It still feels weird to say Los Angeles and not San Diego Chargers, but the Bolts play their first regular-season game back as one of L.A.’s teams in the second game of the Week 1 Monday night doubleheader. AFC West rival Denver is the host. The Broncos are slight favorites in the bettings odds, but a surprise might happen in the NFL lines. Can the Chargers give an upset on Monday?
LA Chargers at Denver NFL Lines & Expert Analysis for Monday NightWatchESPNOpening NFL Lines: Broncos -3.5 (42.5)
- Clear: 22°C/71°F
- Humidity: 34%
- Precipitation: 0%
- Wind: 5 mph WNW
- Cloud Cover: 28%
- Type of Stadium: Open
Why Bet On LA Chargers?LA opens the season without projected starting WR Mike Williams, the team’s first-round pick this year. However, the team did activate him from the PUP. The move means the Chargers believe the No. 7 overall pick will be ready before Week 7. He missed all of the offseason program and training camp due to back troubles. The hope is Williams will play in Week 4 or Week 5.Also out is one of the Chargers’ best defensive players in linebacker Denzel Perryman (ankle), who has been placed on injured reserve. Bolts GM Tom Telesco said that the team remains hopeful Perryman will be able to play later this season. A thumper in the middle, Perryman's absence will be felt in run defense. Korey Toomer has taken over that spot.
How Good is the Offense in LA?The Chargers should have a good offense. With his next TD catch, Antonio Gates will own the all-time mark for career touchdowns by a tight end. Meanwhile, WR Keenan Allen returns from an ACL injury suffered during last season’s opener. Melvin Gordon was one of the NFL’s better running backs last year, carrying 254 times for 997 yards and 10 TDs. Philip Rivers completed 349 of 578 attempts (60.4%) for 4,386 yards and 33 touchdowns. His 33 TD strikes were the second most of his career in a single season, one behind his career-high set in 2008. Rivers’ next 300-yard passing game will be the 52nd of his career, which will set a new franchise record.In 2016, the Chargers ranked 14th in total offense (356.8 yards per game), eighth in passing (262.4 ypg), 26th in rushing (94.4 ypg) and ninth in points (25.6). Defensively, the Bolts ranked 16th in total defense (347.1 ypg), 20th in passing (249.2 ypg), 10th in rushing (97.9 ypg) and 29th in points allowed (26.4).
Why Bet On Denver?The Broncos lead the all-time series 64-50- 1. The two teams split the season series a year ago with both teams winning at home. The Chargers look for their first win in Denver since 2013. This marks the first time the AFC West rivals meet on Kickoff Weekend since 1994, a 37-34 Chargers win.It’s the Broncos head coaching debut of Vance Joseph. Joseph wasn’t the most obvious choice to succeed Gary Kubiak, who abruptly retired from coaching in January at 55 years old. In his lone season as Miami’s defensive coordinator, Joseph oversaw a unit that gave up 382.6 yards per game — more than all but three other NFL teams.Former Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy returns to Denver as the team’s offensive coordinator, where Trevor Siemian enters his second season under center. He completed 289 of 486 passes (59.5%) last season for 3,401 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for an 84.6 passer rating. His top targets are Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, who each surpassed 1,000 yards receiving in 2016.Thomas caught 90 balls for 1,083 and five TDs while Sanders had 79 receptions for 1,032 and five scores. On the ground, C.J. Anderson has worked as the No. 1 back during training camp and the preseason. Devontae Booker was poised to split carries with Anderson when camp opened, but his physical turned up a wrist fracture, and the second-year pro won’t be ready to play until after the start of the regular season. The Broncos also added former Chiefs star Jamaal Charles in free agency.The Broncos ranked 27th total offense (232.1 ypg), 21st in passing (230.0 ypg), 27th in rushing (92.8 ypg) and 22nd in points (20.8) in 2016. Denver ranked fourth in total defense (316.1 ypg), first in passing (185.8 ypg), 28th in rushing (130.3 ypg) and fourth in points allowed (18.6).
- Total Meetings: 115
- First Meeting: October 16th, 1960. Bears Stadium. Denver, Colorado
- Last Meeting: October 30th, 2016. Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Denver, Colorado
- All-Time Series: Denver 64-50-1
- Largest Margin of Victory: Denver 38-3 (1997)
- Longest Win Streak: Denver 7 (1975-1978)
- Current Win Streak: Denver 1 (2016)
Latest NFL Lines Trends
- LA Chargers are 0-5 ATS in the last 5 games
- LA Chargers are 0-5 SU in the last 5 games
- The total went UNDER in 4 of LA Chargers’s last 6 games
- Denver is 2-4 ATS in the last 6 games
- Denver is 14-7 SU in the last 21 games
- The total went UNDER in 4 of Denver’s last 5 games