Chargers vs. Broncos head to head Monday night football 17 October at SoFi Stadium — Inglewood, California. The Los Angeles Chargers are returning home after two road games. The Los Angeles Rams and the Denver Broncos will square off in an AFC West matchup on Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET at SoFi Stadium. Last year, the teams split their meetings, with Denver winning 28-13 at home and the Chargers winning 34-13 on the road.
Speaking of close games, the Broncos put up a valiant fight in their overtime loss against the Indianapolis Colts last week but came up short, falling 12-9. Denver suffered yet another disappointment after falling 15-13 in their previous meeting in October of 2019. The lackluster effort of QB Russell Wilson, who failed to create a single score and threw two interceptions, was one factor holding Denver back.
All of the team’s points came from special teams. K Brandon McManus had a perfect 3-for-3 performance.
Los Angeles is the favorite in this one, with a 5-point margin of victory projected. They’ve been profitable against the spread when favored (3-1), so they might be worth a fast wager.
Los Angeles’ triumph increased their lead to 3-2, while Denver’s defeat reduced their lead to a reciprocal 2-3. This season, the Chargers are 1-1 after wins, while the Broncos are 1-1 after losses.
How to Watch Chargers vs. Broncos:
Teams: Chargers vs Broncos
Where: Sofi Stadium (Inglewood, California)
When: Monday, October 17, 2022
Channels: ESPN, ABC, NFL Network
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Online Streaming: Chargers vs Broncos Live
Chargers vs. Broncos Odds
According to the most recent NFL odds, the Chargers are a 5-point favorite over the Broncos.
Picks and projections for the Chargers vs. Broncos:
I’ll admit that I was on the Russell Wilson bandwagon this off-season, hoping that the Broncos may be something great in 2022. I even bet appropriately, choosing Denver to cover in each of the four games between Weeks 2 and 4 – expecting the Broncos to overcome the growing pains of a new coach and quarterback.
But, as we watch Denver fall flat on its face, those faults appear to be deep-rooted rather than superficial, as previously imagined. This offense ranks 31st in yards per point and 27th in DVOA according to Football Outsiders.
The offensive depth chart is loaded with ailments as Denver enters Week 6 and a vital divisional game on the road. Worse, and perhaps more telling given the severity of the injuries, the Broncos have been off since last Thursday, allowing them extra time to rest and rehabilitate. Nonetheless, things are as horrible as they are.
Wilson is playing with a noodle arm, the running backs are limping around practice, and the offensive line is in rough shape, with key cogs sidelined and starters missing prep work this week. Things aren’t much better on defense – there’s a lot of red writing on the depth chart for the stop unit.
The Chargers can completely understand, as their roster has been plagued by injuries for the previous month and a half. However, the Bolts are starting to get their bodies back and players who have been hampered by injury are nearing full health.
The Chargers have underperformed in 2022, despite being widely regarded as the team to beat in the AFC West. Los Angeles has flaws, to be sure, but much of the blame can be attributed to the team’s inability to stay healthy, most notably the Week 3 home loss to Jacksonville. I believe the betting markets are undervaluing a Los Angeles team that appears poised to explode in the second half of the season.
The Bolts demonstrated tenacity by struggling through back-to-back road games to earn wins away from home while still covering as road chalk. They also began to get traction on offensively, scoring 34 and 30 points in their previous two games, ranking second in EPA per play the last two weeks.
Justin Herbert is the greatest quarterback this Denver defense has seen this year, and he could have his entire target group ready to go on Monday. The Broncos will try to disturb Herbert with blitzes (they have the fourth-highest blitz rate), but the Bolts’ young quarterback has been consistent against extra rushers, completing 60% of those throws for an average of 7.8 yards per attempt, according to PFF.
The Los Angeles rushing offense is also coming into its own, with RBs Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley offering a devastating one-two punch — on the ground and through the air — to counter the Denver blitz.
In the win over Cleveland on Sunday, the combo combined for 222 rushing yards and 59 receiving yards, as well as three touchdowns. Joe Lombardi’s play-action-heavy concepts are powered by a solid run game that keeps the Denver secondary guessing.
If that scoring attack can break loose against Denver, a step up in defensive competition, it’s difficult to envision the Broncos offense catching up. It also makes it simpler for the Charger’s defense to force Denver to throw more passes.
Through five games, the Los Angeles defense has been awful against the run, but a fast lead and a banged-up Broncos rushing corps might close those gaps. The Chargers’ passing defense, ranked No. 4 in Pass Defense DVOA at Football Outsiders and allowing the fifth-lowest success rate per dropback in the league, might thwart Wilson at his best.
Given that the lookahead line for this game was set at Chargers -3 in the summer, and we’re only seeing a 1.5-point rise despite the Broncos’ poor start and weakened depth chart, I’m taking the points with a home club that is positioned for positive success in the future.
My best bet is the Los Angeles Chargers at -4.5. (-110 at bet365)