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Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers Point Spread - Pick

Denver Broncos (3-2 SU, 2-2-1 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (2-4 SU, 2-3-1 ATS)
Week 7 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 4:25PM EST
Where: StubHub Center, Carson, California
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: DEN +1.5/LAC -1.5
Over/Under Total: 42

The Denver Broncos come into Carson to take on the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday in AFC West action. The Chargers have overcome an 0-4 start to post two straight victories. Both wins came on the road, the second one being a 17-16 win over the Raiders on Sunday. They now return home where they still haven't won this season, as they host the Denver Broncos. The Broncos came off a bye looking very flat, losing at home to the winless Giants, 23-10, on Sunday night. They look to get on the right track again this week.

The Broncos are facing an opponent with which they are familiar this season, having beaten the Chargers in week one at home, 24-21. It was 24-7 midway through the last quarter, before the Chargers added a few late scores. No one on offense really had a great game, though Philip Rivers threw three TDs, while Trevor Siemian had two. Both men had picks on the day. Denver can't expect an easy win with the Chargers in winning form the past two weeks. Look for Denver to play better than they did last week.

Everyone was expecting Denver to wipe out a depleted Giants team on Sunday night and it never came close to happening. The Giants' defense had a big say on matters, while the Denver offense couldn't get moving. Siemian, in particular, was pretty bad, throwing into coverage and missing open guys. He threw a pick-six to Janoris Jenkins and hurt himself going for the tackle, briefly replaced by Brock Osweiler. Chemistry seemed off, players were at-odds, and the defense gave up way more big plays than what is customary.

The Broncos offense is a hit-and-miss unit. There have been erratic results this season. They beat the Cowboys by 25, then lost to the Bills by ten, beat the Raiders by six, and lost to the Giants at home by 13. The offense is a big part of this inconsistency. Some of Siemian's worst games are when he goes for a lot of yardage. He had 376 yards on Sunday, but it didn't amount to much and the two picks were costly. Both CJ Anderson and Jamaal Charles were stymied in the run-game. Demaryius Thomas had a big statistical day, though he seemed hurt and was seen limping, and Devontae Booker was good catching passes out of the backfield, but some injuries could be costly. Sanders and Thomas are both banged-up and T Menelik Watson suffered a calf injury.

The defense for Denver wasn't bad on Sunday. They allowed some big plays to a Giants' offense that was thought to be very depleted. But 7 of the Giants' 23 points came on a pick-six. With what they generally give up in terms of yardage and points, most teams would lose very few games. They weren't as tough against the run as they normally are, giving up a 117-yard performance to Orleans Darkwa. Von Miller had a sack and the sterling Denver secondary held Manning to 128 yards passing. Denver had it easy in the first 6 weeks of the season, playing just one game away from home. We'll see how this defense and the rest of the team holds up with this being their first of three straight road games.

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The Chargers certainly took advantage of a sucked-dry Giants team and then an off-key Raiders team on Sunday to get their first two wins of the season. But when a winless team wins two straight on the road, you don't get too picky. They're really not as bad as their record is and if not for some early-season kicking woes, they could be right in the thick of things. They still have a potent air-attack, a difference-making back in Melvin Gordon, and a good secondary with playmakers on defense.

Philip Rivers threw for 268 yards on Sunday, hitting TE Hunter Henry with some big passes, as well as Gordon, who had 9 catches and a receiving touchdown to go with his 83 yards and a TD on the ground. For a change, Rivers had a clean pocket with which to work. And this offense could get better, as rookie Mike Williams made his debut at receiver and looks to be a bigger part of things moving forward. And while WR Keenan Allen has been making contributions, he has been a bit quiet and could start chipping in with more production in coming weeks.

There are some things to like about the Chargers' defense. They've been able to overcome some key injuries and still thrive in spots. The secondary has been playing well, led by Casey Hayward, Trevor Williams, Jahleel Addae, and Tre Boston. The pass-rushing duo of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa have combined already for 13 sacks. They could be a little better against the run, as some teams have feasted on the Chargers this season in that area.

This is a tough one between two teams that can play with a wide range of form from week to week or even within the same game. The first game showed these teams match up fairly well and another close game should ensue this week. Even though Denver has the higher-ranked defense, I see their offense having the more-difficult time between the two teams this week. I'm taking the Chargers.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Los Angeles Chargers minus 1.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Broncos vs. Chargers game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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