The Los Angeles Chargers have lost only one game against the point spread this season, a third week of the season setback at home against the Carolina Panthers. The Chargers were giving six points in that game, and the Panthers won, 21-16.
In the Chargers other five games, all point spread wins, they have lost three of those five contests straight-up.
What does this mean?
It means the Chargers have been undervalued by the public, and the books have added points to their lines in order to draw bettors to their side of the equation. When the public has bet on the Chargers they have won twice, on opening day at the Cincinnati Bengals and last week versus the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The other time the Chargers were bet on this year was their loss to the Panthers, 21-16.
Can we derive anything from these results that can create a pay day today when the Chargers meet the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium?
I think so.
When the Chargers have played teams that would be considered upper echelon squads, the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints, they have gotten enough points on the spread to turn straight up losses into point spread wins. But, nearly halfway through this season the only two wins the Chargers have notched have been against two of the worst teams in the league, squads with only two wins between them, the Bengals and Jaguars.
Are the Broncos more aligned with the Carolina Panthers than either Cincinnati or Jacksonville, surrendering Vic Fagio’s team is certainly not in the class of Kansas City, Tampa Bay or New Orleans?
The Broncos have in fact played some of their best games against talented competition. They beat the spread in close contests at home versus the Tennessee Titans and against the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road. In their two most recent home games, Denver has gotten walloped against the Buccaneers and Chiefs by 28-10 and 43-16 scores respectively.
By the way, that 43-16 decision they absorbed against the defending Super Bowl Champions was just last week, and now they are back home to meet a Chargers squad that got a hardfought home win last Sunday over the Jaguars.
If I was handicapping this game by pure numbers and the motivational situation, I would have the Broncos favored by a field goal. But, the books have to post lines that don’t necessarily take into account all the elements we utilized to find winners, but more importantly need to factor in what the public is going to do.
The public likes what they see in Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, he has gotten great press even though last Sunday’s home victory over Jacksonville was his first professional win in five starts.
The books have the right line on this game for their purposes, even with the Chargers favored by a field goal or more, the public is backing the road team by more than a 65% margin. I suspect, if they had the Broncos favored by three, 95% of the public would be backing the road team here … but I would fall into the 5% group.
So, with as much confidence as we have on any point spread play this week, we offer thanks to the public while we take the generous spread and expect a straight up win.
Qoxhi Picks: Denver Broncos (+3½) over Los Angeles Chargers