San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos: Betting Odds, Preview and Pick

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistNovember 16, 2012

Nov 11, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) calls signals in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

The Denver Broncos could all but lock up the AFC West with a win Sunday when they host the San Diego Chargers at Mile High Stadium.

The Broncos opened as 6.5-point favorites over the Chargers, just a few weeks after that epic Monday Night rally past San Diego.

But bettors don't have much faith in the Chargers avenging that loss, as the point spread has climbed to 8 points at most sportsbooks tracked by as of Friday.

Denver is on a roll in just about every facet of the game at the moment. The Broncos are a perfect 4-0 straight up and against the spread over their last four games, and are averaging 34 points per game over that stretch while allowing just 18.75 points per game.

With 2,705 passing yards and 21 passing touchdowns to just six interceptions, Peyton Manning is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career.

San Diego, on the other hand, is going in the opposite direction with a 1-4 SU and ATS record over its last five games. The defense has surrendered 31 points or more in three of those four losses, and while the offense has put up points this season, Philip Rivers’ untimely interceptions have hurt the Chargers.

Rivers has eight interceptions in his last five games, including four in his last game against Denver.

Denver is 3-1 SU and ATS in its last four games against San Diego including two straight wins and this season’s 35-24 Monday night win in which the Broncos came back from a 24-point halftime deficit to win the game.

With Denver sitting at 6-3 SU and ATS and San Diego at 4-5 SU and ATS, the Broncos can open up a huge lead in the AFC West and own the head-to-head tiebreaker with a win. On the other hand, a San Diego upset would pull the Chargers back into contention.

It is hard to pick against a team playing as well as Denver is right now, but desperation and revenge are two of the biggest motivators in the NFL.

Not only is San Diego’s season on the line, but its pride is too after the Monday night debacle. Denver may win outright, but in this critical division rivalry battle eight points is too many to pass up on.

PICK: San Diego +7.5 (courtesy of

All odds, stats and trends mentioned courtesy of Mike Pickett is a Contributor to Bleacher Report and contributes to the Twitter feed.