Finally, a Thursday night game worth tuning into tonight. By now you are aware of how much I despise these matchups, but tonight will probably be the best of the season. It isn’t saying much, but the Chargers are in a must win game to stay active in the playoff hunt, and the Broncos are looking to fend off the Patriot to capture 1st and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. I am so used to pointless games tonight, it will feel a little refreshing. My last loss was actually last week in that Texans vs. Jaguars game. I haven’t had many losses this season, so that small loss wasn’t too tough to take. After last Thursday, we bounced back going 2-0 on Sunday and then having no problem cashing the Bears on MNF. Let’s look for another easy, stress free winner tonight as I try and get you guys some shopping money for Christmas.
The Broncos are coming off yet another blowout victory, this time over the Tennessee Titans. They are one of the only teams I’ll have a bet on, are losing substantially early, and am still confident they’ll come back and cover a big spread. Needless to say the Broncos erased an early deficit to comeback win the game and cover the -12. Kind of a similar spread we have this week, as they are at home for consecutive weeks against the Chargers. This will be their first meeting of the season, where the Chargers came up short in a 28-20 loss at home. It wasn’t a bad effort for San Diego, as they hung around with the Broncos for the majority of the game. They’ll have it a little tougher tonight, having to travel from California to Denver for a game in the bitter cold. Say what you want about Peyton Manning playing in the cold, but the Chargers would much rather be playing in warmer temperatures in San Diego.
Chargers vs. Broncos Betting Odds:
San Diego Chargers -10.5(-110)
@Denver Broncos -10.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Chargers vs. Broncos Pick:
Peyton Manning answered some of the critics last week, putting up monster numbers in cold weather. There are many people that think Manning can’t win in the cold, and while there is some merit to it, I am more of the believer that it has more to do with the wind than cold. Wind often accompanies chilly weather, and with Manning getting older and the arm strength beginning to decrease, the wind does play a role. Nevertheless, I would still want Manning on my team over several other quarterbacks, if not all the other ones in the NFL. Manning looked sharp against the Titans last week, dissecting them 397 and 4 touchdowns. It was another big day for Eric Decker as well, with him starting to heat up, it’s imperative that it continues because of the status of Wes Welker. Welker will sit this one out, so Decker will have even more responsibility. The Broncos are best served when Welker is on the field, clearly, but there are still an array of talented weapons around Manning to toss to. Tight end Julius Thomas will be in the lineup, so he is a welcome addition after sitting out for a few weeks. He hauled in 5 yards for 37 yards and a touchdown a week ago. It was just 37 yards, but his presence was felt. The Broncos scored 51 points last week, the third time they have scored more than 50 points, and the fifth time they have eclipsed 40. What we have is a team with the Broncos that are only averaging 466 yards and 39.6 points per game.
The Chargers were able to limit them to only 28 points in a losing cause, but doing it twice against Broncos, and now on the road should be difficult. The Chargers hold one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, allowing 267 yards a game for 28th in the NFL. The defense is actually allowing only 22.4 points a game, which is a little better than average, so when you look at it from that point of view they haven’t been bad. Part of the reason they have been able to keep the points allowed low is because of their offense. The Chargers like to hold on to the ball and drag out long scoring drives. They have sort of in a way lost their big play potential with the departure of receiver Vincent Jackson. However, I see the Broncos getting off to a fast start in this one. San Diego does not want to get into a shootout, but I think the Broncos will force them into one. The Charger offense is averaging 400 yards a game, 4th in the NFL, so yes, they do have the horses to keep up with Denver, at least for a little while.
The Broncos’ secondary was getting worked once again last week, as Ryan Fitzpatrick ended up having a decent day at the office. There clearly aren’t any issues with the offense, but the defense has had some issues to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, Denver can still win a Super Bowl with this modus operandi. I mean look at the Packers when they won the Super Bowl, their defense was non-existent there. The NFL has changed and teams can now get by with a soft defense, but an elite offense. Even the Ravens who won it all last season didn’t have a typical Ravens like defense but still emerged victorious in the end. After an okay win over the Chargers in their last meeting, a game in which the Broncos scored only 28 points, I like them to open things up here at home. Both quarterbacks have had the opportunity to see each other’s defenses once, so I think we’ll see some more scoring this time around. Taking the OVER is never a terrible bet in Denver games, and that’s what we’ll be doing for Thursday night.
PICK: OVER 56.5(-110)