Denver Broncos (10-3) at San Diego Chargers (8-5)
Denver is the best team in the league in rate of moving the chains differential, moving them at a 77.73% rate, as opposed to 71.29% for their opponents, a differential of 6.44%. However, this line is still too high at 4.5. San Diego has a solid squad as well, moving the chains at a 73.91% rate, as opposed to 73.51% for their opponents, a differential of 0.40% that ranks 15th in the NFL. This line should be around a field goal, according to that. That might not seem like a significant difference, but considering 3 and 4 are both key numbers, it is, especially with the public all over the Broncos once again.
On top of that, the Chargers have typically been an auto-bet late in the season, since 2007. They’ve gone 25-4 straight up and 20-9 ATS in weeks 14-17 over that time period. They didn’t cover last week against New England, but that’s because New England is the only team comparably good to the Chargers late season over that time period (26-3 SU, 16-12 ATS). They should have better luck this week against Denver, especially since home underdogs are 69-47 ATS off of losses as home underdogs since 2002. The only reason this isn’t a bigger play for the Broncos is because they’ll be 4 point favorites in Cincinnati next week and teams are 89-63 ATS since 2012 before being 3+ road favorites and 57-36 ATS before being 4+ road favorites. However, I still like the Chargers as long as the line is above 4 here.
San Diego Chargers 24 Denver Broncos 23 Upset Pick +175
Pick against the spread: San Diego +4.5