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Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers: Preview and Picks

Let’s Ride

Your crack squad of squares and saps has emerged from the basement of the wager world to provide our loyal readership (all 180 of you) with some quirky takes for this Monday Night affair. The Denver Broncos face the Los Angeles Chargers in an AFC West primetime game that nobody asked for.

Russell Wilson is set for another chance to prove that he’s still the quarterback we’re used to seeing in Seattle and Justin Herbert hopes to return to form after battling an injury.

We fared well in our Sunday picks, which you can find here (John) and here (Nate and Jack). We’ve all hit a groove this season and plan to continue stirring everyone’s drinks as you come back to the well for more winners.

Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of October 16. 

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-4.5) (o/u 45.5)

Kickoff: 8:15 pm EST on ESPN

That’s That, Metric Man

Jack: I’m turning into a metrics junkie. Here we go with the stats again.

At first glance, this looks like an easy pick: take the Chargers with a healthy Herbert and watch the Broncos implode as they field their anemic offense led by a QB who can’t see over the lineman. The Chargers were my pick to win the division this year, but the injuries have hurt the team and they’re missing some key players on both sides of the ball for this game. I don’t trust Los Angeles to score on a Broncos defense that has consistently been in the top 5 in every category.

The Stats

This Broncos defense can play. Football Outsiders ranks them 4th in total DVOA for defense, 2nd in DVOA for passing, and 15th in DVOA for rushing. They’ve allowed 80 points (4th), 883 passing yards (1st), 3 passing touchdowns (2nd), 2 rushing touchdowns (5th), and 3 red zone touchdowns (1st). They’ve forced 17 sacks (4th) and 9 fumbles (1st). However, they haven’t played an elite offense yet and they gave up 33 points to the Raiders. The stats could look worse as some better offenses start testing the unit.

If the Chargers are rolling, the Broncos could be exposed. The Chargers play at a very fast clip (26.33 seconds/play), but they rely on a pass heavy offense to move the ball down the field and get into the end zone before you’re back from the kitchen where you struggled to open the salsa jar and then lost hearing in your right ear because you jogged to the couch to catch the extra point kick.

I think the Chargers struggle to score with the injuries and the Broncos keep it close. Russell Wilson has to figure it out at some point. If you’re a little gun shy, take the under at 45.5. The under has been good to everyone this season. If you’re feeling groovy, go with the Broncos. They can hang. Pick: Broncos +4.5. Under Total Points +/- 45.5.

Best Bet Alert!

John: Who on earth can bet on this pathetic Broncos offense on the road? To cover, the Bolts need to score what, 10 points? Why are the Broncos on prime time every week to subject us to three field goals a game? Please make it go away. Do you think Herbert can score 10 points at home?

Pick Bolts -4.5 

Blame it All on My Roots

Nate: I hate the Eagles.


  • Jack Fredericks, Editor

    Jack Fredericks is the editor of Godzilla Wins. He has a M.A. Literature and the Environment and a M.A. in Teaching. He covers the NFL, college football, and the NBA. He combines his unique perspective with advanced metrics to provide robust analysis for your enjoyment. Twitter: @JohnMattFred

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