San Diego Chargers(4-5SU,4-5ATS) vsDenver Broncos(6-3SU,6-3ATS)
Date/Time:November18th, 4:25PM EST
Where:Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
byJeffHochman,Pro Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread: SD +7.5/DEN -7.5
The San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncoswill clash for the final time this season, in this key AFC Westmatch-upat Mile High. The Chargers played well last week at Tampa Bay,but still lost 24-34 as 3-point road dogs. They out-gained theBucsby 147 yards and had 23 first-downs compared to just 12 for Tampa Bay. It wasn’t enough as Philip Rivers had two costly interceptions, and the Special Teams allowed a punt return for a toucdown. On the bright side, the Chargers have out-stattedtheir foes in three straight games to improve to 5-4 ITS (in the stats) this season. The Broncos remain red hot in winning 36-14, as 3.5-point road dogs at Carolina last week. It was the Broncos’ fourthstraight-up andagainst-the-spreadvictory in a row,and they improved to 6-3 ITS this season.
These teams last played each other on Monday Night Football back in October. It was a tale of two games in one and very entertaining to say the least. The Chargers won thefirst half 24-0,while the Broncos won the second half 35-0. The final score of 35-24 easily sailed Over the 47.5 point total. The Broncos were able to figure out the vanilla coverages that the Chargers were running after halftime. Peyton Manning finished with 309 yards and three touchdowns. Since that game Manning is playing even better. Look for Manning to throw a lot in this game, as the Chargers are ranked 6thbest against-the-run at 83 yards per game.
Speaking of Manning, it looks like he is back and better than ever. His108 QB rating is tops in the NFL. Manningis off another 300-yard game, has a 21/6 TD/INT ratio, and the offense has an NFL best 115-30 point edge in the 4thquarter. The Broncos have scored at least 21 points in all nine games this season, and are averaging 34 points per game in their last fourvictories. The defense doesn’t get muchrecognitionand that’s too bad. They are allowing 316 yards per game overall, andagainst-the-pass they allow just 218.4 per contest. Denver’s cornerscompletelyshut down San Diego’s receivers in the second half of the first meeting of the year. It will be interesting to see what adjustments (if any)NorvTurner and company will make. I think they should try to run the ball with Ryan Mathews a lot more than they did in the first meeting. The Broncos are allowing almost 100 yards per game on the ground, and if the Charges have some success, it will keep Manning and the Broncos offense on the sidelines. San Diego must limit Denver’spossessionsor it’s going to be a long day for the Chargers’ defense. Manning is virtually unstoppable right now,especiallywhen he is calling plays at the line.
Lets go inside the stats and see how the Chargers and Broncos did against three common opponents this season. The three teams areAtlanta, New Orleans, and Oakland. San Diego went 1-2 SU and 1-2 ATS, losing the stats by 144 yards. Denver went 2-1 SU and 2-1 ATS, winning the stats by 605 yards. That is quite a margin in favor of the home team, and you can see why the odds-makers have installed Denver as big favorites. Normally, I would lookto the underdog indivisiongames, but don’t want to go against a red hot Manning right now. Seems like a lot of points for adivisionrivalseeking same season revenge, but will notfall into the easy trap.
The Chargers are 8-3-2 ATS in their last 13 meetings. The Favorite is 7-3-2 ATS in their last 12 meetings. The Over is 5-1 in their last six meetings in Denver.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Spread:Denver Broncos -7.5 & Over 48.5.
Check weather as we get closer to game time to make sure the Over will cash. We want to see light winds with no rain or snow. The Broncos have thebetteroffense, defense, special teams, and coach. I don’t thinkNorvTurner and company will come up with a game plan that confuses Peyton Manning in the rematch. Philip Rivers is less than impressive with a 15/12 TD/INT ratio, and the Chargers Special teams has beengettingworse with each passing week. Take the home team and the Over.
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