Broncos-Chargers Playoff Betting Line, Expert Picks, Score Prediction
Sunday’s final division round game pits the 6th seeded San Diego Chargers against the AFC’s top seeded Denver Broncos. The Bolts went into the ‘Natti and scored one of the more surprising results of wild card weekend – though not shocking to me – by handing the then 8-0 SU & ATS Cincinnati Bengals at home a 27-10 defeat as TD home favorites. Peyton Manning was no doubt filming another stupid Papa John’s commercial while his team took advantage of the bye they earned by winning the AFC West. Go back to the MasterCard commercials #18, they were much funnier!
OPEN: BRONCOS -9.5 | CURRENT: BRONCOS -8 | O/U: 55
1. Why the SD CHARGERS will cover the spread: I said it last week and I’ll say it again, the Chargers have been in playoff mode longer than anyone remaining in the second season. Their playoffs did not begin last week in Cincinnati, but instead, back in Week 14 after dropping a tough 17-10 decision to the team they just dominated in Paul Brown Stadium. That loss put them in must win mode the rest of the way, and so far, Coach McCoy’s squad has taken the challenge by the balls and run with it.
The Chargers come off to me as a team playing without a care in the world right now. I mean come on, Rivers only just threw for 128 yards and they still cruised to the runaway victory. This team was only defeated by 10+ points once in the regular season, and they’ve already won outright in the thin air of Mile High this season.
2. Why the BRONCOS will cover the spread: When clicking on both sides of the ball, there probably isn’t a team in the league that can hang within 3 TDs of the Broncos. That scoring exhibition they put on in the first game of the season was only the beginning of what turned out to be a record breaking season for Manning and the franchise. With so many weapons at his disposal, the Broncos offense is in a level above elite – if there’s such a thing.
Coach Fox’s squad went 7-1 SU & 5-2-1 ATS in front of the hometown faithful, and it will be returning to the scene of the crime where the Baltimore Ravens flat out stole a win from the jaws of defeat in last year’s division round game. They’ll no doubt be extremely motivated to allow for themselves and their fans to turn the page on that gut-wrenching defeat.
3. Total Talk Broncos/Chargers: These AFC West rivals played to a pair of “unders” in the regular season that never seriously threatened the closing number. The 28-20 final in Qualcomm played 8-points below the 56-point ‘total,’ and the 27-20 final five weeks later also did the same.
The Chargers have played to low scorers in six of their nine road games as well as in four of their L/5 playoff games. Denver played to the other side of the spectrum when at home though, as six of their eight games went ‘over’ and the franchise has played to high scorers in each of their L/4 playoff tussles.
4. Betting Trends for Broncos/Chargers: All the pressure in the world will be bestowed upon the Broncos shoulders in this one. San Diego is playing with house money and playing it off like they’re just happy to be here. But don’t let their good natured joking vibe in postgame interviews fool you, this team is coming to play, and if Denver doesn’t bring its “A” game with it to the stadium on Sunday, it could be another one and done story for the supposed best team in the AFC. San Diego has done a relatively good job of bottling up Manning and his receivers in the L/6 quarters, and it’s gone a perfect 5-0 ATS the L/5 times it invaded a +.500 team’s house.
On top of that, SD has covered five of its L/7 playoff games and stands 8-3-1 ATS its L/12 road games. The only thing stopping me from backing the Bolts on the $$$-Line for the second straight week is the fact that I just don’t see the Broncos ultimately coming up short at home in the division round for the second straight season. But if ever there was a team readily able to pull off the feat, it would be the loosey-goosey San Diego Chargers.
Denver 28 – San Diego 27