|Game: LA Chargers (2-4) at Denver (2-4)
Location: Empower Field at Mile High
Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Chargers vs Broncos Game Betting Lines
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This Week 8 matchup features the teams tied for last in the AFC West. The Chargers are coming off of a 39-29 win against the Jaguars, which snapped a 4-game losing streak. Last week, the Broncos were decimated by the Kansas City Chiefs. Rookie QB Justin Herbert and the Chargers will look to make it two straight wins when they travel to Mile High.
The BetUS sportsbook currently lists Los Angeles as a three point favorite in this Broncos vs Chargers matchup. We’ll take a look at the current state of each team heading into Sunday’s game and view some of the major betting lines.
The Broncos are 7-3 in their last 10 games against the Chargers, including winning both matchups last season. The Chargers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games at Denver and the total has gone under in four of the last five matchups between these two teams. Denver QB Drew Lock started the second matchup between these two teams last season and threw two touchdown passes along with an interception in the win. It will be Herbert’s first meeting against the Broncos.
Los Angeles Chargers
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Next game: vs Raiders
The Chargers snapped their losing streak, defeating the Jaguars 39-29. Herbert set a career-high for both passing and rushing yards. He completed 27-of-43 for 347 yards and three touchdowns. He also picked up 66 yards on the ground on 9 carries with a rushing touchdown. All other Chargers players totaled 69 yards on 23 rushing attempts, which is a discouraging sign for a team who has struggled on the ground this year and is missing Austin Ekeler. WR Keenan Allen caught 10 passes for 125 yards and WR Jalen Guyton caught a 70 yard touchdown pass from Herbert.
The Chargers defense sacked Gardner Minshew five times and held him to 173 yards and 14-of-27 passing. Jacksonville running back James Robinson rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown. But, again, the Chargers were prone to inconsistency on offense. After scoring on three of their first four drives and taking a 16-0 lead, they went four drives without scoring, and Jacksonville took a 21-16 lead in the meantime. In the following three drives, Justin Herbert threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score to take the lead for good. Despite the inconsistency, the Chargers recovered for an important win and outplayed the Jaguars.
The Chargers are averaging 3.9 yards per rushing attempt, and they’re 27th out of 32 NFL teams in the category. Last week, coach Anthony Lynn stated that Ekeler will be back “later, rather than sooner.” It’s a discouraging sign for a team that needs a boost on the ground and plays such a run heavy game. They’re currently leading the league in rushing attempts per game.
Herbert has been excellent in his past two games. He’s thrown seven touchdowns to no interceptions and totaled 613 yards. In the five games he’s played since Tyrod Taylor’s injury, the rookie Herbert has averaged over 300 passing yards per game and thrown 12 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.
The Chargers’ offense looked weak to start the season, but Herbert is spearheading an improved unit that has scored 32.3 points per game in their last three games. The Chargers only managed 17.3 points per game in their first three games.
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Next game: at Falcons
It was a brutal day for the Broncos, as they lost 43-16 to the Kansas City Chiefs to fall to 2-4. They allowed the Chiefs to score their most points of the season and they only did it on three offensive touchdowns. Denver was too careless with the ball, as Lock threw two interceptions, including a pick six, and Melvin Gordon lost two fumbles. They also allowed the Chiefs to return a kickoff for a touchdown. Chiefs star QB Patrick Mahomes didn’t have much to do, as he completed 15 of his 23 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown.
Despite the lost fumbles, Denver’s run game was working against the Chiefs defense as they totaled 177 yards on 5.4 yards per carry. Phillip Lindsay managed 79 yards on only nine carries and Melvin Gordon rushed for 68 yards on 17 attempts with a touchdown. Lock added a rushing touchdown for the Broncos.
Phillip Lindsay has boosted the Broncos offense since returning from a toe injury he suffered in Week 1. He has rushed for 180 yards on 32 carries in the past two games for 5.6 yards per carry. The Broncos, as a team, are only averaging 4.1 yards per carry this year. Before exiting Sunday’s game early in the third quarter with a concussion, Lindsay had already totaled 79 yards on nine carries. His status is worth monitoring for Week 8.
Since coming back from a Week 2 injury in Week 6, Lock has completed 34-of-64 passes with no touchdowns and four interceptions in the past two games. Denver won its Week 6 game against the Patriots in spite of him, as they only allowed the Pats to score 12 points.
Betting on the Game
Point Spread: Chargers -3
Aside from a 37-point outburst against the 0-7 Jets, the Broncos have only topped the 20-point threshold once and they’re playing a team that’s looked more and more competent offensively as the season has progressed. The Chargers won ATS as a favorite for the first time last week against the Jaguars.
Moneyline: Chargers -160 | Broncos +140
The Broncos are 3-2 SU in the past two seasons in games immediately following a loss of 10 points or more. The teams the Broncos have defeated this year have been pretty awful. They beat the 0-7 Jets, who are averaging the least points per game since 2011, and they defeated the Patriots in Week 6. In the past three weeks, the Pats have been outscored 77-28 and have looked completely incompetent on offense. The Chargers have had some unlucky breaks, as they’ve lost two games in OT, and they need to win this one to stay competitive for an AFC Wild-Card spot.
Over/Under: 45 Points
It seems right as the Chargers have found some kind of offensive form, their defense has let up a fair bit. They’ve both scored and allowed 97 points in the last three games, for an average of 32.3. After giving up 43 points to the Chiefs, it remains to be seen whether the Broncos will tighten up on defense. In any case, the total has gone under in four of the last five matchups between these two teams.