Back the Chargers in the First Half vs. Broncos

Chargers vs. Broncos, 4:25 ET

I mentioned this in my article about the Chiefs and Raiders that at the beginning of the season I expected this matchup to matter and be interesting. Well, this game does matter for one team, for the other, it was one of the most disappointing and embarrassing seasons in recent memory. Something tells me this game won't be a cakewalk for the Chargers, though.

The Chargers have said they aren't resting players in this game and are going to pursue as if it is any other game. They are looking to secure the fifth seed in the playoffs, and I don't think it really matters, they won't have a home game - but they play well on the road and there is no home-field advantage in Los Angeles anyway. They probably would rather face the Jaguars/Titans instead of the Bengals, Bills, or Chiefs... once all of that gets sorted out. Anyway, playoff spots aside, the Chargers are the better team in this game. Justin Herbert hasn't looked great lately, but he did rebound a bit last week. They are on a nice four-game winning streak and Joey Bosa should be in for this game even though they are likely to be cautious with him. I wouldn't be surprised to see them take a bit of a break in the second half of this game, but they definitely will want to come out and try to put it on the Broncos so they can rest players, like Bosa, in the second half.

The Broncos have been competent at home this season, but they still aren't a really good team. Russell Wilson is having a terrible year and I don't think that magically turns around in this game. They did win their last game at home against the Cardinals. That win has been sandwiched by a fired coach and multiple losses though. Denver probably wants to end the season with a victory, but why? A loss means a better spot in the draft, and winning doesn't keep the Chargers out of the playoffs, so what is the purpose for the franchise to get a victory in this one? The players will want to be competitive of course, but that doesn't mean it will happen, especially if the Chargers really are trying.

I'm taking the Chargers in the first half of this game. I don't want to play the juiced up spread, so I'll take them on the moneyline at +100. I think they probably win the game too, but as I mentioned, I think they come out and try to secure the victory early. If they don't win, they still have a chance at the fifth seed anyway.

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