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Broncos vs. Chargers prediction: Don’t expect a lot of scoring in this AFC West clash

Week 6 has featured numerous low-scoring games in the NFL. Look for another one Monday night in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws a pass downfield during a game against the Denver Broncos at SoFi Stadium. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws a pass downfield during a game against the Denver Broncos at SoFi Stadium. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Read moreSean M. Haffey / Getty Images

Points have been difficult to come by all season in the NFL, and Week 6 has been no exception. Just check the wallet of any “Over” bettor: Where once there was cash, now there’s just lint.

Even though Sunday night’s Cowboys-Eagles clash barely eked Over the closing consensus total of 42.5 — at some sportsbooks, the 26-17 final landed right on the number — the Under still has cashed in nine of 13 games this week.

Will that trend continue in Monday’s Week 6 finale at Sofi Stadium, where the Los Angeles Chargers host the Denver Broncos? All signs point to “yes”.

Here’s our best bet for Monday night’s AFC West showdown on the left coast, with kickoff set for 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Broncos vs. Chargers Odds (BetMGM)

Point spread: Broncos (+4.5) @ Chargers (-4.5)

Moneyline: Broncos (+170) @ Chargers (-210)

Total: 45.5 points

Broncos vs. Chargers Prediction: Pick

  1. Under 45.5 (-110) at BetMGM

Broncos vs. Chargers Prediction: Analysis

What can we say about the Denver Broncos’ offense that hasn’t already been said? In summary: It stinks. We’re talking microwaved-fish-with-broccoli stinks.

Denver mortgaged its future in the offseason to acquire veteran quarterback Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks, then gave him a no-questions-asked five-year, $245 million contract extension. The return on that investment? Two shaky home victories (by a combined eight points), three losses (including two as a favorite) and an NFL-worst of 15.0 points per game average.

Now, you’d think Monday would be a perfect get-right game for Wilson and the Broncos’ offense, as Los Angeles entered Week 6 ranked next-to-last in the NFL in scoring defense (27.2 points per game allowed). But we’re of the mindset that this will be more of a get-right game for the Chargers’ D.

Chief among the reasons for this prediction: Denver’s offense has successfully crossed the goal line a grand total of six times in five games. What’s more, the Broncos have been held to 16 points or fewer in four of their contests. The lone exception: They put up 23 points against the Raiders in Week 4.

That 32-23 loss in Las Vegas is the only game in which Denver has gone Over the total this season. The team’s other four contests ended with the following combined point totals: 33, 25, 21 and 12.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

Yes, but aren’t you worried about the Chargers’ potent offense lighting up the scoreboard Monday night? Not really.

Sure, L.A. has scored 24 or more points in all four games that quarterback Justin Herbert has been healthy (the Bolts produced just 10 points against the Jaguars when Herbert was just six days removed from suffering broken rib cartilage). But three of those four games were against the Raiders, Chiefs and Browns, each of whom rank 25th or worse in scoring defense.

How is Denver’s defense doing in the points-allowed department? Pretty dang good, yielding just 16 per contest (which ranks third in the league behind the Bills and 49ers).

Not only has the Under dominated Week 6 (as noted above), but only three of 13 contests have featured more than 44 combined points. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial Under iceberg: Since the start of Week 3, 64% of all NFL games (39 of 61) have stayed below BetMGM’s Monday Night Football total of 45.5.

No reason to think that trend doesn’t continue. Take the under Monday night.

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.