Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers: 2022 Week 6 NFL Pick

Denver Broncos (2-3) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-2)

Both of these teams have gotten off to disappointing starts. Both teams made significant additions this off-season and, as a result, were expected to take a step forward and become playoff teams and Super Bowl contenders this season, after numerous consecutive years without a playoff appearance, but, instead, the Chargers rank 27th in schedule adjusted efficiency and the Broncos rank 31st. Both teams are more talented than that suggests on paper and, as a result, both will likely play better going forward, but both teams have also been hampered by injuries in a significant way.

For the Chargers, center Corey Linsley and cornerback JC Jackson returned a few weeks ago, but wide receiver Keenan Allen remains out at least another week, as he has been since getting hurt week 1, while left tackle Rashawn Slater and edge defender Joey Bosa remain out indefinitely. Allen, Slater, and Bosa are among their most important players, so those absences are very significant. For the Broncos, safety Justin Simmons is expected to return this week, but left tackle Garett Bolles, running back Javonte Williams, edge defender Randy Gregory, and inside linebacker Josey Jewell remain out, all significant absences.

The Chargers have the three point edge in my roster rankings, but this line is pretty high at 4.5, especially when you consider the lack of homefield advantage the Chargers have had in recent years since moving to Los Angeles, going 16-25 ATS, as a result of having to constantly play in front of crowds who mostly favor the road team. That especially happens in divisional matchups like this where road fans don’t have far to travel, so I expect this crowd to be filled with Broncos fans. There’s not enough here for the Broncos to be worth betting confidently, but, with minimal homefield advantage factored in for the Chargers, my calculated line is Chargers -3.5, so we’re getting at least some line value with the visitor. This is a no confidence pick, but the Broncos should be the right side for pick ‘em purposes.

Los Angeles Chargers 24 Denver Broncos 20

Pick against the spread: Denver +4.5

Confidence: None

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