Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers kicks off Sunday (12/10/23) at 4:25 p.m. EST in Los Angeles as a home game for the Chargers. Get Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers predictions and best bets below as our best bet is on the Broncos +3 in what is a bounce back spot for Denver.
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers Prediction & Best Bet
After skating by as one of the luckiest teams in the NFL the past few games, reality finally caught up with the Broncos in a loss to the Houston Texans. Turnover luck made a massive swing in the other direction at the Broncos demise as Russell Wilson threw three back breaking interceptions, including one in the red zone that sealed their fate. They now take on a far weaker defense against the Chargers, a unit that has found no source of success all season long.
It’s not just bad for the Chargers and their defense, it’s downright horrific. Take out their last game against the Patriots and opposing offenses have had no issue with putting points on the board and moving the ball with ease. The Chargers defense as a whole ranks 28th in Def DVOA, 27th in Def Pass DVOA and 22nd in Def Rush DVOA. A big part of their below average marks is their inability to limit down field success, ranking 26th in Def Pass Success Rate and 23rd in Def Rush Success Rate.
Their inability to stop the run is especially intriguing as that is an area of the offense that the Broncos have thrived in. Especially with Russell Wilson coming off of a poor performance, potentially putting more emphasis in establishing the run to help open up the rest of the field. The Broncos ground game currently ranks 12th in Rush DVOA, 10th in Rush Success Rate, and 13th in Rush EPA. Better yet, their offensive line has an advantage in the trenches, getting to get a push back on a Chargers front four who ranks 23rd in Adjusted Line Yards.
On the other end, a much-improved Broncos defense gets the benefit of limiting a one-dimensional Chargers offense. Opposing defenses have caught on quickly on how to slow them down, selling out in coverage and daring a regressing Austin Ekeler to beat them on the ground. That has yet to be seen as the Chargers ground game has collapsed to 25th in Rush DVOA, 32nd in Rush Success Rate and 27th in Rush EPA.
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers Prediction & Best Bet: Broncos +3
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers Betting Odds
Both teams are coming off pretty ugly performances with vastly different results. The Chargers struggled against the anemic Patriots while the Broncos fell back to reality. That has led to oddsmakers reopening the spread at -3 in the Chargers favor, sitting at the key number of three. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the number, keeping the spread the same since the opener.
As for the total, oddsmakers believed points would be scored at a moderate pace as they opened the number at 45.5. Bettors believe that points will come at a slightly slower pace by betting the under down to as low as 44. The under steam is intriguing with the Broncos offense in a bounce back spot, yet the Chargers struggles make it tough to gauge how they will do their part.
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers Key Injuries
While the Broncos are fairly healthy, the Chargers injury report is in a sad state of affairs as their starting lineup on both sides of the ball are still without Mike Williams, Joshua Palmer, and Joey Bosa who are all still on IR.
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers Key Matchups
Can Russell Wilson bounce back and find success through the air?
Russell Wilson Vs. Chargers Secondary
With the benefit of his ground game opening up passing lanes on the outside, Russell Wilson is in a great position to bounce back and find success through the air. Before last week, Wilson has been making massive strides with his play by ranking as a top-10 QB per PFF grades.
RUSSELL WILSON MOON BALL TO COURTLAND SUTTON
— PFF (@PFF) December 3, 2023
He now gets the chance to shred a Chargers defense who ranks 27th in Def Pass DVOA, 26th in Def Pass Success Rate, and 23rd in Def Pass EPA. When not getting to the quarterback with an impressive pass rushing unit, their secondary has struggled in coverage and have allowed opposing quarterbacks to pick them apart for chunks at a time.