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NFL Week 13 Betting – Brock’s Broncos Head to SD

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in NFL Football

Updated Jan 17, 2018 · 9:39 AM PST

Denver Broncos (-4, 43 o/u) at San Diego Chargers

Time waits for no man. The decline of 39-year-old Peyton Manning has reminded us all of that truism. Sometimes man has to wait for his time, though. That was the case for Brock Osweiler. Drafted in 2012, Osweiler was relegated to the bench as Manning rolled into Denver and racked up ungodly numbers with the Broncos. But his patience has paid off and, with an injured Manning taking Brock’s spot on the bench, it’s now Osweiler’s turn at the helm.

The 6’8 QB has led his Denver Broncos (9-2, 5-1 road) to two straight wins and will look to go three-for-three as a starter today when they face the San Diego Chargers (3-8, 2-4 home) at Qualcomm Stadium (4:05 PM Eastern).

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Osweiler. Even though he led Denver to a fourth-quarter comeback over previously unbeaten New England last weekend, he has really struggled to connect with top wideout Demaryius Thomas (four catches over the past two games). He’s been targeting the Pro Bowl receiver with regularity (13 targets against the Patriots), but their timing and chemistry just isn’t there yet.

Lucky for Denver, the run game has heated up at just the right time. Anemic in the early part of the year behind a new-look offensive line, CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman have racked up 333 yards between them over the last two. That includes a 48-yard TD scamper by Anderson to seal the game in OT.

Anderson and Hillman shouldn’t have much of a problem putting up similar numbers this weekend against San Diego. The Chargers are bottom-ten against the run, giving up 124 rush yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry. They limited Jacksonville to 102 total last weekend, but still surrendered a concerning 5.2 yards per attempt. (Thanks to a massive 21-point second quarter by Philip Rivers and company, the Jags largely abandoned the run in the second half.)

Rivers (29 of 43 for 300 yards and four TDs) was able to lead his team to a 31-25 win in Jacksonville last week, snapping a six-game skid for San Diego. But there’s still not much to be optimistic about in San Diego, outside the play of their superstar QB.

First-round pick Melvin Gordon has been a relative disaster in the run game. The former Wisconsin Badger has only rushed for more than 60 yards once this season and is averaging a meager 3.6 yards per rush. Meanwhile the defense is giving up nearly 28 points per game and has only generated nine turnovers all season.

With rumors of the team’s potential move to Los Angeles heating up, the current atmosphere at Qualcomm is near toxic and opposing fans often outnumber the home crowd.

Going up against Denver’s rock-solid defense (first in the NFL in total yards and fourth in scoring), Rivers will need to have another huge day for the Chargers to have any shot. In all likelihood, the deeper Broncos will distance San Diego in the middle quarters as Osweiler gets more comfortable in Gary Kubiak’s offense. Take the Broncos (6-3-2 ATS, 3-1-2 road) to cover against the Chargers, who have been a terrible bet at home (4-7 ATS, 1-5 home).

Pick: Denver (-4). 

(Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)


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