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Week 17 Broncos vs. Chargers NFL Predictions

AFC West Title Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers

Obviously the Chargers are a testament to the “never say die” attitude, as they looked well out of the division race but were playing hard anyway, just in case Denver would falter. The Broncos, not being a very good team, did just that. So that opens things up for a winner-take-all showdown that will decide the AFC West title, and will be the “Flex game” that NBC televises on Sunday night.  

BetUS NFL betting odds: SAN DIEGO -8, Total 50.5

NOTABLE STAT: Denver is allowing 4.8 yards per rushing attempt
KEY NFL FOOTBALL BETTING TREND: Broncos are 6-13 ATS in last 19 road games

In the BetUS NFL football betting odds, the Chargers are listed as an eight-point favorite, with a posted total of 50.5 points.

Here are some NFL football betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* DEN has lost seven of its last 12 games SU
* DEN has covered three of its last 12 games
* DEN has covered six of its last 19 road games
* SD has covered six of its last nine games
* SD has covered 10 of its last 14 home games
* SD has won 20 of its last 25 home games SU
* SD has played four of its last five home games UNDER the total

Also…

* SD is 4-0-1 ATS in the last five meetings
* SD has won four of the last five meetings SU
* SD has lost 15 of the last 23 meetings SU
* SD has won five of the last seven meetings SU as the home team
* Sixteen of the last 24 meetings in San Diego have gone UNDER the total

You couldn’t really ask more than what Phillip Rivers has provided. The 6’5″ signal-caller out of North Carolina State has thrown eleven touchdown passes with just one interception in the last five weeks, and he’s particularly hot in the last two road victories, completing 70% of his passes for 633 yards and six scores. The big mystery going around the NFL these days is how he missed out on the Pro Bowl while New York’s mistake-prone Brett Favre got an invite.

We must admit to being a little disappointed in the performance of San Diego’s ground forces. La Danian Tomlinson must always be considered dangerous, but his rushing figures have not always been a big part of San Diego’s season. Indeed, he has barely gotten over 1000 yards, and his 3.6 yard average is mediocre (in fact, more than a yards and a half lower than his average of two years ago). Darren Sproles, an explosive backup, has not been used from scrimmage much (just 215 rushing yards) and couldn’t take the pounding.

There is certainly a case to be made for Denver. Not that Mike Shanahan doesn’t have some problems to work out. The Broncos have run for 568 yards in the last four weeks, but have now lost their sixth and seventh backs for the season (P.J. Pope and Selvin Young). Eddie Royal (with a 71-yard reverse) and Jay Cutler provided the bulk of the rushing yards for Denver in the disappointing loss to Buffalo. There are new guys in place – Cory Boyd and Alex Haynes have been signed, and Tatum Bell is still around.

It’s going to be tough to bottle up Jay Cutler, though, as the Bronco quarterback is over 4000 yards (4210, to be exact) and has avoided getting beat up in the pocket (only ELEVEN sacks), which is partly because Ryan Clady, the rookie offensive tackle from Boise State, has stepped in and had an All-Pro caliber season. Wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal have combined for 178 catches and 2114 yards. San Diego’s pass rush and secondary are not what they were last year, as they have forced only 13 interceptions.

I guess what we’re saying is that even though the conventional wisdom is that the Chargers walk away with this one against the stumbling Broncos, who could have easily locked this thing up last year, and have revenge on their minds after being robbed by the officials in Denver early in the season, this is not a “gimme,” but rather from from it. Denver, which racked up 532 yards against Buffalo last week, can do enough to stay in this game, and we think they will, grabbing the eight-point impost with the underdog in the BetUS Sportsbook NFL pro football betting odds.

Our PLAY: DENVER +8 ***

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