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San Diego at Denver: NFL Betting Report

San Diego’s slim playoff hopes hinge on tonight’s game at Denver where the Chargers are 6-0-3 ATS over the last nine years.  Reports from San Diego also indicate that the Chargers welcoming the challenge with open arms.  “I can’t wait,” linebacker Jarret Johnson said.  “It’s going to be a great challenge.  As a competitor and an athlete in the NFL, these are the opportunities you want.  We worked ourselves into a hole and we have to depend on other people, but the only thing we’re focusing on is what we can control, and right now that’s Denver.”

San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers is coming off an outstanding game against the Giants wherein he was 21-of-28 for 249 yards and three touchdowns.  “That is one of our better all-around games,” Chargers coach Mike McCoy said of last week’s win.  “Overall, in all three phases, guys were making plays.  It was different guys.  We might not have thrown for X number of yards, but (it’s) the way we won the game.”  The ultimate question is whether the Chargers’ suspect defense can stop Peyton Manning, who has thrown for 800 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions in the last two weeks.

While Manning will be without wide receiver Wes Welker (concussion), that loss is softened by the fact that the Broncos are the first team in NFL history to have four players with ten or more touchdowns – Knowshon Moreno (12), Julius Thomas (11), Demaryius Thomas (11) and Wes Welker (10).  Manning has also recorded 11 games with 300 or more passing yards this season, tying Tom Brady for the second-most in NFL history.  Let’s also note that the Broncos are a perfect 7-0 at home this season where they are outscoring opponents by an average of 20.4 points per game.

From a betting perspective, linesmakers have not been shy in suggesting inflated point spreads for those teams fighting to make the playoffs.  “As we go into the final few weeks, we really want to hedge higher on those teams fighting for the playoffs,” says Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service The Sports Club.  “This is time of year we admit to adding a couple points to those teams that really need a win.”  Korner recently suggested an opening line of -13.5 in tonight’s game in light of Denver’s motivation to clinch home-field advantage for the postseason.  “Both teams are fighting for playoff positioning but the Broncos poured it on against the Titans,” says Korner.  “We sent out Denver -13 and saw that there were some 10’s out there – I don’t understand that line. There’s no need to be low on the highest-scoring team in the NFL.  It’s going to be cold in Denver and San Diego isn’t going to like that.  I don’t think we’re overpricing the Broncos. It’s just a better line.”

One final nugget to muddy the waters even more: Denver is just 3-12-1 ATS as home favorites of less than seventeen points, whereas San Diego gunslinger Philip Rivers is 27-6 SU and 20-13 ATS in the month of December, including 6-1 SU and ATS as an underdog. We hope you enjoyed our NFL Betting Report for tonight’s game!

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