Date/Time: Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 4:05PM EST

Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California

TV: CBS

Point Spread: DEN +3/LAC -3 (MyBookie - Score a 100% real cash bonus on your first deposit up to $300 when you use bonus code PREDICT100)

Over/Under Total: 48.5

The Denver Broncos take on the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday in AFC West action from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. In the end, it didn’t go according to plan for either team this season, as both sit at 5-9 entering their final two games. Still, both teams are still putting up a fight. The Chargers won their second in a row on Thursday, beating the Raiders, 30-27. And with the late-game action going their way the last few weeks, it’s been a reversal of form for a team that had blown it more often than not late in games all season. Denver came up woefully short in a Saturday home-spot against surging Buffalo, falling 48-19. But they have covered three of their last five spreads.

A Look at Chapter One

In week eight, the Broncos beat the Chargers 31-30 at Mile High. In order to do so, they overcame a 24-3 deficit in the middle of the third quarter. The Chargers saw a lot of what has plagued them as a team manifest in that game. Justin Herbert was prolific with almost 300 yards and three touchdowns, but two untimely interceptions and a collapse of their line allowing the Denver defense to disrupt undermined all their efforts. Mike Williams and Keenan Allen both had big days, each catching a TD. They got over 200 yards out of their run-game. And still, they collapsed, as Drew Lock started hitting his targets, with the run game with Phillip Lindsay and old Chargers standout Melvin Gordon doing damage out of the backfield.

Good Signs From the Bolts

It isn’t easy to sugar-coat the season, which has not been a success. Head coach Anthony Lynn is probably finished at the end of the season. Injuries have crippled them across most areas of the team. And as the first game between the two will attest, they can sometimes be their own worst enemy. The last two games are good signs not only for how the Chargers managed to forge wins late. It just shows that despite all their woes, they are still out there trying. If this season was good for anything, they look to have found their QB of the future in Herbert, as drafting quarterbacks has become a lone organizational strength over the last two decades, with Brees, Rivers, and now Herbert.

They have enough difference-makers in there to make a dent. Herbert has some very attractive targets with which to work, and we can see what kind of difference Austin Ekeler makes since the versatile back has rejoined the fray. He really adds a new dimension with his running and aerial prowess, and the Chargers missed having him the first time they played Denver. And while injuries have battered the biggest stars from their defense, they have still retained enough of their playmaking potential on “D” to make a difference, particularly against an error-prone offense such as what Denver brings to the table.

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Denver Fighting Thorough the Obstacles

A lot hasn’t gone Denver’s way. Their chance to grow with a roster that was revamped across many areas was stunted by the injury bug, much in the same way it has affected the Chargers. Anybody who is anybody on that defense is out has been out or is banged-up. On offense, the addition of different tools hasn’t really manifested as some may have hoped. They do have a deep backfield with Lindsay and Gordon. Even though top receiver Courtland Sutton has missed most of the season, they still have rookies Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, along with Noah Fant, Tim Patrick, DaeSean Hamilton, and others. But Lock has missed time and failed to really get any continuity this season. And it doesn’t help that the line in front of him often doesn’t cooperate.

Yet through all that, the Broncos keep trying. Lock is fighting for his quarterbacking future. Fangio is trying to show enough to bring him back for another season. And you see a lot of professional pride on this sideline, last week’s result notwithstanding. In some spots, they’re just going to be outgunned without a ton that they can really do about it. In other spots, the mistakes and missteps of youth rear their head and undermine what could have been wins. But other times, they’re in manageable spots where they can thrive, and their spirit rises to the forefront—the first game between these two teams being a prime example.

Points to Consider

The last game was in Mile High, and though the Chargers haven’t always thrived at home this season, this could be more to their liking. The Denver defense might even be more banged-up than it was the first time these teams played. The Chargers can now wield Ekeler on this Denver defense, a weapon that could make a big impact this week. At root, the Chargers’ offensive formula for success in its current state elicits more promise than what Denver has. They’re closer to being what they want to be. In a game where there is a lot of splitting of hairs, it could be enough to get them over the hump.

Lay the Points on the Home Favorite

This is a context in which a team like Denver can thrive. These teams having the same record attests to them being in similar stations in life. Denver has been a more-reliable force from a betting standpoint, but the Chargers playing well the last few weeks indicates they have at least temporarily conquered their late-game demons, the very thing that turned a win into defeat in the first game in week eight. I see the Chargers playing a good 60 minutes and crossing the wire a nose ahead of the plucky Broncos. I’ll take the Chargers.

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