Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers
Point Spread: San Diego Chargers(-9.5)
Game Total Line: (50)
(wagering lines available at 5Dimes)
San Diego (4-5, 4-5 ATS) has kicked off its annual second-half surge. The Chargers topped Houston 29-23 last week, giving them back-to-back wins straight up and against the spread. The victories have erased some of the damage of a recent three-game losing streak.
It's been a very bizarre year for San Diego. The Chargers rank first in total offense and second in total defense. The offense has been truly impressive, overcoming a ton of injuries to still crank out nearly 27 points per game. Philip Rivers is in the midst of a potentially historic season; last week, he burned the Texans for 295 yards and four touchdowns. If the running game can produce a little more, the Chargers will be unstoppable, especially since they're getting healthier. Receivers Malcolm Floyd and Legedu Naanee should be back in the lineup on Monday.
The defense is among the best in terms of yardage, yet it's allowing nearly 22 points per game. The biggest problem? Special teams meltdowns. Houston deflected a Chargers punt last week, the fifth time San Diego has been blocked or deflected. This particular deflection led to a Houston touchdown on the following play.
Denver (3-6, 3-6 ATS) rolled to a 49-29 victory over Kansas City last week, snapping a four-game skid both straight up and against the spread. The defense has been absolutely shredded in 2010. The Broncos are allowing 28 points per game, and the biggest problem is stopping the run-they're getting gouged for over 140 yards per outing. There's no hope of fixing that this season, at least not on the defensive side of the ball. The next best option is leaping out to a giant lead, which is what the offense did against the Chiefs.
The Broncos exploded for 35 unanswered points in the first 20 minutes of last week's game. That took Kansas City's ground attack out of the equation, as the Chiefs had to throw constantly to try and get back in the game. Kyle Orton was stellar for Denver, going 22-34 for 296 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Another positive is the effort by Knowshon Moreno. The Denver rushing attack is the NFL's worst, but Moreno racked up 106 yards on 22 carries against Kansas City. If he can keep that going, the Broncos will be much more dangerous.
The head-to-head series between Denver and San Diego has been very close over the last few years. The Chargers lead 6-4 in the last 10 games, including a 1-1 split last season, though San Diego has been dominant against the spread-6-2-2 in the past 10 games. San Diego has covered two of the last three. The total went under in their most recent meeting, though the two before that went over. Bodog.com has set the total at 50.5 points.
Point Spread Pick
The Chargers are starting to get to healthy at WR. Take the Chargers -9.5 at Sportsbook.com