Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers

NFL Football Betting Preview
Denver Broncos (5-0) at San Diego Chargers (2-2)
Monday October 19th, 8:30PM Eastern betting line – San Diego -3.5, 44 O/U

Can the Denver Broncos Cinderella story continue? That may be the question everyone is asking around the NFL as the Broncos look to continue to pursuit of perfection this Monday night when they travel to take on the San Diego Chargers. Denver shocked everyone last weekend taking down the Patriots in overtime 20-17 to extend their unbeaten start to 5-0. The Broncos are now one of only two teams left in the AFC without a loss and they look to continue the impressive streak against the Chargers in a big Monday night battle.

San Diego has not been very impressive this season at 2-2 on the season. The Chargers who were overwhelming favorites to win the AFC West now trail Denver by 2.5 games and this game is a must win if they want to have any hopes of winning the division. San Diego has gotten the best of Denver over the last few season winning 5 of the last 6 meetings and they will be slight favorites to get the job done again this Monday.

Despite the Chargers recent success, this divisional rivalry has been split right down the middle at 7-7 in the last 14 meetings. Denver has not experienced the reduction in offense that most expected after losing Cutler through the trade with QB Kyle Orton. In fact, Orton has silenced critics by playing exceptionally well. Orton is completing 63% passing up from the 58.5% completion percentage a year ago for the Bears. Also after throwing 12 picks last year, Orton has thrown just one interception all year and has produced 7 passing touchdowns. There is little doubt that the Broncos quarterback has not disappointed and he will get his chance to shine on the big stage this Monday night.

WR Brandon Marshall has overcome a slow start and is starting to make more plays on the outside. Marshall has scored 4 touchdowns and caught 16 passes in the last 3 games after being held to only 7 catches and 0 scores during the first two games. Denver has not scored a lot of points this season, but they still need Marshall to present the big threat at the wide out position to keep defenses from loading the box. Rookie tailback Knowshon Moreno has taking over the role as the primary back and is developing into a solid runner. The Chargers have been flat horrible against the run allowing 151 yards per game, and if they let Moreno break through some holes in the defense he has the speed to turn into something big.

QB Phillip Rivers has played extremely well as expected for the Chargers this season, but the running game has disappointed in every way possible. The Chargers do not have a single player over 100 yards rushing this season and that is rather very shocking considering the names they have in the backfield. LaDainian Tomlinson has missed two games already as he remains injury prone and has been unsuccessful when he has been on the field. Tailback Darren Sproles became a household name in the playoffs last year when he set a team record against the Colts racking up 328 all-purpose yards in their opening round playoff win. Even with Tomlinson out, there was little fear at first with Sproles backing him up. However, Sproles has just 90 yards this season and has anything but electric as he was in last year’s playoff game.

The Chargers offense will rely heavily as they have all year on QB Phillip Rivers. Rivers ranks 2nd in the NFL with 311 passing yards per game and has also posted 1,245 yards through 4 games. However with the passing game moving the ball, Rivers has just 6 passing touchdowns on the season. The Chargers are averaging a respectable 25.6 points per game, but that is not going to get the job done if the defense does not play better. The Chargers defense has been anything but stellar this season allowing 25.5 points per game and over 365 yards each outing as well. The defense has not been able to get to the quarterback this year either, but the secondary does have 4 interceptions. The Chargers run defense will have to play better and if the secondary can force a turnover or two perhaps it can keep Denver from posting any big numbers on the scoreboard.

Pick – Denver +3.5

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