• Bet Broncos +4.5: Greenline shows a 2.2% edge on Denver, which enters Monday night with PFF's top-graded defensive unit.
• Can Chargers' leaky O-line protect Justin Herbert against a Denver ‘D' ranked top 5 in pressure percentage but adjusting to life without Randy Gregory?
• New users who bet $10 or more at BetMGM will receive a free year’s subscription to PFF+ — a $79.99 value.
Last updated: Mon. Oct. 17, 2:43 p.m.
Estimated reading time: 4 mins
• Our prime-time previews pull all the key modeling numbers and simulated outcomes from PFF’s betting tools, including PFF NFL Greenline and the player props tool, which use top-down machine learning models backed by PFF’s exclusive data to derive value when compared to the betting market.
There was one-sided spread movement throughout the week, when the Chargers opened as six-point favorites before dropping down close to where we were in the lookahead and preseason lines.
• PFF Greenline shows 2.2% value on the Broncos at +4.5 (-110):. Their injury situation is concerning, but actually an improvement compared to what the Chargers have faced so far this season.
• Neither team has lived up to lofty preseason expectations: But with the rest of the division not pulling away, Monday night sets up as a get-right spot and potential launching-off point for whichever team seizes the opportunity and showcases an improved offensive unit that can lead it to victory.
• They've struggled offensively, but Broncos enter MNF with PFF's top-graded defense: Los Angeles has been middle of the pack in both offensive and defensive metrics, but injuries have been the main catalyst for the Chargers' early-season struggles.
• Can Denver maintain a top-five pressure rate without Randy Gregory?: Especially against the Chargers' revolving OT door? Denver blitzes at a top-10 rate, but it has the second-highest pressure rate on pass rushes without an extra rusher. If they can continue to be effective in this category against a struggling Chargers' pass-blocking unit, the Broncos won’t have to do much offensively in order to cover this spread.
• Keenan Allen's potentially looms large: The Chargers' pass-blocking concerns are magnified without Keenan Allen to win early in Justin Herbert’s drop back, which could turn them into a one-dimensional offense again that is relying on deep shots to score points. If Denver’s pressure hits at the rate it has so far this season, it’s easy to see how the Broncos could not only cover but win outright.
• Live opportunity: This looks like a fairly straightforward handicap to assess in-game, so it might be best to wait before locking in a bet until the first two drives play out. But given the strong lean Greenline shows on this spread, it makes the most sense from a written article perspective to lock in Denver +4.5 now. If the Chargers drop below a field goal favorite on the in-game line, or move to plus price on the moneyline, opening up a middle around the key number three is my favorite way to play this spread on Monday night.
Bet Broncos +4.5 (-110 BetMGM)
Bet RB Melvin Gordon — Under 2.5 Receptions (-160 BetMGM)
• Gordon's routes run spiked dramatically without Javonte Williams: In the first game after Williams was lost for the year, Gordon's 47.8% routes run percentage was 15% higher than his next-closest week, but it still resulted in a mere 7.5% team target share. This looks to be a situation that Mike Boone will continue to receive the lion’s share of, as he has hit over 40% of routes run the last two weeks and looks the part of the preferred passing-down back with seven targets over that timeframe.
• Los Angeles ranks 22nd in PFF coverage grade through five weeks: But the Bolts actually have been league-average against opposing running backs in the passing game. Part of this is a byproduct of opposing teams played, but with Gordon not being dynamic in the passing game, expect him to turn into an afterthought as a receiver.
DERIVATIVE BETS & SAME-GAME PARLAY
• PFF’s player props tool is pointing toward a depressed passing game for the Broncos: At least from a volume perspective. Russell Wilson under 31.5 passing attempts shows value on the under, but we are always getting an additional increment to add to the total on Caesars.
• A quarterback’s passing attempts are heavily correlated to the reception prop unders for the respective receivers: And both Melvin Gordon and Jerry Jeudy are showing value based on their current numbers. If the Broncos are once again anemic on offense this looks like a safe approach for a same-game parlay. On the flipside, it’s also possible the Broncos break off one or two long passing plays, which will also cut into the volume that the betting market currently projects. Either way, rolling these three legs together offers enough value to make it a profitable spot to target for “Monday Night Football.”
SGP build (+400 Caesars)
• Russell Wilson u32.5 Passing Attempts
• Melvin Gordon u2.5 Receptions
• Jerry Jeudy u3.5 Receptions
Ben went 1-1 in his Week 6 SNF preview, bringing his season record to 28-42 (-6.47 units).