NFL Betting Picks Week #8: San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos
Sunday, October 30, 2016, 4:05 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket
Sports Authority Field at Mile High – Denver, Colorado
Opening Line: Denver -6 1/2
Current Line: Denver -3 1/2
Opening Total: 44 1/2
Current Total: 43 1/2
Opening Money Line: Broncos -215 / Chargers +185
Current Money Line: Broncos -180 / Chargers +160

Denver is favored over San Diego in a key AFC West contest.
Denver is favored over San Diego in a key AFC West contest.

The 3-4 San Diego Chargers and the 5-2 Denver Broncos renew their rivalry Sunday in Denver. The Broncos are tied with the Oakland Raiders for first place, but the Kansas City Chiefs are only a half game behind at 4-2. That leaves the Chargers in last place if you are keeping score.

Denver leads the series 63-50-1 against San Diego. The Broncos had won nine of the last ten games against the Chargers including five straight. That was until these teams met 17 days ago in San Diego and the Chargers won 21-13 in a Thursday night game. San Diego led 19-3 going into the fourth quarter but Denver rallied and had a chance to potentially tie the game on a Hail Mary and two point conversion on the last play of the game.

San Diego is coached by Mike McCoy. The Chargers home wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars 38-14 and Denver Broncos 21-13, plus a road win at the Atlanta Falcons 33-30 in overtime last week. San Diego has road losses the Kansas City Chiefs 33-27 in overtime, Indianapolis Colts 26-22, and Oakland Raiders 34-31, plus a home loss to the New Orleans Saints 35-34. The Chargers led in the fourth quarter of three of their four losses. Against Atlanta, San Diego was a 4.5 point underdog and the total was 52.5. The Chargers are 5-2 ATS and the total is 5-2 this season.

Denver is coached by Gary Kubiak. Denver won at home Monday night against the Houston Texans 27-9 to snap a two game losing streak The Broncos lost at home to the Atlanta Falcons 23-16 and at the San Diego Chargers 21-13. Denver was an 8.5 point favorite against Houston and the total was 40. The Broncos have home wins over the Carolina Panthers 21-20 and Indianapolis Colts 34-20. Denver won on the road at the Cincinnati Bengals 29-17 and at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-7. Denver is 5-2 ATS and the total is 3-4 this season.

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San Diego is outscoring teams 29-26 this season. The Chargers are #2 in scoring but #24 in points allowed. San Diego averages 365 yards per game on offense including 275 passing yards and 90 rushing yards. The Chargers are #5 in passing. On defense, San Diego allows 366 yards per game including 276 passing yards per game and 90 rushing yards. The Chargers are #8 in rush defense but #24 against the pass. San Diego is 40/93 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 43/102. The Chargers have forced 17 sacks and has allowed 17  this season. San Diego is -3 in turnovers.

Quarterback Philip Rivers has completed 66.1% of his passes for 2,018 yards with 13 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, plus 6 carries for 19 yards.

Running back Melvin Gordon has 138 carries for 461 yards and 8 touchdowns, plus 20 catches for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Danny Woodhead is out for the season with a knee injury. He had 19 carries for 116 yards plus 6 catches for 35 yards and a touchdown. Dexter McCluster returns from a hamstring injury. He and Kenneth Farrow will likely get the back-up carries without Woodhead.

Receiver Travis Benjamin has 35 catches for 465 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is probable with a knee injury. Tyrell Williams has 31 catches for 526 yards and 2 touchdowns. Rookie tight end Hunter Henry has 20 catches for 326 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is questionable with a concussion. Dontrelle Inman has 17 catches for 237 yards and a touchdown. Antonio Gates has 17 catches for 119 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receivers Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson are out for the season. Twelve defensive players and four offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.

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Denver is outscoring teams 24-17 this season. The Broncos are #6 in points allowed. Denver averages 327 yards per game on offense including 215 passing and 112 rushing yards. Denver is #27 in total offense and #28 in passing. On defense, Denver allows 292 total yards including 175 passing and 117 rushing yards per game. The Broncos are in the top three in total and pass defense but #20 against the rush. Denver is 37/94 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 41/109. The Broncos have forced 22 sacks and allowed 17 this season. Denver is +5 in turnovers, and the Broncos have two defensive touchdowns.

Second year quarterback Trevor Siemian has been a pleasant surprise this season. He has completed 64.9% of his passes for 1,211 yards with 8 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, and has 11 carries for 32 yards. He suffered  a shoulder injury against the Buccaneers and missed the game against the Falcons. He returned against the Chargers. Rookie Paxton Lynch came in relief for Siemien and started against Atlanta. He has completed 62.7% of his passes for 393 yards with 2 touchdowns and a touchdown, plus 9 carries for 14 yards.

Running back C.J. Anderson has 110 carries for 437 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 16 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. He is out indefinitely with a knee injury. DeVontae Booker has 51 carries for 244 yards and a touchdown, and he also has 9 catches for 69 yards. Look for Kapri Bibbs to get the back-up carries behind Booker. Fullback Andy Janovich is questionable with a hand injury.

Receiver DeMaryius Thomas has 37 catches for 456 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is probable with a hip injury. Emmanuel Sanders has 40 catches for 499 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Jordan Norwood has 13 catches for 120 yards. Tight end Virgil Green has 10 catches for 95 yards. Three offensive linemen are listed on the injury report, along with five defensive players.

San Diego is 7-0 ATS after accumulating more than 350 total yards, 6-0 against AFC West teams, 5-0 against teams with winning records, 4-0 against teams with winning home records, 9-1 in road games, 8-1 against AFC teams and on grass, 6-1 after a cover, 9-2 overall, 4-1 after rushing for less than 90 yards and passing for more than 250 yards, 20-6 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 2-5 in week 8, 4-10 after allowing more than 250 passing yards, 3-9 after a straight up win, 2-7 after scoring more than 30 points. The road team is 15-6-5 ATS in this series recently. San Diego is 8-1-4 ATS in Denver recently.

Denver is 4-0 ATS in week 8, 5-1-1 at home, and after a straight up win, 4-1 after a cover, 4-1-1 against AFC teams, 7-2-1 overall, 3-1-1 after rushing for 150 yards or more, 6-2-1 on grass, 3-7 against teams with losing records, 2-8-1 on a Sunday after playing on Monday night, 1-4 against AFC West teams, 1-5 after allowing less than 15 points, and 0-4 after a straight up win by 14 points or more. The under is 6-2 in this series overall recently, but the over is 8-3 in Denver between the teams.

Denver needs a balanced attack so they don’t have to rely on Siemien’s not very strong arm. They rushed for 190 yards in the rout against Houston Monday night. I like the Broncos to rush the ball weel and avenge the loss from week six.

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