Denver -4 & 'Under' For Your Broncos vs. Chargers NFL Picks

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 2:21 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014 2:21 PM UTC

The Denver Broncos descend on the San Diego Chargers for a pivotal AFC West showdown. Check out our NFL betting preview and picks for this highly-anticipated clash on week 15's NFL odds board.

Denver Broncos (10-3 SU, 3-3 away)
Denver Broncos are riding a three-game winning streak ahead of week 15 NFL betting. Since a shock upset to the Rams on the road three weeks ago, the Broncos bounced back with a 39-36 win over the Dolphins at home, a 29-16 win over the Chiefs at Arrowhead the following week, and a 24-17 win over the Bills at home last week.

The Broncos are looking to win home advantage for the playoffs and the only way they'd be assured of it is to continue winning out. Against their divisional opponents, they are 4-0 SU including a 35-21 win over the Chargers at Mile High in week 8.

With the dual-Thomas threat  –  Julius and Demariyus  – hampered, Peyton Manning hasn't had MVP-like performances over this latest winning stretch by the Broncos. Last week, he didn't even throw a touchdown pass against the Bills, marking the end of his touchdown pass streak at 51 consecutive games.

The good news for the Broncos is they haven't needed Peyton Manning to play up to his MVP form. They've been winning games by reviving the run. C.J. Anderson has been carrying the brunt of the offensive responsibilities, averaging 182 rushing yards over the last three games as the Broncos continue to win any which way possible. And defense has stepped it up, holding opponents to 20-points or less and forcing key turnovers.

Going into week 15 NFL betting, the Broncos are the solid -210 favourites to win SU on the road and the 4-point road favourites. Early NFL odds reveal 65% of money coming down the wire going towards the Broncos.

San Diego Chargers (8-5 SU, 5-2 home)
San Diego Chargers succumbed to the New England Patriots 23-14 in week 14 NFL betting as the 3-point home underdogs. And things don't lighten up with a date against the Broncos at the weekend.

Chargers are 8-5 SU this season and 6-7 ATS with a 1.6-point margin of victory. They are a solid 5-2 SU at home and 3-4 ATS with an 8.1-point margin of victory. However, if we were to nitpick, they only have one quality win at home and that was the win over the Seattle Seahawks in week 2. Remaining wins have come at the expense of lesser teams: Jacksonville, NY Jets, Oakland and St. Louis, all teams with losing records going into week 15.

We're obviously not the only ones to have noticed this fact. Bookies send the Chargers into this home date as the significant underdogs and, crucially, NFL bettors are betting against the Chargers. That the Patriots traipsed into town last week as the 3-point road favourites and left with the win only adds further weight to this NFL betting trend.

NFL Betting Verdict:
Denver Broncos have pride of place at the top of the AFC West standings and that's what they'll be looking to defend primarily when they take on their nearest rivals San Diego. Peyton Manning's slight dip in form of late could be a concern, but it's highly unlikely he'll deposit a third consecutive under 200-passing yard game when news of the Thomas' is looking promising. Manning and Company get up for big games; they know how to rise to the occasion and that's what makes them the tempting NFL pick in this game.

This doesn't mean NFL bettors should take the Chargers lightly. They did beat the Broncos last season at Mile High after all, splitting their meetings 1-1 in the 2013-2014 NFL season. However, that was last term. The fact that they haven't beaten quality outfits this season is a mark against them. They had no answer for the Patriots' passing game in week 14 NFL betting, despite playing tough for three quarters. It's likely they won't have an answer for the Bronco's passing game, or their surging rushing game either for that matter.  

NFL Free Picks: Broncos to win SU at -210 and cover at -4.0

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