Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NFL Betting Preview 2014 Week 8: Chargers Vs. Broncos

San Diego Chargers Vs. Denver Broncos

Market Watch

This is one of the more interesting point spreads on the board for Week 8. In the advanced line at
Westgate, the Broncos were -6.5 point favorites. After Week 7 action it reopened at -7, and it's been promptly bet off that key number. It currently sits at -7.5, but there are also -8's out there too. I think this line is pretty accurate. To no one's surprise, 61% of the early tickets are on the home team.

Bottom Line

I had this game circled a few weeks ago with the intentions of making a play on the Chargers. Everything about them indicated they were a strong AFC darkhorse contender.

Is that still the case? Well, that depends. Now that we have more numbers to look at, there are some red flags to know about if you like San Diego in this spot.

First, the good news though. The offense is just about as good as they look to the eye test. Rivers is playing at an MVP level, they don't give up a lot of sacks, and their drive success rate ranks near the top. They also have one of the better average starting field positions. The bad news is they can't run the ball, which could be a problem against this Denver team. They are also just average converting their drives into touchdowns. Not good.

There's worse news on the defensive side. Yes, they are much improved from last year, and that's good when you go up against anyone not named the Broncos, but they are failing to come up with big plays in the make or break situations. When your defense struggles on third down and inside the red zone, Peyton Manning is primed for a big day.

The question we have to ask ourselves is whether we think Rivers can keep up with Peyton. I'd like to say yes, but the reality is this Denver defense is ranked pretty high in all the important categories.

The Chargers were able to defeat the Broncos last year, but given the improvements that Denver have made on D, I'd be surprised if that happens again. The only play I'd consider here is Denver -7, which is already gone. The other option is to put them in a teaser.

Read more: Week 8 picks.