The Broncos are coming off a 22-17 loss to the Houston Texans that put them back at .500 at (6-6). Denver had won five straight games and looked like a playoff-caliber team during that run. Many expected the Broncos to be in the middle of the pack before the season and that is where they are now. The Broncos are 2nd in the division and 9th in the conference. A win and loss from a few of the (7-5) squads will help with the Broncos' chances of making a postseason run.
As for LA, their season is likely over if they don't come out with a win against their division rivals. At (5-7), they need a late-season run to make the playoffs. The good news is the Kansas City Chiefs (who they play in Week 18) are the only team with a winning record at the moment. The Bolts are 12th in the AFC so they need a lot of help if they want their season to turn around. They are coming off a 6-0 win over the New England Patriots and beat NE for the first time since 2008.
Here are the Broncos-Chargers NFL odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NFL Odds: Broncos-Chargers Odds
Denver Broncos: +2.5 (-104)
Los Angeles Chargers: -2.5 (-118)
Over: 43.5 (-115)
Under: 43.5 (-105)
How to Watch Broncos vs. Chargers Week 14
Time: 4:25 ET/1:25 PT
Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial), NFL Sunday Ticket if out-of-market
Why The Broncos Could Cover The Spread
The Broncos are on the road and that is probably why they aren't favored against the Chargers for this matchup. In fact, the public really likes LA in this game at 68.6%. That seems a bit interesting to me as the Chargers offense has really struggled the last few weeks. Denver has the defense capable of shutting down the Chargers' offense and they have done it in years past. Denver's defense hasn't allowed an opponent to score more than 22 points in a game since (I'm sure you guessed it) the New York Jets did so in Week 5. The Broncos have come a long way since allowing 70 points to the Miami Dolphins back in Week 3.
The defense will do their part. However, the offense may struggle against this inconsistent Chargers' defense. I know it was the Patriots with Bailey Zappe under center, but shutting out a professional football team is no easy feat. Brandon Staley's defense is a confusing one but they get the job done more often than not. Believe it or not, Russell Wilson will need to play one of the better games of the season in order to win. He hasn't thrown for more than 259 yards since that Dolphins game. Wilson threw three interceptions in the loss against Houston. If he can improve and play mistake-free football, then Denver should be in a position to cover this spread.
The Broncos need to get Javonte Williams involved in this game. He has yet to score a rushing TD on the season with 153 carries under his belt. He does have a few reception TDs.
Patrick Surtain and Zach Allen are currently questionable for Sunday's game.
Why The Chargers Could Cover The Spread
The Chargers must win this game to keep their season alive. They can not fall to (5-8) and hope to have a shot. A motivational factor for them along with a divisional opponent is they are facing former Chargers' offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. Lombardi struggled at the end of his Chargers' tenure last season and he is now coaching a team that is 24th in the NFL in yards per game. LA isn't much higher with Kellen Moore calling the plays, however, it seems that this offense never really saw its full potential with the losses of Mike Williams and Joshua Palmer. Palmer was elevated off the IR and the team has 21 days to activate him. Palmer won't suit up against Denver but should return against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 15.
The offense must figure it out. Austin Ekeler has not been the same at all this season and it's even worse knowing it's a contract year for him. Ekeler knows he hasn't been playing well and will try and turn things around facing a defense that doesn't allow players in the endzone very often. Believe it or not, Ekeler still leads all players in touchdowns scored since 2021. If Moore and Justin Herbert find a way to get him involved he may reach the endzone for the first time since Week 11.
Defensive back Deane Leonard is out with an ankle/heel injury. He has been big for them the last few weeks in the secondary and special teams.
Final Broncos-Chargers Prediction & Pick
This will be a close battle in Los Angeles. This game has the chance to go either way but I expect the Chargers to cover 2.5 points at home to keep their season alive.
Final Broncos-Chargers Prediction & Pick: Chargers -2.5 (-118)