The Los Angeles Chargers (7-2) host the Denver Broncos (3-6) on Sunday afternoon in an important AFC West showdown. Kickoff is set for 4:05 PM EST on November 18th at the StubHub Center and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Chargers listed as 7-point home favorites. That line has remained the same after early betting, as Los Angeles is currently available at -7. The total for this matchup is 46.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 11 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Chargers vs Broncos Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Denver has now lost six out of their last seven games after a tough 19-17 defeat in Week 9 at the hands of the Houston Texans. The Broncos offense has really let them down as of late, scoring 23 or less points in four out of their last five games. QB Case Keenum has struggled, as he has thrown almost as many touchdowns (11) as interceptions (10). Denver also can’t seem to decide who to give the most touches too out of the backfield, as Phillip Lindsay appeared to have won the starting job before rushing for just 60 yards against a tough Texans defense. It was announced this week that head coach Vance Joseph planned on “riding the hot hand” from week to week, as Royce Freeman and Devontae Booker may also receive more carries in future weeks depending on their in-game performance. WR Emmanuel Sanders still hasn’t had a breakout game since the departure of longtime teammate Demaryius Thomas, who was traded to Houston at the deadline. Overall, Denver is currently averaging 22.8 points per game (18th overall) on 377.1 total yards of offense.
The Broncos have been fairly average on defense this year, giving up an average of 23.7 points per game (15th overall) on 364.0 yards of total offense. They have had the most trouble attempting to stop the run, as opponents are currently averaging 131.6 rushing yards per game (26th overall).
Los Angeles improved to 7-2 on the season last weekend after a 20-6 victory over the hapless Oakland Raiders. The Chargers certainly weren’t their sharpest on the offensive side of the ball, as they actually scored less points against a brutal Oakland defense than their average so far this season of 26.7 points per game (10th overall). However, they still did enough to get the job done and keep pace with the red-hot Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. QB Philip Rivers has played well this season, throwing for 2,459 yards and 21 touchdowns in just nine games. He certainly has had a ton of help from RB Melvin Gordon III, who has racked up over 1,100 total yards and 11 touchdowns so far this year. As a whole, Los Angeles is currently averaging 392.1 yards of total offense per game (8th overall).
The Chargers have also looked quite good on the other side of the ball, allowing opponents to score an average of just 20.7 points per game (8th overall) on 356.6 yards of total offense. They are currently at about the league average against both the pass and the run, ranking 17th and 18th overall respectively.
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Los Angeles -7
It is pretty clear that these two long-time AFC West rivals are going in different directions, as the Chargers are in the midst of a battle with Kansas City for first place in the division while Denver is just trying to stay out of the basement. The Broncos have not been playing good football as of late, especially against AFC West opponents where they are just 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall. Los Angeles is one of the better offensive teams in the league, as it appears that Melvin Gordon III has kicked it into another gear this year while Rivers and WR Keenan Allen look as solid as ever.
Click on the link for more free NFL picks from our experts on staff.
The Chargers are a very solid 5-1 ATS in their last six games against teams with a losing record. They are also a perfect 6-0 ATS over their last six games in the month of November and 4-1 ATS in their last five game against AFC opponents. Denver is just 5-15-1 ATS over their last 21 games overall and 1-4 ATS over their last five games in Week 11.
While some might expect a strong performance by a rejuvenated Broncos team, it is important to note that Denver is just 1-3-1 ATS over their last five games following a bye week. I really feel as though they are going to continue to spiral downwards in the second half of the season, as they have looked well below average on both sides of the ball through their first nine games of the season. Los Angeles knows they need to keep winning if they hope to catch up to the Chiefs, so I’m going to roll with the home favorite in this spot. I’ll lay the touchdown, as the Chargers should be able to grind out a cover on Sunday afternoon.