The Denver Broncos own bragging rights in the recent rivalry with the Los Angeles Chargers, winning 11 of the teams’ past 14 meetings straight up.
But Los Angeles is 3-1-1 against the spread over the past five meetings. Who’s the smart bet for Sunday afternoon’s AFC West bout between Denver and the Chargers?
NFL point spread: The Chargers opened as seven-point favorites; the total was 47 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. Line updates and matchup report.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 34.3-11.5 Chargers. NFL picks on every game.
Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or Spotify or atOddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news.
Why the Broncos Can Cover the Spread
The Broncos are trying to buck a two-game losing streak after falling to Houston Texans 19-17 in Week 9.
Denver fell down 7-0 to the Texans early and trailed 13-3 in the second quarter. They then rallied to go ahead 17-16 in the third. At the end, down by two, Denver drove 53 yards into field-goal range but usually reliable kicker Brandon McManus pushed a 51-yarder wide right.
On the day, the Broncos outgained Houston 348-290. But the only turnover of the game, a second-quarter fumble and an ill-advised field goal attempt near the end of the first half combined to cost Denver 10 points.
The Broncos have outgained each of their past three opponents, and outrushed two of them. Also, four of their six losses this season have come by a total of 16 points. Still, at 3-6 overall, Denver only trails the Cincinnati Bengals by two games in the battle for the second AFC wild-card spot.
Why the Chargers Can Cover the Spread
Los Angeles rides a six-game winning streak into this contest, after beating the Oakland Raiders on the road 20-6 last time out.
The Chargers spotted the Raiders the first three points of the game but led 10-3 at the half. Los Angeles then scored the first seven points out of the locker room and held on from there for the victory and the cover as a 10-point favorite.
The Chargers outgained Oakland 335-317, and 42 of the Raiders’ yards came on a fake punt. So Los Angeles has now outgained five of its past six opponents and outrushed four of its past six foes. It’s also 4-1 ATS its past five times out.
At 7-2 overall Los Angeles trails the first-place Kansas City by two games in the AFC West but also owns the No. 5 spot in the AFC playoff standings.
Smart Betting Pick
The Chargers are hot, but Denver has been keeping games close. Also, four of the past five meetings in this series have been decided by one score or less. Los Angeles should win this game outright, but the smart money bets the Broncos plus the points.
NFL Betting Trends
The Broncos are 5-2 SU and ATS in their past seven games on the road against the Chargers.
The total has gone under in the Broncos’ past five games on the road against the Chargers.
The total has gone under in seven of the Chargers’ past eight games against divisional opponents.
All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagramor head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.