Monday Night Football best bets: Broncos at Chargers

By VSiN Staff  (VSiN.com) 

October 17, 2022 09:02 AM
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An AFC West matchup between the 2-3 Broncos and 3-2 Chargers caps off Week 6 in the NFL.

Throughout the NFL season, our VSiN experts will combine to give their best bets on every game. 

Odds are from DraftKings (unless noted) as of Sunday night.

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-4.5, 45.5)

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET

Wes Reynolds: The Broncos have been one of the NFL’s most disappointing teams through five weeks, especially offensively. Denver ranks last in the league for third-down conversions (30.6%) and in the red zone (just 21.4% of its trips have resulted in touchdowns). To put that into context, the 31st-ranked team in the red zone through Week 5 was Seattle at 38.5%. The Broncos’ paltry conversion rate is unsustainable even with poor coaching by Nathaniel Hackett and subpar play from Russell Wilson. 

Denver comes off an embarrassing 12-9 loss to Indianapolis in a Thursday night game, so the Broncos have had a couple extra days of rest and preparation before facing a Chargers team that comes back home off two road victories in Houston and Cleveland. 

The Chargers certainly have lived up to expectations offensively (fifth in yards per game with 390.4) but have disappointed defensively (23rd in yards per game with 368.2). 

Both teams have injuries on the offensive line and the total has dropped partially because of that and perhaps because referee Ron Torbert is 28-9-1 (76%) to the Under since 2020, the most profitable Under referee in that time span. 

A potentially lower-scoring game should favor Denver, which is in a buy-low spot off a putrid, nationally televised performance.

Pick: Broncos + 4.5

Dave Tuley: People are already moaning about getting Russell Wilson and the Broncos in primetime again. It’s tough to back them as a dog against a Chargers team that is starting to learn how to win (though they were lucky to beat the Browns 30-28 in Week 5 and didn’t cover early week spreads of -2.5 or -2 for some bettors and contest players). Except for allowing 32 points to the Raiders in Week 4, the Denver “D” has played pretty well (ranking No. 3 in the league, allowing just 289 yards per game) in trying to pick up Wilson, so the play here is on the Under, which is set surprisingly high at 45.5 considering primetime Unders were 12-5 (70.6%) heading into the Sunday night game. 

Pick: Under 45.5

Adam Burke: We know that Russell Wilson’s arm is not healthy and you wonder how it impacts his ability to throw with conviction. He’s playing through a shoulder issue and he’s already had a tough time developing a rapport with his receivers. To this point, he’s only had 17 carries through five games, but he’s been making a concerted effort to keep more plays alive and use his legs. After just three rushing attempts through the first two games, Wilson has had 14 rushing attempts for 68 yards over the last three games. He’s also taken 11 sacks, so he’s been forced to exit the pocket more often.

Going up against a Chargers defense that usually achieves pressure with the front four, it only makes sense that Wilson would be a little more active in extending plays and keeping them alive. Quarterbacks haven’t taken off much against the Chargers to this point with only nine rushing attempts, but most of the guys they’ve faced run very little and don’t have schemes that require it. Given what’s happening with Wilson and the disjointed Broncos offense, he may not have much of a choice here other than to try and make some things happen.

Pick: Russell Wilson Over 13.5 Rushing Yards (-115)

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