Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos Pick, Prediction, Opening Betting Lines: Who wins in Week 12?

What is our pick and prediction for the Chargers vs. Broncos Week 12 clash? In a tight AFC West division, every game matters.

The Chargers come into Week 12 sitting at 6-4, but they certainly don’t like to make it easy for themselves. They had another contest go right down to the wire on Sunday night against the Steelers. Justin Herbert and the Chargers stole victory from the jaws of defeat in the dying moments. Here is our Chargers vs. Broncos pick and prediction for the divisional bout along with the NFL odds.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos pick, prediction, opening betting lines | Week 12

  • Spread: Chargers -1.5 (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
  • Moneyline: Chargers -125, Broncos +105
  • Over/Under: 49

Big matchup in close AFC West

The AFC West is one of the most interesting divisions in the entire league right now. Yet, the Chiefs are beginning to emerge from the shadows and take center stage as the division’s front-runner. The Chargers, however, find themselves only one game back, making this Week 12 matchup against the Broncos even more important.

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Herbert and the Chargers have been involved in some of this season’s best thrillers, and Sunday night’s prime-time game against the Steelers was no different. Nevertheless, it must be exhausting to continually take part in these back-and-forth games that run right down to the wire. Through the last four weeks, each of their contests has been decided by a score or less.

The Chargers are rolling on offense, but the defense is lacking

Los Angeles is firing on all cylinders offensively, and Herbert continues to look like the star he’s been painted as so far in his short NFL career. But the Chargers need to stop the bleeding on defense. This is a unit that got Derwin James back (who’s been great this season) and Joey Bosa on the DL (who could make something happen at any moment). However, outside of those two guys, the Chargers’ defense is not performing well.

Brandon Staley got himself a head coaching role after doing a superhuman job with the Rams’ defense, who had a similar situation with a couple of star players surrounded by decent depth.

Denver started the season hot, and Teddy Bridgewater is doing a fair job at quarterback too. He’s thrown 14 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions, and the run game is flourishing. Second-round pick Javonte Williams and veteran Melvin Gordon III have formed a brilliant partnership.

The problem is we’re not sure which Denver is going to show up. The team that put 30 points on a great Cowboys squad, or the one who managed only 13 against the Eagles the following week?

Chargers vs. Broncos betting trends

The Chargers are 5-5 against the spread (ATS) this year, with four of their games hitting the over. However, the contrast from the first half of the season compared to the last five games is obvious. The Chargers started 4-1 ATS and have since gone 1-4, only covering (by 2 points) against the Eagles. They also began the year with four games in a row landing on the under. Since then, they have gone 4-2 to the over.

The Broncos, meanwhile, are on a four-game streak of unders and have covered the over only twice all season. They don’t have high-scoring, close games. Denver either wins and keeps the other team quiet, or they lose and fail to score many points.

Chargers vs. Broncos prediction

I am a huge fan of the under in this game. I don’t like picking a side here. The spread is 1.5 for a reason, and who knows which version of Denver we see after the bye week. Do they come out and take too long to get going, finding themselves 17 points down early? Or do they come out well-rested and ready to take advantage of a Chargers team that’s had to fight to the very end for almost every win this season?

Make no mistake about it, this is an important game for both teams. I think the Broncos take this one because defense wins close games, and the way the Chargers’ defense is performing this season concerns me. They give up too many yards to teams that like to run up the middle.

What does Denver love to do? Run the ball, and they have two great backs to boot. If Denver can hold the Chargers to 3 TDs or less, they should be able to put up enough points to secure the win. The Broncos should put themselves back in the conversation for a playoff spot.

Broncos vs. Chargers Prediction: Broncos 24, Chargers 20

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