We are getting value on the Denver Broncos (2-3) when they visit the Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) at SoFi Stadium on Monday Night Football in Week 6.
The Broncos have played like trash in all three national primetime games this season and Denver QB Russell Wilson is being weird in postgame press conferences.
However, LA is not 4.5 points better than Denver. The Chargers have negative net yards per play while the Broncos have positive net yards per play and higher net points per play.
The Chargers won't even have a true home-field advantage on MNF because there'll be more Broncos fans in LA. Chargers QB Justin Herbert might use a silent count at home to combat the noise of the visiting fans.
Otherwise, there is sharp line movement headed in Denver's direction, the Broncos are underrated by the market and have a nasty defense.
Betting Details (DraftKings)
Denver is the 'sharp' side
It's all pro-Chargers money in the betting market but the line is moving toward the Broncos. According to VSIN, more than three-fourths of the action is on LA.
Yet Denver's spread has been lowered from +5.5 on the opener down to the current number. This is suspicious because typically oddsmakers adjust the lines based on liability.
Pinnacle Sportsbook (Pinny) — a market-making shop whose lines many other sportsbooks copy — has Denver's line being the pricier of the two. Pinny making LA cheaper could be its way of trying to lay a "trap" of bettors backing the Chargers.
Broncos are an ugly 'dog
No one wants to back Denver because of its high-profile stinkers. The Broncos lost to the Seahawks 17-16 on MNF in Week 1, eked past the Niners 11-10 on SNF, and fell to the Colts 12-9 last week on TNF.
But, there's a glass-half-full way of looking at Denver. The Broncos are converting on an NFL-worst 21.4% of red zone visits and that's impossibly bad. That'll progress up to the mean once Wilson and rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett get on the same page.
Wilson almost has to improve as the season goes on. He cannot be that bad. The market has soured on him and I'm grabbing Wilson in this buy-low spot. Wilson still has a good WR corp and a solid offensive line.
Denver's defense is ballin'
The Broncos giving up just 17 points to Seahawks in Week 1 is an accomplishment. Laugh all you want but Seattle QB Geno Smith is one of the highest-rated passers in the NFL through six weeks.
Denver bottled up San Francisco with both TE George Kittle and Deebo Samuel active and held Raiders QB Derek Carr to just 188 passing yards in Week 4.
In fact, the most passing yards the Broncos have surrendered was to the Colts last week (255) and Indianapolis QB Matt Ryan needed overtime to hit that number.
Broncos CB Patrick Surtain II is having an All-Pro-caliber year thus far and the Chargers will most likely be without injured Pro Bowl WR Keenan Allen for a 5th straight game. Denver can instead sic Surtain on LA WR Mike Williams who runs a fairly basic WR route tree.
Not only that but ...
Broncos are better in the trenches
Pro Football Focus (PFF) gives the Broncos the best edge vs. the Chargers in pass blocking edge for Week 6 and the 2nd-best edge in run blocking. I.e. Wilson will have time to throw and Denver ball carriers will have running lanes.
Denver pass rusher Bradley Chubb is wreaking havoc and facing a backup. Chubb already has 5.5 sacks and is 8th in pass rush grade, per PFF. LA had to replace elite LT Rashawn Slater who suffered a season-ending season injury.
Head to DraftKings Sportsbook to BET the DENVER BRONCOS +4.5 (-110) and SPRINKLE on the BRONCOS (+190) to win outright.