Denver at L.A. Chargers
Time: 3:05 PM CST, CBS
Spread: LAC -4.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Denver Broncos remain winless at 0-4 after losing to Oakland, Chicago, Green Bay, and Jacksonville weeks 1 through 4. Week 5 sees the Broncos travel to Los Angeles to face the Chargers as 4.5-point underdogs. The betting total is set at 45.5 points according to NFL oddsmakers at 5dimes, and the game will kick off at 3 PM CST on CBS.
Denver had its closest chance at a victory last week, losing 24-26 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Week 2 saw it lose to the Chicago Bears by just two, as well. So Denver has knocked on the door twice but remained winless, and it will need some fortune to change that this week on the road where the team is 0-2. The Chargers are 2-2 and 1-1 at home, but 65.1 percent odds sit on the ESPN matchup predictor in favor of a Chargers win.
Denver thus far has boasted a middle-of-the-pack pass offense and a bottom-third rush attack, with 248.8 yards per game via the pass and 100.5 via the rush. The overall effect is not good: The Broncos average just 17.5 points per game ranking sixth-to-last in the NFL. Meanwhile, Denver is allowing 23.3 per contest, good for a -5.8 point differential.
A lot of the blame, of course, goes to Joe Flacco. He has been mediocre soup at best, with his three interceptions glaring as well as 11 sacks through four games. He has completed 66 percent of his looks, but the interceptions and sacks have limited an otherwise effective QB. The backfield has also not been very effective, with lead rusher Philip Lindsay averaging just 3.9 yards-per-attempt and having both of the team’s mere two rushing touchdowns.
Flacco is no threat himself, and Royce Freeman has been slightly better per-attempt but has no rushing TDs to his credit. Courtland Sutton has been dominant at wide receiver. He has caught 22 of 31 targeted passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns. Emmanuel Sanders functions as an equal No.1 option trailing him with 298 yards but 23 catches (a team-high). The third pass option is tight end Noah Fanta, whose 11 catches rank him No. 3 in yardage with 130 and a TD on the season. The Broncos have thrown 13 to Lindsay for 109 yards, but he has yet to go endzone with any catches.
The Chargers defeated the hapless Miami Dolphins 30-10 last week. Prior, it had lost two straight to the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans after winning Week 1 over the Indianapolis Colts. The Chargers have ridden the arm of Philip Rivers, as the veteran is putting together another nice season. Rivers has thrown 69.2 percent for completion with 320.3 yards per game with seven TDs and two picks.
Austin Ekeler leads the backfield with 220 yards on 56 attempts, but Justin Jackson has been an intriguing development. He has just 18 attempts but average nearly eight yards per rush, and has 142 yards on the season with five of his 18 rushes accounting for Chargers’ first downs. Keenan Allen is the top receiver with 452 yards on 34 catches and three TDs (ties a team-high). Ekeler functions well as a dual-threat and No. 2 receiver, and he has caught 24 of his 25 targeted passes for 270 yards and three TDs. Only Troymaine Pope has scored a TD outside of the top-two receivers.