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Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos Point Spread - Pick

Los Angeles Chargers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Denver Broncos (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Week 1 NFL
Date/Time: Monday Night Football, September 11, 2017 at 10:20PM EST
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: LA +3.5/DEN -3.5
Over/Under Total: 43.5

The Los Angeles Chargers come to Mile High to take on the Denver Broncos in week one of the season on Monday Night Football. It's the late game on week one's dual-MNF card. It's the Bolts' first time back as the LA Chargers, as they face a familiar division foe in Denver. The Chargers are under new leadership and looking for some better breaks after a 5-11 season. Denver was 9-7, but missed the playoffs and with new head coach Vance Joseph, look to get back there this season.

The Chargers are hoping a new home and new leadership can get things pointed in the right direction. There are things to like about the team, but personnel issues have plagued their efforts in recent years. New head coach Anthony Lynn looks to get this team off to a fresh start and if the team can avoid a relentless rash of injuries, the Chargers have a roster that can do damage. It's a team with a wide range of possible manifestations. Last year, they were the only team to lose to the Browns and when things were on the line at the end of the game, they invariably folded.

Denver, meanwhile, has really poured a lot of effort to avoid receding back to the pack of also-rans after failing to make the playoffs after winning just three games in the second-half of the season. Coach Joseph looks to have accumulated quite a staff, with former San Diego head coach Mike McCoy brought back in to run the offense, along with big-name assistants Bill Musgrave and Geep Chryst.

Trevor Siemian will again start at QB for the Broncos, as the offense looks to make more of an impact this season. The coaching will manifest, but Siemian has to show growth in his second season at the helm. It's a critical season for the run-game, where CJ Anderson will need to show he's a part of the ground-game's future, along with second-year back Devontae Booker (out) and former star back Jamaal Charles. Less zone blocking and more power-schemes could open up the run game a bit, allowing Siemian to make a more meaningful connection with his receivers. In that area, they still have juice with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Up-front, they should be better after acquiring RG Ron Leary, T Menelik Watson, and first-round draft pick Garett Bolles. Max Garcia is at the other gurard, with Matt Paradis returning to center.

New Denver defensive coordinator Joe Woods has a lot of pieces with which to work, as Denver looks to maintain its status as a top defense in 2017. To aid in the run-stop, Domato Peko was brought in to beef up the front. Adam Gotsis mans an end, while the line gets some depth with rookie DeMarcus Walker and Derek Wolfe. In the middle, Brandon Marshall helps Von Miller maintain his status as one of the best players in football, but the loss of growing Shane Ray to injury hurts. The secondary is still stellar and has led the league in pass-defense for two seasons. Corners Chris Harris and Aqib Talib are tip-top, while safety is nailed down by Darian Stewart and Justin Simmons.


The Chargers look for a fresh start and even though turnovers have been an issue, Philip Rivers is still capable and looks to be less-handcuffed this season with better stuff around him. The second-year explosion in form from back Melvin Gordon last season was crucial and though he couldn't finish the season because of injury, his 2016 season was big for the Bolts. The line has been a constant thorn in the side of the offense, either not performing or ravaged by injuries. Russell Okung is a good left tackle, with Matt Slauson good on the inside. The right side is less-cemented, but having to play so many guys has given them some depth over the past few seasons. If healthy, they might be OK.

Rivers has a lot of weapons, but health has rendered his aerial attack moot in recent seasons. He won't have promising rookie Mike Williams right away. But Keenan Allen returns and when healthy, might just be one of the best in the business. Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams (questionable) offer interesting possibilities, as does a nice 1-2 punch at tight end with Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates. Not to belabor the point, but it all comes down to health for this side of the ball.

New Chargers' defensive coordinator Gus Bradley looks to get more out of a defense that has the potential to be quite good if they can be all they can be. Joey Bosa offers huge promise in the pass-rush category and along with OLB Melvin Ingram, it's a part of the "D" might shine this season. Corey Liuget and Brandon Mebane can stop the run up-front, as well. The middle will miss injured Denzel Perryman, but Jatavis Brown really came around last season. The secondary will be good if Jason Verrett can stay healthy at corner. Along with Casey Hayward, that can be an impactful corner-duo. SS Jahleel Addae and FS Tre Boston round out one of the Chargers' best units in years.

The Chargers are going to be pretty tough if the health of its players cooperates. And Denver also has big plans this season, hoping their run-game sparks a pedestrian offense from last season. Coach Joseph looks for more aggression and urgency and to restore chemistry with a locker-room that seemed fractured in 2016. We see part one of that story coming to pass on MNF, with the Broncos securing the win and cover.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Denver Broncos minus 3.5 points. Bet the Chargers vs. Broncos game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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