While the Los Angeles Chargers look for their first win after the dismissal of head coach Brandon Staley, the Denver Broncos are still making a final playoff push after suffering a tough loss. There will be talent all over the field on both sides, like Justin Herbert, Courtland Sutton and more, so let’s dig into some Chargers vs. Denver Broncos player prop picks & odds for the (12/31/23) matchup. v
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Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos Player Prop Picks
The Denver receivers should be able to find plenty of space in a porous Chargers secondary, while running the ball might be the best option for Los Angeles in this one.
Jarrett Stidham Over 196.5 Passing Yards (-115)
Stidham is a backup for a reason, but he’s shown an ability to put up some numbers in a pinch. He’s started a pair of games in his career, and cracked this number in both, highlighted by a 365-yard performance against none other than the 49ers last year. It was an impressive performance, as he almost pulled the Raiders to a big upset, and Denver will be looking for more of the same from him.
It’s not hard to imagine him playing at least as well as Russell Wilson has been. Wilson’s numbers have been fine on the surface, but his play has been mediocre at best. For instance, he’s thrown three touchdowns and no interceptions across his past two games, but he’s committed four turnover worthy plays compared to just two big time throws.
Wilson’s PFF passing grade has been at a 62.3 or lower in three of his past four games, with the one positive outlier being a matchup with a horrible Chargers defense – the same one Stidham is about to face. They rank 29th in the NFL by DVOA, and 27th in both EPA and success rate allowed.
Essentially every non-running quarterback they’ve recently faced has thrown for over 200 yards, with the exception of Bailey Zappe in a disgusting Patriots offense. Stidham should be fine accumulating volume, especially as he tries to keep pace with a solid Los Angeles pass offense.
Javonte Williams Anytime Touchdown (+140)
Williams seems to be finally finding his groove around the goal line; he’s rushed for two touchdowns across the past two weeks, his first couple of ground scores this year. One of those was against the Chargers just a few weeks ago, and we can expect him to repeat the feat once more this week.
The Broncos will rely on the run game in the red zone while Jarrett Stidham gets acclimated to the starting role, especially with fantastic goal line target Courtland Sutton ruled out for the game. Against a Chargers defensive front that ranks 25th by adjusted line yards, they should be able to get a good push at the line of scrimmage.
The metrics on Denver’s rushing offense are actually looking pretty good; they’re up to 11th in rushing DVOA, 10th in success rate and 12th in adjusted line yards. The LA defense ranks 20th in red zone efficiency, with just over 56% of opponent drives inside the 20 turning into touchdowns. If Denver gets down around the goal line, they should have a pretty good chance to punch it in; be ready for Williams to be the one to do it.
Austin Ekeler Over 43.5 Rushing Yards (-115)
Ekeler’s demise this season has been pretty well documented, and we’ve made some cash by fading him but it’s time to back his rushing yardage prop this week. He’s going up against a Denver run defense that grades 30th in DVOA, 23rd in EPA, and 26th in success rate allowed. Those numbers have been dragged down by a historically-bad start, but it’s still far from an elite ground defense.
In the last head-to-head matchup between these two teams a couple of weeks ago, Ekeler ran for 51 yards on an efficient 10 carries. That was an Easton Stick start as well, so it’s a fairly clean “apples to apples” comparison even as the Chargers’ QB situation has been so dynamic this year.
Ekeler most recently ran for 65 yards on 15 carries against the Bills, a somewhat stronger run defense. Those 15 carries came despite an L.A. loss, in which the Chargers rarely led, so in what should be a fairly neutral game script, he could have a similar workload. With Stidham still getting comfortable on the other side, the Broncos shouldn’t pull away, so running the ball will be on the table all game long.
Cameron Dicker Over 6.5 Points (+107)
I often say that these props aren’t about the kicker, but rather the situation. While that’s still true in this case to a degree, let’s take a moment to recognize the excellent campaign Cameron Dicker is having.
He’s been flawless on extra point attempts, as he was as a rookie last year as well. Dicker is nearly perfect with just one miss on 25 field goal attempts this season, with his only miss coming from beyond 50 yards, a range from which he’s hit five of six kicks.
Dicker was a perfect 5-for-5 last week from the field, including four kicks of over 40 yards. He averages 7.1 points per game, well in range for this prop, and there’s reason to believe he could be doing even more.
Easton Stick has slowed down what was a good Chargers red zone offense. The unit has scored touchdowns on 62.8% of red zone possessions, a figure that dips down to 57.14% over the last three games and an ugly 33.3% against the Bills.
This week should be more of the same, and Dicker will make the most of his opportunities en route to another productive Sunday. As long as the Chargers score one touchdown to give him the chance to kick an extra point, all he needs is a pair of field goal opportunities to cash this prop.