Los Angeles Chargers vs Denver Broncos (1/8/23): Betting Odds, Prediction, Depth Chart

The playoff bound 10-6 Chargers are headed to Denver to take on the 4-12 Broncos. In the first game between these AFC West rivals, the Chargers won a close battle in overtime 19-16. The Chargers have improved a lot since that point of the season, but Justin Herbert still hasn’t won in Denver. Let’s check out if the odds and matchups favor Herbert in the altitude.

Los Angeles Chargers Vs. Denver Broncos Betting Odds

The Chargers are favored by 3 points over the Broncos and the over/under is starting at 40. Predicting the over/under is likely a toss up because the under has hit in the last 5 Chargers games, while the over has hit in the previous 4 Broncos games.

Los Angeles Chargers Vs. Denver Broncos Prediction

The Chargers are headed to the playoffs for the first time with Justin Herbert at QB. After beating the Rams 31-10 and winning the battle of L.A, the Chargers are riding a 4 game winning streak. The Chargers do plan to play their starters versus the Broncos because they want to secure the #5 seed. If they get the 5th seed, they’ll matchup against the Titans or Jaguars instead of the more experienced and talented Bengals, Ravens, Chiefs, or Bills.

With the starters playing, watch out to see if RB Austin Ekeler can reach double digit touchdowns on the season. Ekeler currently has 18 touchdowns on the season and is riding on a streak of at least one touchdown in each of the past 4 games. He also earned a couple other notable recognitions like AFC Offensive Player of the Week after recording 122 yards on just 10 carries and becoming the 5th back all time to notch 100 receptions on a season.

It’s been a year to forget for the Denver Broncos, and they’ve already made that clear when they fired first year coach Nathaniel Hackett prior to last week’s game versus the Chiefs. Against the Chiefs last week the Broncos offense finally showed some life, scoring the most point they have all season with 24. QB Russell Wilson made more plays throughout the game, including throwing for a touchdown and running for an additional two scores.

Make no mistake though, the Broncos are still run by their 6th ranked defense. The pass defense remains one of the best units and was highlighted this past week by Safety Justin Simmons who snatched his 6th interception of the season, a career high for him.

I’ll take the Chargers to win and the over to hit. The Chargers offense and defense are coming together at the perfect time of the year and will seriously want to avoid facing one of the top AFC teams in the wildcard.

Prediction: Chargers 27-20, Over hits

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Betting Trends

Chargers are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
Broncos are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Under is 5-0 in Chargers last 5 games overall.
Over is 4-0 in Broncos last 4 games overall.

Key Injuries

Los Angeles Chargers Injuries: Derwin James (Q), Rashawn Slater (Q), Christian Covington (Q),
Taylor Bertolet (O), Dustin Hopkins (Q)

Denver Broncos Injuries: Calvin Anderson (Q), D.J. Jones (Q), Baron Browning (Q), P.J. Locke (Q), Caden Sterns (Q), Damarri Mathis (Q), Jonas Griffith (Q), Lloyd Cushenberry (Q)

Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Chargers vs Broncos below.

Mike Williams vs Pat Surtain II

Despite the Chargers winning the week 6 matchup between these foes, Pat Surtain largely beat Mike Williams in their one on one matchups. Surtain went up against Williams throughout the game and limited him to 2 receptions for 17 yards. Both players are tops at their positions for each of their teams, but it was still surprising to see Surtain minimize Williams ability to secure the contested catches he normally takes advantage of versus other opponents.

Surtain is one of the few players who has earned the right to go up against top receivers one on one. He has frequently been cited as one of the top corners in the league, and was even named the Broncos Team MVP this week.

Broncos Offensive Line vs Chargers Pass Rush

Russell Wilson and Hackett have received much blame for the Broncos offensive woes this season, but the offensive line has not helped their case either. Wilson is not only the 2nd most sacked QB in the league, but the Broncos have given up 23 sacks in just the past 4 weeks. On the other side, the Chargers pass rush has gained steam and reached the QB more as of late. This includes LB Kyle Van Noy, who after having 0 sacks in his first 11 games, has a sack in each of the past 4 games, like this strip sack versus the Rams.

Los Angeles Chargers Depth Chart

QB: Justin Herbert
RB1: Austin Ekeler
RB2: Joshua Kelley
LWR: Mike Williams
RWR: Keenan Allen
SWR: Joshua Palmer
TE1:Gerald Everett

Denver Broncos Depth Chart

QB: Russell Wilson
RB1: Javonte Williams
RB2: hMelvin Gordon III
LWR: hCourtland Sutton
RWR: K.J. Hamler
SWR: Jerry Judy
TE1: hAlbert Okwuegbunam

A UCLA graduate, Eva is an experienced football writer who specializes in NFL game analysis and weekly storylines. In her free time you can usually find her cheering on the 49ers or watching the latest Josh Allen highlight clip.

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