Can the Denver Broncos Advance NFL Playoff Push in Week 17 vs Los Angeles Chargers?

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
Can the Denver Broncos Advance NFL Playoff Push in Week 17 vs Los Angeles Chargers?

After spending most of the 2023 NFL season entering matchups as underdogs, the Denver Broncos find themselves pegged as favorites to beat the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 17. Their margin, however, is slim. Or is it just misunderstood?

Before digging into this game any further, here are all the kick-off details:

  • What: Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers
  • Date: Sunday, December 31, 2023
  • Time: 4:25 p.m. eastern standard time
  • Where: Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado 
  • Point Spread: Broncos (-1), Chargers (+1)

The Broncos enter Week 17 with their odds to make the NFL playoffs intact. But the competitive landscape is narrowing already. All of the division winners are basically sewn up. Denver needs a Wild Card berth to crack the postseason. And to get it, they’ll definitely need to take down the Chargers. Fortunately for them, the latest NFL online betting odds have them edging out Los Angeles—but just barely:

FavoriteBetOnlineBetOnlineUnderdog
Denver Broncos-115-105Los Angeles Chargers

Definitely continue double-checking these online NFL betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Broncos vs. Chargers Week 17 betting odds are accurate entering Wednesday, December 13. That gives the best NFL online betting sites plenty of time to make adjustments leading into opening kick-off on December 31.

And you should definitely expect movement across all Broncos vs. Chargers betting lines. The best football betting sites already have the moneyline, point spread and over/under available. That’s great for us. But they will react to changes in team records and gambling markets over the next couple of weeks. Keep this in mind if you’re not placing your Week 17 NFL bets prior to Week 15 games.

Many will look to this matchup as a clash of warring styles. The Chargers are founded around a borderline elite offense. But the Broncos have built up one of the NFL’s best defenses in the second half of the season. 

Which style and team should you favor on the betting market? The answer may lie in the injury report.

Expect the Denver Broncos Week 17 Moneyline to be on the Move Soon 

Let’s forgo the usual preamble. You should pounce on the Broncos’ odds to beat the Chargers posthaste. Their moneyline is only going to move further and further away from even money. 

The reason? Los Angeles just announced that quarterback Justin Herbert is done for the season. Without him, their offense is up a creek sans a paddle. In the Chargers’ lone game without Herbert entering Week 15, they mustered just seven points. Oh, and their opponent for that matchup? The Denver Broncos themselves. 

Sure, you could write off a seven-point performance from the Chargers as some fluke. But it’s not. Denver’s defense has been bringing it for some time. The Broncos are allowing just 14.2 points over their past nine games. Not surprisingly, Denver has lost just twice during this stretch.

Concerns about the Broncos’ offense are valid. Russell Wilson and friends have racked up more than 200 passing yards just twice since Week 5. That’s a red flag. Especially versus elite defenses. 

Except, well, the Chargers do not have an elite defense. They are 17th in points allowed per game and don’t inspire fear in opposing QBs. Los Angeles places inside the bottom 10 of interceptions forced, net yards allowed per passing attempt and total passing touchdowns. To their credit, they are pretty adept at getting to the quarterback. But the Broncos’ offensive line has tightened things up, and Wilson will make life harder by using his legs outside of the pocket. Bet on the Broncos to beat the Chargers, and don’t think twice about it

OSB Prediction: Denver Broncos (-115)

Denver Broncos To beat the Los Angeles Chargers
-115
BetOnline

Will This Meeting Between Denver and Los Angeles be Closer Than the Last?

Just a few weeks ago, the Broncos beat the Chargers by 17 points. Previous matchups can sometimes mandate similarly sized point spreads. But the Week 17 NFL point spread betting odds for this game take the exact opposite direction:

  • Denver Broncos, -1 (-110)
  • Los Angeles Chargers, -1 (-110)

So, just to recap: The Broncs throttled the shorthanded Chargers last time around while playing on the road. Now that they’re at home, without any mission critical injuries at this writing, we’re supposed to believe this warrants a one-point spread? 

Sorry, but we can’t get there. Taking the Broncos spread is a no-brainer to us. In fact, we would seriously consider trying to sell back points to online NFL betting sites that give you the option. Skewing the line to something like Broncos, -7 would juice your return and feels entirely realistic. If you have the stomach for it, we wouldn’t even be opposed to nudging that all the way up to Broncos, -10.5.

OSB Prediction: Denver Broncos, -1 (-110)

Denver Broncos To cover the point spread against the Los Angeles Chargers
-110
BetOnline

Offense Could be Hard to Come By for Both the Broncos and Chargers

In their first meeting earlier this month, the Chargers and Broncos combined for 31 points. As you can tell from the latest Week 17 NFL over/under betting odds, linemakers have set the scoring total threshold accordingly for this rematch:

  • Over 35.5 (-110)
  • Under 35.5 (-110)

A sub-40-point scoring total is always cause to think it over. Offenses tend to take more big-play chances late in the season—particularly when one of the teams, such as the Chargers, no longer has a puncher’s chance of making it into the playoffs. That style can inflate the final scores.

In this case, though, Los Angeles just doesn’t have the horsepower to move the chains without Herbert under center. And given how erratic Denver’s offense has been, this could be a matchup that fails to even eclipse 30 total points. 

OSB Prediction: Under 35.5 (-110)

Broncos and Chargers To score under 35.5 combined points
-110
BetOnline

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2023 NFL betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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