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Broncos vs. Chargers: NFL Week 17 betting odds, preview, and pick

Profile Picture: Dan Halverson

December 28th, 2021

It was a terrible Week 16 for two teams in the AFC West, as the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos both suffered big defeats to put themselves behind the eight ball heading into the final two weeks of the season.

They now face each other in Week 17 in what becomes a de facto elimination game. Let’s take a closer look at the game.

Sun, January 2 2022, 9:05 PM

LA Chargers

Moneyline

-250

Spread

-4.5

Total

O 45

DEN Broncos

Moneyline

+200

Spread

+4.5

Total

U 45

The Broncos have an incredible phenomenon occurring this year, as they are 7-8 straight up and also 7-8 against the spread. They have covered in each win and have failed to cover in each loss. In losing to the Las Vegas Raiders last week, they fell to last place in the division and now must win out to have any hope of the postseason.

The Chargers feel like they’re having a much better season than their division rivals but after falling to the Houston Texans last week, they are now just 8-7 straight up and 7-8 against the spread. Playing at home in this matchup, they are 4.5-point favorites with a total of 45 points.

Quarterback mismatch

The Broncos have played most of the season with Teddy Bridgewater as their starting quarterback, but he suffered a concussion and injury in Week 15 that forced him into an overnight stay at the hospital.

He stayed off the field in Week 16, and there should be plenty of hesitation to rush him back too soon. He’s been banged up all year, he is in the first year of his contract, and sitting in 13th place in the conference, the chances of any prolonged postseason success are limited.

The next option is Drew Lock, who has not looked good in his appearances in 2021. He was 15-of-22 passing against the Raiders but had no touchdowns, and the team scored just 13 points against a mediocre Raiders defense. For the season, he has just a 59.1 quarterback rating.

On the other side is last year’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. Herbert is having an excellent sophomore season as well, ranking sixth in the NFL in EPA/play behind superstars like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Patrick Mahomes.

The game isn’t played in a vacuum between quarterbacks, as evidenced by the Texans’ Davis Mills winning by double digits against Herbert on Sunday, but this is a clear mismatch at the most important position.

Broncos vs. Chargers injury report

Denver BroncosLos Angeles Chargers
QB Teddy Bridgewater: Questionable (concussion)
C Corey Linsley: Questionable (illness)
C Lloyd Cushenberry III: Questionable (illness)
TE Donald Parham Jr.: Out (concussion)
LB Kenny Young: Questionable (concussion)
S Derwin James: Questionable (hamstring)

Broncos and Chargers betting trends

  • Broncos are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games
  • Broncos are 2-5 ATS versus teams with a winning record
  • The Under is 10-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings at Los Angeles
  • The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings between these teams

Eyes on the injury report

The Chargers have definitely been a better team in 2021, but they’ve had some startling losses, including last week’s against the Texans.

This week, they have several players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and it will be important to keep a close eye on things as the week develops.

The Chargers are the play at -5.5 if they field a mostly full and healthy roster against a Lock-led Broncos team. But if protocols force multiple players, including starting center Corey Linsley, to miss the game, then this line could easily adjust late in the week and give the Broncos an edge.

Keep a close eye on things in this game before you place any big wagers, unless you’ve got an inside scoop on the status of several key players on each roster.

Score prediction: Chargers 23, Broncos 18

NFL Week 17 pick: Under 45

Broncos vs. Chargers Pick powered by The Quant Edge

Our predictive engine is calling for the Chargers to win outright.


 

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