There’s not a whole lot on the line for either team heading into the Broncos at Chargers pick as part of the NFL’s week 16 afternoon slate. Both Denver and Los Angeles are 5-9, bad enough to miss the postseason but not horrible enough for a high draft pick. The Chargers are -2.5 favorites at home here, but is this a toss-up game?
The Broncos have won three straight in this series, and the Chargers would like a little revenge after blowing a 21-point lead en route to a 31-30 loss at Denver in week 8. The Chargers have won two in a row, including an OT victory at Las Vegas last week against a team that was battling for the postseason. 68% of public bettors like LAC to keep rolling.
Denver a Bit Sore This Week
The Broncos probably don’t mind the trip to Southern California this week, as they’ll be able to get some Vitamin D on their wounds after being pounded 48-19 by the Bills last week as +6 point home underdogs. The Bills racked up 182 yards on the ground and another 352 through the air, pushing Denver down to 27th in the league defensively vs. the run.
Denver had been playing well prior to being dominated last week. The Broncos beat Carolina 32-27 at Carolina in week 14 behind 280 yards and 4 TD from Drew Lock. Vic Fangio’s team even played well in a 22-16 loss to Kansas City in week 13, holding Patrick Mahomes to just one TD pass.
Lock also hasn’t tossed an interception in the last two weeks, key for a QB who has 13 on the season. The Denver signal caller also figured out the Chargers defense in the first matchup, throwing for 3 TDs in the fourth quarter. The Denver offensive line also won’t have to face Joey Bosa (concussion, shin) on Sunday.
Chargers Trying to Finish Strong
Los Angeles is trying to build some momentum heading into what will hopefully be a bit more normal 2021/22 campaign. The Chargers have won their last two, and even 7 of their 9 losses on the season by have been by one score.
The Chargers have their QB of the future, and Justin Herbert has shown a grasp of this offense completing 81.8 and 61.8 % of his passes with 4 TD to 1 INT over the two game win streak. Herbert threw for 278 and 3 TD in the first meeting with Denver, but also had two INTs. The Chargers are also missing Keenan Allen (hamstring) and Hunter Henry (illness) in the rematch though. Allen had 12 targets the first game against Denver, and Henry had 7 targets last week after Allen was injured.
The Chargers got the win over Las Vegas last week, but the Raiders also put up 27 points with backup QB Marcus Mariota coming in after Derek Carr was injured. Los Angeles did pick off Matt Ryan three times in their week 14 win over the Falcons however.
Free Broncos at Chargers Pick
Los Angeles held a 36 to 24 time of possession edge over Denver in the first meeting and also added 210 rush yards to go with 275 through the air – and still lost. L.A. has to wonder what more they have to do to get a win, and especially without Bosa, Allen, and Henry? Denver playing hard with the season sweep on the line here.
Denver 30 – Los Angeles 24
Free Pick: Broncos +2.5