AFC Divisional Playoff NFL Betting Trends - San Diego Chargers vs Denver Broncos

San Diego Visits Denver With NFL Playoff Betting Implications On The Line

By: Josh Bailey

While the Denver Broncos are on the verge of locking up the top seed in the AFC for the second year in a row, the San Diego Chargers are clinging to life as they prepare for a pivotal matchup with NFL playoff betting implications at stake. The post-Norv Turner Chargers basically need to win out to keep their hopes alive, and that may be tough considering they still have Kansas City in Week 17. It’s even more problematic when they have to go up against Peyton Manning on a short week.

Notions of Denver’s offensive problems in cold weather were dispatched when the Broncos did just that to the Tennessee Titans in a 51-28 thrashing. The victory helped cement their AFC West championship, but New England is still looming in the shadows in the standings. That’s why this Thursday Night matchup has big NFL playoff betting implications for the home team. Denver still has to win to lock up home field advantage and a bye week.

San Diego Chargers (6-7) vs. Denver Broncos (11-2)
The Denver Broncos are 10.5 point favorites over the San Diego Chargers in a week 15 AFC West matchup.
Starts: 12/12/2013 8:30PM
Sports Authority Field at Mile High, 1701 Bryant St.
Denver, Colorado

 

These teams met a month ago, and the visiting Broncos barely won 28-20 as -7.0 favorites. Rivers wasn’t great in that game but he was still relatively solid with 218 yards and a single touchdown. Since that game, however, Rivers has been a beast, averaging 298.8 yards per game and totaling 8 touchdowns against just two picks. Little known fact: Rivers ranks in the top-5 in every important statistical category and leads all quarterbacks with an astounding 70.3 completion percentage.

He has quietly had a remarkable and amazing season despite a poor supporting cast and is the sole reason that the Chargers are 5-2 ATS when playing a team with a winning record. The guy just steps up in big moments, and nothing will be bigger than a prime time Thursday game with so many NFL playoff betting implications in the equation. San Diego’s 9-4-2 ATS record against Denver has a lot to do with him, as does their 5-0-4 ATS record in their last 9 visits to Sports Authority Field/INVESCO/Mile High.

BONUS NFL BETTING PICKS

Date
Away
Home
Pick
Sun, Dec 15-2013
Chicago
Cleveland
CHI +2
Sun, Dec 15-2013
San Francisco
Tampa Bay
SF -5.5
Sun, Dec 15-2013
Philadelphia
Minnesota
PHI -4.5
Sun, Dec 15-2013
Tennessee
Arizona
TEN +2.5
Sun, Dec 15-2013
Kansas City
Oakland
KC -4
Sun, Dec 15-2013
New Orleans
St. Louis
STL +5.5
Sun, Dec 15-2013
Pittsburgh
Cincinnati
PIT +2.5

It’s fun to talk about Rivers’ crazy season, but nobody has been more impressive than Peyton Manning who is in line to win his fifth MVP. Manning leads all quarterbacks with 4,522 yards and 45 touchdowns while throwing just 9 picks. The only person who has been as impressive is Drew Brees, who is the only other quarterback to have more than 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns while throwing the fewest amount of picks. As you’d suspect, everything about the Broncos and Manning screams “bet on us!” as they’re 5-0 ATS in Thursday games, 6-0 ATS when playing in the month of December, 5-0-1 ATS against their own division and 5-1-1 ATS when playing at home.

The lone problem with Denver is their performance against good teams. The Broncos are posting a mere +5.0 point differential against strong opponents playing at their best. That sample includes Dallas, Indianapolis, San Diego, Kansas (twice), New England and San Diego. They are still the team to beat in the AFC, but San Diego has always been a thorn in Peyton’s side and with Rivers playing at such an incredible level, I think him and Keenan Allen can chase down the Broncos on the scoreboard to keep this game close. I doubt that the Chargers muscle a win, but if they do, this matchup will cloud an already post season picture since it has such heavy NFL playoff betting implications attached to it.

Thursday Night Betting Free Pick – San Diego +10.5 (OVER)

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About Josh Bailey

Lousy mixed martial artist, recovering software engineer, pretty good air guitar player, watcher of people, writer of sports. After a failed stint as a radio personality and self taught programmer, Josh is determined to prove he can be a one-hit wonder. Aspiring to become the Mark Twain of sports writing, Josh has been labelled as the “up and coming” sports writer of the year by nobody and the new “heavy hitter” in sports handicapping by his mother.