At SoFi Stadium, the Los Angeles Chargers (-4.5, 45.5) take on the Denver Broncos to close out Week 6 of the NFL season (ESPN, 8:15 ET).
We have one more chance to bet on professional football if we so want after a thrilling Sunday of action. Which plays are your analysts’ favorites, then?
The top plays are provided by betting analyst Anita Marks, ESPN analyst Seth Walder, fantasy and sports betting analysts André Snellings and Eric Moody, and Aaron Schatz from Football Outsiders.
In yet another AFC West matchup against the Chargers, the Broncos hope to get back on track. What do you think about the sum and spread? You’re taking who?
Schatz: Russell Wilson’s worst games have been on national television, which affects our opinion of the Denver offense. In Week 2’s matchup with Houston and Week 4’s matchup with Las Vegas in particular, he performed better. Since the Broncos offense is ranked 13th in passing DVOA outside of the red zone, they have also been more effective from further out.
Therefore, even with Denver’s defense playing so well at the moment, I believe there will be more offensive in this game than we might anticipate. The Chargers, in contrast, have a top-10 offensive per DVOA and the league’s sixth-fastest pace, which results in more plays and scoring. Although I think the Chargers will win, I wouldn’t bet on this spread. However, I’ll predict a total of above 45.5.
Snellings: I’ll wager on the Chargers and the under while offering the points. The Broncos have been unable to enter the end zone because they simply can’t get their offense together.
Despite the Chargers’ improving health, Keenan Allen won’t be playing. I’m not expecting any type of offensive explosion here, but they should win.
Walder: The Chargers are favorites by 8.3 points, which is far more than the spread of 4.5 points. Wilson may not even be aware that he is slightly injured, and I find myself strongly inclined to agree. In terms of projected points added per play, Justin Herbert is up against the third-worst offense in the NFL.
We eventually have to accept the Broncos’ claim that they are a bad offensive team. And while it is true that the edge shifts to the other side of the ball, defense varies considerably more from game to game than offense. Overall, there are solid reasons to support the Chargers in this game.
Moody: It’s likely that the Broncos and Chargers will play a low-scoring game. In five games while dealing with a shoulder ailment, Wilson has completed only 59.4% of his passes and has an 82.8 passer rating, both career lows.
Mike Boone and Melvin Gordon III are both regarded as questionable after being restricted in practice on Thursday. Allen will miss another game for the Chargers, but their points-per-game ranking remains at seventh (24.4). Denver’s offensive struggles are well-known, as the team is now ranked 31st in points scored per game (15.0).
My advice is to wager on the under. Due to their team’s balance, the Chargers ought to cover the spread. Denver has dropped six straight Monday Night Football contests and has gone 1-7 SU in their previous eight road contests.
Marks: On Monday night, I’m betting on the under. Denver has the poorest red zone offense in the NFL, scoring just 16 points per game on average. With the top red zone defense, where opponents only score at a 10% rate, the Broncos defense has only allowed five touchdowns in five games. This season, Denver’s games have only included an average of 31 total points.
Schatz: My best wager is Jerry Jeudy under 50.5 yards. Wilson doesn’t seem to have the same connection with Jeudy as he does with Courtland Sutton, even though he has just barely exceeded that in both of his most recent games with 53 yards. Additionally, the Chargers presently hold the league’s top spot in DVOA against wide receivers in position two.
Walder: Jeudy under 50.5 receiving yards is another bet I’ll make. This is sort of a double-down for me as I had Jeudy’s under last week and lost. (At the end of regular, he had only 16 receiving yards, but in overtime, he grabbed a 37-yard pass to just barely make it over.)
But this isn’t just about getting even. In fact, my model predicts the Broncos wide receiver will have 46.7 receiving yards on this side. Jeudy is good at getting open, in my opinion, but his 18% target share isn’t really noteworthy.
Mike Boone has more rushing yards, in my opinion, according to Moody. The Chargers’ run defense is among the weakest in the league. The ninth-most rushing yards are allowed per game by Los Angeles (130.4). Nick Chubb amassed 134 yards of total rushing last week. James Robinson and Dameon Pierce both surpassed 100 yards against the Chargers before that. Gordon’s numerous injuries may result in more rushing attempts than initially planned for Boone.
Snellings: In terms of total yards, I’m going with Ekeler. The Broncos defense is bad at stopping the run, so the Chargers should be playing with a lead. Ekeler, on the other hand, should be a good relief valve in the passing game because the pass rush is the foundation of the Denver defense. Ekeler has also been performing quite well over the past few weeks.