Coming off their first loss of the season, the Broncos are about field-goal favorites on the road against the Chargers in the NFL’s Week 6 Thursday night offering. The morning of the game, most Las Vegas sports books are dealing Denver -3 (-120), with a total of 45.
Without the services of starting quarterback Trevor Siemian, Denver went down at home to the Falcons last week, 23-16, a score not indicative of how lopsided the game was – Atlanta outgained the Broncos by 105 yards and took a 20-3 lead into the fourth quarter.
It’s hard to pin the loss directly on Siemian’s absence, as rookie Paxton Lynch was serviceable, going 23-for-35 for 223 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and the Falcons were able to move the ball effectively against the Denver D. Lynch, though, did cough up the football twice.
The Broncos will be missing coach Gary Kubiak in San Diego, as he’s dealing with a complex migraine. Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis takes over, but the coaching change has no effect on the betting line.
The Chargers are their own interesting case this season. They are 1-4 (3-2 ATS), and all four losses have come after blowing big leads. Their string of epic collapses even caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal, which on Wednesday wrote about the infinitesimal chances of a team losing four games in that fashion.
Computer-based handicappers don’t put much weight into turnovers and shanked punts, so if they think the overall betting market is factoring the flukiness into the point spread, they’ll be interested in San Diego in certain spots.
But Thursday night’s number, if it stays a 3 or below, is a manageable one from the favorite’s perspective. Denver has owned this series, winning nine of the last 10 games against the Chargers and covering the spread in six of them.
Regarding the total, San Diego has put up 30-plus points in three of their five games, 27 and 22 in the other two. Denver’s D, though, may be the best in the league, so there may be a different story to tell Thursday.
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