Denver Broncos (3-2) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-4)
This is the toughest call of the week. Both of these teams enter this game pretty banged up. The Chargers got first round pick wide receiver Mike Williams back from injury last week, but could be without top wide receiver Keenan Allen and above average starting defensive tackle Corey Liuget, who both missed practice late in the week this week. The Chargers were already without starting cornerback Jason Verrett and middle linebacker Denzel Perryman, both big losses on this defense.
Meanwhile, the Broncos’ injury problems have been primarily in the receiving corps. Already missing 3rd round rookie Carlos Henderson for the season and valuable depth receiver Cody Latimer, the Broncos lost 5th round rookie Isaiah McKenzie and starting wideout Emmanuel Sanders last week, leaving only Bennie Fowler and Jordan Taylor behind Demaryius Thomas on the depth chart and Thomas is dealing with his own injury issues. He’s still expected to play, but might not be 100% after being knocked out on a couple occasions with leg injuries in last week’s loss to the Giants.
I have the Broncos about 1.5 points better than the Chargers, but the Chargers have next to no homefield advantage since they attract primarily road fans, so they shouldn’t be getting more than a point for homefield advantage, if anything. I expect most of the fans at this game to be supporting the Broncos. This line is even, which is right around where I’d calculate it, so this game is basically a coin flip. I’m taking the Chargers only because Allen and Liuget have the potential to play, while the Broncos’ injured receivers do not.
Los Angeles Chargers 20 Denver Broncos 19
Pick against the spread: LA Chargers PK