The Denver Broncos host the San Diego Chargers in an AFC Divisional playoff game in the Mile High City. The Broncos have dominated the AFC West the entire season, but San Diego enters Denver with loads of momentum following their defeat of Cincinnati last weekend in the wildcard round.
Nevertheless, the Chargers are the most unlikely team in the group of six teams left in the NFL playoffs. Six since Seattle eliminated New Orleans and New England sent Indianapolis home on Saturday.
The Chargers are 10-7 SU and 10-6-1 ATS this season. Denver on the other is 13-3 SU and 10-6 ATS.
Odds makers on Bovada made San Diego the biggest of the four underdogs for last weekend’s wildcard games. The Chargers were +6.5, but won outright 27-10. However, this weekend their opponent is even better with one of the league’s most prolific offenses.
Do not count the Chargers out however. San Diego is 1-0 SU and ATS this season in Denver defeating the Broncos in a stunning upset 28-20 as underdogs by 10 points in mid December.
If San Diego can win, they will become only the fifth team to upset a team in the regular season and again in the divisional playoff round since 1993.
Denver on the other hand lost last season in this same round to the Baltimore Ravens who at the time were 9-point underdogs and went on to win the Super Bowl.
On wagering sites such as topbet, betonline and sportsbooks.com, Denver was the only NFL team that was a favorite in all 16 of its games, finishing 10-6 ATS.
As of late Saturday night, the Broncos were -9.5 on most books like Bovada with the point total on 54. The line opened with Denver -10.5, but drew immediate action on San Diego and adjusted it down to -10. By Thursday, almost all books including topbet had it at -9.5 for Denver but it has come down even more to -8.5.
The Chargers have had great success this season behind the arm of quarterback Philip Rivers, but in December in their upset in Denver, the Chargers threw just 20 times and used their running attack to chew up time on the clock.
Ryan Mathews has been the workhorse at running back for San Diego but is battling a sore ankle. San Diego will use both Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead if Mathews cannot go.
The defense for Denver has not played that well most of the season giving of loads of yards through the air. Against the run, Denver is solid, but the Chargers were able to dominate in the game in Denver.
Peyton Manning had 619 yards with six touchdowns passing in his two meeting versus San Diego. He threw 77 passes completing 52 and only had one interception.
Look for more of the same from Manning on Sunday. His array of receivers gives him up to four targets to choose from and if he is on, it will be a long day for the San Diego defense.
The weather in Denver is expected to be mild for January and should not be a factor. I think Manning is just too tough for the Chargers I like Denver straight up and San Diego against the number.