Both the Chargers and the Broncos are coming off losses in their respective Week 5 NFL games, with San Diego coming short to Oakland and Denver getting flat-footed against Atlanta. One of these teams can, however, bounce back on the winning column as soon as Thursday Night when the Chargers (1-4) host the Broncos (4-1) at the Qualcomm Stadium. Check out the online NFL betting odds preview for this Thursday Night showdown prepared for you below.
Analyzing The Broncos At Chargers Thursday NFL Expert Picks
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California When: Thursday, October 13, 8:25 PM ET TV: CBS Live Stream:CBS Sports Network NFL Lines: Broncos (-3.5), OVER/UNDER 45
Why Denver Will Win
After winning four straight games to start the season with Trevor Siemian under the center, the Broncos fell to the Atlanta Falcons 16-23 on Sunday as rookie QB Paxton Lynch made his first start for Denver. Lynch didn’t have the worst of games, but he wasn’t able to make maximum use of the weapons around him and Denver’s O-line exposed him a bit too often to the Falcons. The Chargers aren’t known to be menacing in defense, but better protection will be required for whoever is at QB—whether it’s Lynch or Siemian making his return from injury. In addition to that, the Denver Broncos tailbacks barely made an impact last week–C.J. Anderson rushed for 41 yards while Devontae Booker added 23 yards–and a better performance will be required on Thursday.
Why San Diego Will Win
After blowing away a fourth-quarter lead against the Chiefs in Week 1, and then wasting away two consecutive winning opportunities in their narrow losses to Indianapolis and New Orleans in Week 3 and Week 4, the Chargers were at it again in Week 5, botching a late-game field goal in the fourth quarter to fall 31-34 to Oakland. In spite of the loss, Philip Rivers continued his strong season under the center, as he passed for 359 yards (on 21-of-30 passes) and four touchdowns. Going by his strong numbers so far this season, Rivers should be capable of leading an efficient offensive performance, even if Denver’s defense is sure to make it a tough job. But that won’t matter much unless San Diego’s defense patches up a decent number of its vulnerabilities.
Expert NFL Betting Predictions and Picks
While I think the Chargers will be due for some good value in ATS lines (at +3.5) and maybe even an outright pay in the money lines, I a more interested in total side, which I believe will go OVER. None of the teams San Diego has played has a defense like Denver’s, I agree, but Rivers is talented enough to have a big game against the Broncos, going by how Matt Ryan and the Falcons fared last week vs. the Broncos. I mean, the Rivers-led offense ranks No. 3 in the league’s FPI rankings and is averaging 30.4 PPG scoring (2nd-best in the NFL). Also, the lowest game total posted in a San Diego game this season is 48, with the rest of the games totaling 65, 69, 52, and 60 points. Meanwhile, the Broncos are averaging 25.4 PPG scoring (#9 in the NFL) and the team had scored 21-or-more points in all their games with Siemian at the helm, so it wouldn’t be far-fetched to expect more-or-less a similar output against San Diego’s defense that is allowing 28.4 PPG (tied fourth-worst in the NFL). With all that considered, I very much like my chances with the total sailing above 45.