The Denver Broncos will try to maintain their mastery of divisional road games without their coach when they visit the San Diego Chargers. The Broncos are listed as the 3.5-point favorite against the host Chargers in the Thursday night matchup. The total is at 45.5 points.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Denver is 15-0 straight-up, and 14-1 against the spread, over its last 15 road games within the AFC West. Coach Gary Kubiak (migraine condition) will be replaced on the sideline by special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis. Starting QB Trevor Siemian (sprained left shoulder) is listed as questionable, but has been practicing.
The Broncos, who were shredded by the Atlanta Falcons in Week 5, are 14-2 SU in their last 16 games after a loss. Denver will need to better support Siemian (or Paxton Lynch) with a strong rushing game. Both RT Donald Stephenson and TE Virgil Green are returning from three-game absences, which should improve Denver’s run blocking.
Wideouts Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas will face an adjusted secondary since Chargers CB Brandon Flowers (concussion) and SS Jahleel Addae (collarbone) are inactive. Denver is struggling in pass protection (15 sacks in five games), and there could be opportunities for Chargers DE Joey Bosa to wreak havoc.
Chargers coach Mike McCoy might be fired if his team fails to win. Along with having blown two big leads this season, San Diego is 0-9 SU in their last nine games against teams with winning records and 3-12 ATS in their last 15 home games.
The Chargers, who have LG Orlando Franklin (ankle) and RT Joe Barksdale (foot) listed as questionable, will need to solve their problems with blocking OLB Von Miller. Miller has sacked San Diego’s Philip Rivers more than any other QB.
San Diego has the weapons to try to attack Denver in the middle of the field, negating the speed of Miller, OLB DeMarcus Ware and SS T.J. Ward. Running back Melvin Gordon, TE Hunter Henry and TE Antonio Gates are all capable receivers who will be working against Denver’s predominantly man-to-man scheme. On the outside, WR Travis Benjamin and WR Dontelle Inman might be hard-pressed, though, to outrun CB Chris Harris and CB Aqib Talib.
Denver’s vaunted defense is struggling against the run. Gordon could have a big night.
The total has gone under in five of the Broncos’ last seven games against the Chargers. The total has gone over in 19 of the Broncos’ last 26 games in October.