First place in the AFC West is on the line when the Denver Broncos take on the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football.
The Broncos—2-3 and a game behind the Chargers—opened as 3-point road underdogs but are receiving the majority of the action and have since been bet down to a pick ‘em.
What follows is a breakdown of the point spread for the game, with news, notes, quotes and anecdotes to help you make your bets.
Keep in mind: The “edge” is merely a suggestion, and not something we necessarily recommend playing.
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BRONCOS AT CHARGERS, 8:30 P.M. ET
OPENING POINT SPREAD: San Diego -3 | CURRENT: Pick ‘em | OVER/UNDER: 47.5 | TV: ESPN
SUMMARY: It’s rare that you see this much movement in any NFL game, especially on both the line and the total. The over/under was originally 50 but is now 47.5 despite SportsInsights telling us that 78 percent of bettors are on the over. Totals in primetime games are usually inflated by a point or two, and it’s clear that pro bettors are moving this number down.
STORYLINES: San Diego and Denver have faced essentially opposite schedules through the season’s first five weeks. The Chargers are 3-2 but haven’t beaten a team with a winning record and are the only NFL team to lose to the Saints. In fact, San Diego’s wins have come against three of the worst teams in the NFL: Oakland (1-4), Tennessee (2-4) and Kansas City (1-5).
The Broncos, meanwhile, are 2-3 but have hung tough in losses to New England, Houston and Atlanta. In their only game against a weak opponent, they blitzed the Raiders 37-6.
Peyton Manning is starting to find his groove again, completing 61 of 82 passes (74.3%) for six touchdowns and zero interceptions over the past two games. That’s not a great sign for a San Diego defense that ranks 22nd in the league against the pass and was just shredded for 370 yards and 4 TDs by Drew Brees last week on Sunday Night Football.
EDGE: This is a huge matchup for this early in the season, as the winner will have a big leg up in the AFC West race. It’s always concerning to go with the trendy underdog, and the best number is long gone, but we’ll still give the Broncos a slight “edge” here and say Manning gets it done on the road.