Broncos Thursday Night Football 2018 Predictions - Sports Betting

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Broncos Thursday Night Football 2018 Predictions

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Broncos vs. Chargers picks, predictions for Thursday Night Football (10/13/16)

NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The NFL week is back, football fans!

On Thursday night, the Denver Broncos will travel to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California to take on the San Diego Chargers in the first game of Week 6.

Denver comes into the game with a 4-1 record and tied with Oakland for first place in the AFC West. San Diego enters the night with a 1-4 record and sole possession of last place in the division.

Here's how our experts think the game will play out:

Darryl Slater: The Chargers are 1-4, but they've had some close losses--by six, four, three, and one. Still, they're not in the Broncos' class. Expect Von Miller and Co. to have a field day against Philip Rivers. Broncos 24, Chargers 10.

Connor Hughes: The Chargers aren't a very good team. Sure, they've got Philip Rivers, but what else? This game shouldn't be an issue for the defending Super Bowl champions. Von Miller and Shane Ray will get to Rivers enough to render the offense irrelevant. Broncos 31, Chargers 17.

Joe Giglio: How much worse can things get for the San Diego Chargers? After losing four of five games in excruciating fashion, San Diego now welcomes in an angry Broncos team of its first loss of the season. The only silver lining in this one: There won't be a lead to blow for the AFC's most snake-bitten team. Broncos 27, Chargers 17.

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It - s Time to End Thursday Night Football

It’s Time to End Thursday Night Football The Thursday Night Football experiment has done more harm than good for the NFL. Those games need to go away for good.

It’s time I come clean and admit I goofed in a big way several years ago. I was excited about Thursday Night Football games not all that long ago. After all, I’m a huge National Football League fan. I DVR weekly editions of NFL RedZone to review certain situations and games. I could watch football every day of the week.

I clearly underestimated how consistently awful the Thursday Night Football games would be.

It’s no secret NFL players hate the Thursday Night Football contests. Unless the teams are coming off a bye week, players have little rest between a Sunday game and preparing to play again on Thursday. The athletes are mentally and physically fatigued even before taking the field in front of a national television audience. Of course the Thursday Night Football games are routinely lousy.

Lackluster television ratings for primetime football games continue to make headlines through the middle of October. Yahoo’s Daniel Roberts recently wrote about the matter. There are likely several factors contributing to why fewer people are tuning into nighttime NFL games this season. Thursday Night Football may or may not be a culprit, but those games certainly aren’t helping.

Not every Thursday Night Football game is terrible, of course. But it’s not an understatement to say there’s been more bad contests than good match-ups over the past several years. We’ve come to the point where fans, analysts, and commentators alike essentially expect to see terrible football action on Thursdays:

It's amazing just how bad these Thursday games are every week. Doesn't matter the team or matchup. Teams just aren't physically ready to go.

It’s worth mentioning, before I go any further, that Thursday Night Football as it exists today probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As the NFL reported last February via the official league website, theThursday Night Football package was expanded through the 2017 campaign. CBS, NBC, and NFL Network will broadcast different games through the end of next season.

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What’s done is done. The NFL, for all its power, cannot travel back in time and cancel that deal, nor can the parties involved burn that existing contract and act as if it never existed. You’re getting Thursday Night Football for the next 14 months, whether you like it or not.

That’s fine, NFL, so long as you promise that you’ve learned from your miscues and will stop giving us these terrible football games come 2018.

Quality of play alone is not the only reason we want Thursday Night Football to forever vanish. As well-known New York sports radio personality Mike Francesa once explained, there is now far too much football on our airwaves during the fall.

We get seven hours of football each Sunday afternoon followed by a Sunday Night Football game. There is then Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football. Those evening contests sometimes compete with postseason MLB games during October weeknights.

There’s even more football on once the World Series comes to an end. Those with access to cable television stations can find either college or NFL football on TV just about every night for a few weeks each November. Those of us who are football diehards cannot get enough of the sport, but the ratings seem to indicate casual fans can only take so much.

Would-be football viewers are able to entertain themselves away from the game via avenues that weren’t as popular or didn’t exist when the idea of Thursday Night Football first entered the minds of NFL and television executives. Per Aaron Pressman of Fortune, over 1 million Americans ditched television service providers to “cut the cord” and embrace streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Sling.

Why would a casual fan put up with a poor Thursday Night Football game when he can watch a variety of other programs whenever he wants via streaming or On Demand?

The NFL will likely remain the king of Sunday afternoons for years to come. Multiple games airing at the same time allows viewers to pick what airs and when on their TVs, and RedZone continues to be the coolest thing to hit sports airing on TV since instant replay. Evening games are no longer a luxury as they were when the first Monday Night Football game aired. It’s a different era from decades ago. And the NFL and television networks need to understand that and make Thursday Night Football a thing of the past.

Not every swing for the fences results in a home run. The NFL tried to make Thursday Night Football a thing—and it didn’t work. Let’s all move on.

NFL Power Rankings Week 7: Updated Records, 2018 Super Bowl Odds, Bleacher Report

NFL Power Rankings Week 7: Updated Records, 2018 Super Bowl Odds

So much for Week 6 possibly signaling a return to normal for the NFL.

Rather than see power rankings and Super Bowl odds settle into place as the league forms a visible hierarchy of sorts, contenders like the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos all went down in Week 6.

Meaning, apparent pretenders like the Los Angeles Chargers and New York Giants, among a few others, picked up notable wins and created chaos.

Monday is a great time to analyze the chaos and rearrange the power rankings while seeing how oddsmakers adjusted. Let's do so below.

2017 NFL Power Rankings and Super Bowl Odds

  • Kansas City Chiefs 5-1
  • Philadelphia Eagles 5-1
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 4-2
  • Minnesota Vikings 4-2
  • New England Patriots 4-2
  • Carolina Panthers 4-2
  • Los Angeles Rams 4-2
  • Green Bay Packers 4-2
  • Buffalo Bills 3-2
  • New Orleans Saints 3-2
  • Miami Dolphins 3-2
  • Atlanta Falcons 3-2
  • Denver Broncos 3-2
  • Seattle Seahawks 3-2
  • Washington Redskins 3-2
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 3-3
  • Baltimore Ravens 3-3
  • New York Jets 3-3
  • Houston Texans 3-3
  • Detroit Lions 3-3
  • Arizona Cardinals 3-3
  • Cincinnati Bengals 2-3
  • Dallas Cowboys 2-3
  • Tennessee Titans 2-3
  • Indianapolis Colts 2-3
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-3
  • Los Angeles Chargers 2-4
  • Chicago Bears 2-4
  • Oakland Raiders 2-4
  • New York Giants 1-5
  • Cleveland Browns 0-6
  • San Francisco 49ers 0-6

Time to Jump Ship: Green Bay Packers (5-1)

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Prior to Week 6, the Green Bay Packers looked like contenders yet again. Concerns along the offensive line had only helped result in one loss and a few close calls. If the line got healthy, the Packers made for quite the interesting bet.

Not anymore. Sunday, Aaron Rodgers went down with what could be a season-ending injury:

QB Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone. There's a chance he could miss the rest of the season.

The Packers ended up losing to the Minnesota Vikings, 23-10, as Brett Hundley threw one touchdown and three interceptions in relief of Rodgers.

But the bigger story here is the season-long impact. Hundley will probably improve over the course of the season once he starts taking all the first-team snaps. But the Packers already have two key losses in the NFC and games remaining against the Detroit Lions (two), Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints, not to mention two other NFC North games.

With the Packers averaging 4.0 yards per rush and coughing up 119.8 rushing yards and 22.5 points per game, this isn't a team that will still have a quarterback compensating for every issue while winning games.

The line here is going to jump, and bettors would be wise to stay away.

Remain Calm: Kansas City Chiefs (13-2)

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The Chiefs didn't suffer a season-altering injury this week, but it's understandable if the knee-jerk reaction is to shy away from them after the first loss of the season.

But again, it's Week 7 and we're talking about a team that finally lost its first game of the season.

The Chiefs cooled in a big way with the Pittsburgh Steelers in town. Alex Smith regressed as eventually expected, posting a 19-of-34 passing mark with a score, and breakout rookie back Kareem Hunt found himself gobbled up to the tune of nine carries for 21 yards for a 2.3 average.

Yet it's still not time to panic.

Every team is allowed a dud of a performance. This is especially the case against the Steelers, perhaps the league's streakiest team so far. And the Chiefs aren't strangers to struggling with this particular opponent, as radio broadcaster Carrington Harrison noted:

Since 2016, the Chiefs are: 0-3 against the Steelers 17-3 against the rest of the league

The reality? Kansas City has a strong defense and running attack, two elements key to a deep playoff run. Smith, at least, isn't turning the ball over, so adjustments and the opponent will play a big part in the team rebounding.

But it's not like the AFC West is great this year. The Oakland Raiders are 2-4 with an 0-2 mark in division play, and the 3-2 Broncos have had issues. After already showing an ability to take down teams like the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, one loss by six points isn't something to worry about unless it becomes a trend.

Get It While It's Hot: Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)

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Say hello to the new team atop the standings—which makes the Eagles quite the interesting betting option.

The Eagles have done a little bit of everything this year. They won a tough NFC East road game against the Washington Redskins, came up all of seven points short in Kansas City and turned heads on the Week 6 edition of Thursday Night Football with a 28-23 road win against the Panthers.

Numbers go a long way toward pointing out how great the Eagles have been, even if they continue to fly a bit under the radar. Take a look at a few from Joe Giglio of NJ.com:

Eagles ranks among NFC teams: Wins: 1st Points scored: 1st Point differential: 1st Conference record: 1st Best team in the NFC.

When it comes to complete teams this year, the conversation starts with the Eagles. Carson Wentz took the next step and has 13 touchdowns against three interceptions. He's helping Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor put up monster lines, as both have four touchdowns apiece already. In the backfield, LeGarrette Blount is once again a feature back and averages 5.6 yards per carry.

As for the defense, 14 sacks and six interceptions have led to allowing a league-low 65.7 rushing yards per game, this despite playing competent offenses led by Smith, Kirk Cousins, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Cam Newton.

To top it all off, the NFC East is in the midst of a down year. Those Redskins have three wins while sitting in second place, and the Dallas Cowboys have taken a huge step back at 2-3.

The Eagles do have a tough schedule the rest of the way with the likes of Dallas (twice), Seattle, Oakland and Denver left to play, but Wentz and the upstart team haven't blinked yet. Bettors shouldn't, either, because this line isn't going to remain the same for long.

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Thursday Night Football: Chargers vs Broncos

Thursday Night Football: Chargers vs Broncos

TNF ATS Record: 4-4 San Diego Chargers vs Denver Broncos -9.5 O/U 51

The San Diego Chargers travel to Denver on Thursday night to face their division rival Denver Broncos. Denver is coming off a blow out win against San Francisco on Sunday night. San Diego is coming off a home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The spread opened on this game at Denver -7.0 points. It has since been bet all the way up to Denver -9.5. With the increased line, the public totals have come close to evening out. The public is on Denver 54% of the time.

Since 2009, teams getting 2+ points off the opening line in primetime games have covered 2/3 of the time: pic.twitter.com/63h9rsushi

Points Per Possession San Diego

Games Played at Denver over the last 3 seasons:

San Diego is 3-0 ATS

2 of 3 games have gone under the total

Phillip Rivers is 3-0 as a road underdog vs Peyton Manning.

Phillip Rivers is 8-2 ATS as a road dog in the first half.

Peyton Manning averages 27 points/game against San Diego. He averages 37/game against everyone else.

Broncos: NFL-best 18-2 at home in regular season since 2012; one of those losses was 2013 Week 15 at home on Thursday night to Chargers.

Phillip Rivers is 6-2 SU in Denver.

Prediction and Play

This game is being billed as a shoot out. However, if history repeats itself division games on Thursday Night are typically lower scoring games. Both of these teams have under the radar defenses. The Chargers are stout against the pass, which is obviously Denver’s strength on offense. Denver is stout against the run on defense, but San Diego relies little on their ground game. Denver is being over valued due to the public perception of last week and San Diego is in a perfect buy low bounce back spot. Phillip Rivers has done it before and is perfectly capable of winning again in Denver.

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