Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Chargers Matchup Preview (1/2/22): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Chargers Matchup Preview (1/2/22)

The Denver Broncos travel to SoFi Stadium this weekend to take on the Los Angeles Chargers in an AFC West Divisional matchup that effectively decides the fate of this season for both teams. Both teams remain in the AFC Playoff Picture entering week 17, though the Broncos face a less than one percent chance of claiming a spot, while the Chargers have a 37 percent chance of snagging a wild card spot. The Broncos come into the weekend off a four point loss to the Raiders in Vegas, while the Chargers come in off a 12 point loss to the Texans in Houston. With a win on Sunday, the Chargers can increase their chances of making the playoffs to 54 percent, all other things held constant. If they make it, it would be the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2018 and third since 2009. The Broncos and Chargers meet for the second time this season with the Broncos winning the first matchup 28-13 on November 28th.

Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Chargers Betting Odds

Betting Trends

Broncos are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games on fieldturf
Broncos are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games following a ATS loss
Broncos are 8-18 ATS in their last 26 vs. AFC West
Chargers are 19-41-1 ATS in their last 61 home games
Chargers are 6-13-1 ATS in their last 20 games as a home favorite
Chargers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games on fieldturf

The Pick

If the Chargers were bad at defending the run before Joey Bosa got COVID-19, they’re historically bad against the run without the former number 3 pick up front. The Texans, who rank last in the NFL in rushing yards per game, put up 189 yards on this Chargers team last weekend with the likes of Rex Burkhead and Royce Freeman in the offensive backfield. The tandem of Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams in the Denver offensive backfield is significantly better than that Texans tandem, and Teddy Bridgewater is better than Davis Mills at quarterback. This Denver defense has historically had Justin Herbert’s number, holding the Chargers to under 17 points in two of their last three meetings. The big thing to keep an eye on in the leadup to this game is Teddy Bridgewater’s health. If it looks like there’s any chance Drew Lock might play, I’d bet the Chargers. Otherwise, I love the Broncos in this one.

My Prediction: Broncos win and cover 31-27, the over hits (o45)

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TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, January, 2
Time: 4:05 PM ET
Location: SoFi Stadium — Inglewood, CA
TV Coverage: CBS

Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Chargers Live Stream

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Injuries

Denver Broncos: G Graham Glasgow (Ankle) O, WR KJ Hamler (Torn ACL) O, ILB Josey Jewell (Torn Pectoral) O, C Lloyd Cushenberry (COVID-19) O, ILB Kenny Young (Concussion) Q, WR DaeSean Hamilton (Torn ACL) O
Los Angeles Chargers: DE Joey Bosa (COVID-19) O, C Corey Linsley (COVID-19) O, SS Derwin Jones Jr. (Hamstring) Q, OT Bryan Bulaga (Back) O, CB Chris Harris (COVID-19), WR Mike Williams (COVID-19) O, CB Michael Davis (COVID-19) O, FS Nasir Adderley (COVID-19) O, ILB Drue Tranquil (leg) Q, WR Jalen Guyton (COVID-19) O

Denver Broncos Analysis

While this may be the end of the road for the Broncos as far as their playoff hopes are concerned, there is still a lot at stake over the next two weeks for Head Coach Vic Fangio and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. If the Broncos end the season with poor showings against the Chiefs and Chargers, then GM George Paton will have an easy decision to make regarding Vic Fangio’s status as Head Coach in 2022. Similarly, Teddy Bridgewater, who becomes a free agent this offseason, is looking to land a 20 million dollar a year deal with one of the many teams desperate for a quarterback in free agency. It’ll be a lot easier for Bridgewater’s agent to sell the QB to teams if he’s coming off back-to-back wins against divisional opponents in December than if he gets rolled by Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes. This is all assuming Bridgewater is able to clear concussion protocols this week.

With that in mind, the story for this Broncos team on the field continues to be their defense. Denver ranks sixth in overall defense, allowing just 320.9 yards a game, and fifth in passing defense where they allow 210.7 yards a game. They are tied for fourth in red zone defense, allowing touchdowns on just 50 percent of opponent red zone drives, and lead the NFL in scoring defense, holding teams to 17.3 points a game. This Denver defense has struggled to get off the field on third down, however, giving up 5.6 third down conversions a game — tied for 28th in the NFL.

On offense, this team has found some rhythm in the running game behind the two-headed monster of Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams. Both backs average more than 4 yards a carry and 117 yards a game. Against a Charger defense that let Rex Burkhead rush for 149 yards, watch for these two guys to get a lot of action on Sunday — especially with Teddy coming back from concussion protocols.

Denver Broncos Depth Chart

QB: Teddy Bridgewater
RB1: Javonte Williams
RB2: Melvin Gordon III
RB3: Mike Boone
WR1: Tim Patrick
WR2: Jerry Jeudy
WR3: Cortland Sutton
TE1: Noah Fant

Los Angeles Chargers Analysis

For a team that seemed like a sure fire wild card bid just three weeks ago, the Chargers find themselves fighting for their season after back-to-back losses against the Chiefs and Texans. Head Coach Brandon Staley has come under fire multiple times this season for opting to go for it on fourth down in his own territory, while this run defense has cemented themselves as one of the worst in the NFL. Despite this, they still have a fair shot at making the playoffs if they can lock up wins in their next two games, both of which they should be favored in.

Their offense remains one of the best in the NFL, averaging 390 yards a game behind a passing attack that ranks fourth in the NFL. Justin Herbert trails only Tom Brady in passing yards this season, putting up 4,394 yards on 7.6 yards an attempt. Their rushing offense has been relatively average, ranking 18th in the NFL on 109.7 yards a game.

The Chargers rank 21st in overall defense, allowing 363.8 yards a game. Against the pass, they rank 12th overall in yards per game and 11th in opposing quarterback completion percentage. Against the run, they rank 29th in the NFL, allowing over 140 yards a game on 4.7 yards a carry. No team in the NFL allows more first downs in the run game than the Chargers, and this weeked they will be without one of their top run stoppers in Joey Bosa.

Los Angeles Chargers Depth Chart

QB: Justin Herbert
RB1: Justin Jackson
RB2: Joshua kelley
WR1: Maurice Ffrench
WR2: Keenan Allen
WR3: Joshua Palmer
TE1: Jared Cook

Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Chargers Daily Fantasy Pick

Without Joey Bosa, this Chargers run defense is as bad as any unit in the NFL. Broncos RB Javonte Williams has gotten a lot of love in fantasy profiles recently, often overshadowing his teammate Melvin Gordon. Coming off a game against Vegas that saw Gordon underperform, I like the seventh year RB to bounce back this weekend against his former team. Gordon is currently averaging 54.6 yards a game on 4.2 yards a carry. Expect the Broncos’ game plan to cater to both Gordon and Williams, allowing him to get well over that threshold this weekend. The Broncos RB is currently listed at $6,200 on DraftKings and $6,100 on FanDuel.

As a central Ohio native and lifelong Cleveland sports fan, Patrick Monnin has lived the emotional rollercoaster every sports fan knows all too well. Whether it be the Browns or the Buckeyes, he loves watching football and going on nice long runs in the afternoon. In the local Chicago area, where he now lives, he can often be found making the case for LeBron James as the greatest basketball player ever.

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