Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers
Start-time: Friday 14 October, 01:25 BST
TV: Live on Sky Sports
Denver are coming off of their first defeat of the season and go to San Diego on the short week. It's not an ideal circumstance and it is still in doubt whether they'll have their starting Quarterback fit and healthy. Trevor Siemien is expected to be a game time decision. Should he not be able to go then Paxton Lynch would get his second consecutive start.
While this is worrying, the much better news is Donald Stephenson isn't on the injury report, so will start. If you watched the Broncos on Sunday you'd have seen they might as well have had a rusty gate at Right Tackle. Stephenson locks down that position and will help protect whoever the QB is and also create holes for CJ Anderson, who got naff all against the Falcons.
The Chargers have this incredible ability to find a way to lose. Three times this season they've led with two minutes to go only to lose. On Sunday they were kicking for the game tying FG when they botched the snap.
Philip Rivers is a fine QB who will put up great fantasy numbers year in, year out. However he doesn't seem to be the man you want to rely on when push comes to shove in the important moments. I have long been an avid fan of his Tight End, Antonio Gates though. The former college basketball player has been one of the best Red Zone options in the NFL for many years and has scored a TD in two of his three games already so far this campaign.
With Denver being a team with great corners I find it hard to back big plays against them. So I am playing a point on both Chargers TE's at 10/1 (Gates) and 11/1 (Henry) in the first TD market. For the Broncos this is purely speculative but 40/1 for Full Back Andy Janovich is a cracking price for those short yardage opportunities.
In the anytime markets I double stacked Thomas and Sanders for Denver at 6/4 on Sunday fully expecting at least one of them to score and therefore get a profit. I'll reprise that for tonight's game but they are both at 7/5.
The line has been set at 44.5pts, which I think is fair. If you've read me for long enough you know I hate taking the unders due to garbage time scores. If Siemien starts I fully expect Denver to put up 27+ so with that in mind I'll take the extended line at 48.5pts at 27/20. If the former Wildcat doesn't play though, this would be a much riskier play.
The Spread & Straight-up Pick
Denver are giving 3.5pts on the spread and again I think the line is about right. The Chargers have a tendency to keep games close but I think Denver get it done. I'll even go as far as to say they'll win with a 6.5pt handicap at 27/20. Again though, should Siemien not start then this becomes a much riskier bet. I'd watch the buildup to see if Siemien goes and if he does, I like them to win relatively comfortably and for many points to be scored.
Should Siemien not start then play the over 48.5pts and Denver to win with a 6.5pt handicap with trepidation. Those lines would move if Lynch is starting and you'll be able to get better prices.
3pt Back Denver to win with a 6.5pt handicap on the extended line at 27/20 on the Sportsbook
3pt Back Over 48.5pts on the extended over/under line at 27/20 on the Sportsbook
3pt Back an anytime Emmanuel Sanders Touchdown at 7/5 on the Sportsbook
3pt Back an anytime Demaryius Thomas Touchdown at 7/5 on the Sportsbook
3pt Back over 3.5 Field Goals scored at 11/10 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Antonio Gates to score the first TD at 10/1 in the First Touchdown scorer market on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Hunter Henry to score the first TD at 11/1 in the First Touchdown scorer market on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Andy Janovich to score the first TD at 40/1 in the First Touchdown scorer market on the Sportsbook