Rivers has a great opportunity

Chargers To Begin Season By Beating Broncos

The Kansas City Chiefs have raised the standard for the AFC West for the 2017 season, putting pressure on the Los Angeles Chargers and the Denver Broncos to respond.

The two sides meet in their opener as the Chargers travel to Colorado to take on Vance Joseph’s men. The Chiefs hammered the New England Patriots on the opening day, putting a marker down for the rest of the division.

As a result, the Broncos and the Chargers have seen the power of the reigning division champions. They in turn will be out to prove their point in an important contest at the start of the term.

Denver lost their crown for the first time since the 2010 campaign, finishing 8-8 last season. The Chargers are in need of a bounce back term after finishing 5-11 in 2016.

Both sides have new head coaches in place as Joseph and Anthony Lynn begin their reigns. Neither man will want to begin with a defeat, which should make the contest a thrilling spectacle.

We’ll now break down the contest, looking at the progress of both teams over the off-season and their odds for the opener.

Denver Broncos

Miller needs to start strong

The Broncos had a down year in the 2016 season as they came back down to earth following their Super Bowl triumph. Gary Kubiak’s health problems resulted in his retirement from the game, prompting the arrival of Joseph. He served as defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins last term and did not set the world alight in Florida, although he performed well enough to land the position.

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was a huge part of the Broncos’ success in 2015. However, his tenure with the team has ended as part of the regime change. His departure could be the biggest hit to the club this season as he masterminded their surge to the crown, defeating Tom Brady and Cam Newton to clinch the Vince Lombardi trophy.

Joe Woods comes into the role and he has a major job on his hands maintaining the high standards. Injuries have hit the Broncos hard already as Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett have had problems, while DeMarcus Ware retired in the off-season. That leaves Von Miller as their only completely healthy pass-rusher, and although he is dominant at his best – he cannot do it all alone.

The secondary will be important as Aqib Talib, Chris Harris and Bradley Roby all return. However, TJ Ward has left the club, which could leave the Broncos exposed against a talented passing attack from the Chargers.

Offensively, Denver keep faith in Siemian to lead the attack. He was solid if unspectacular in his first term, but will have CJ Anderson back from injury to ease the burden. If he can raise the level of his performances, beginning against the Chargers it could yield a victory for his side on the opening day.

Los Angeles Chargers

Rivers has a great opportunity

The Chargers moved to Los Angeles in the off-season, but will kickoff of their campaign on the road. There have been a lot of changes at the club since their final game of the 2016 season. Lynn has arrived at the Chargers as Mike McCoy paid the price for another poor term.

Lynn enjoyed a rise at the Buffalo Bills last season. He started the campaign as running backs coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator, ending the term as interim head coach. Now he faces the prospect of turning the fortunes of the Chargers around, who have underachieved for far too long with Rivers at quarterback.

The 34-year-old has been one of the most reliable signal-callers in the NFL. However, the Chargers have reached the playoffs just once in the last seven seasons. Los Angeles have surrounded Rivers with enough talent on offense, although injuries have hit them hard in recent years.

Keenan Allen has incredible talent, but has endured a tough time being durable. If he remains fit for the entire season then the Chargers could have one of the best offenses in the NFL. Hunter Henry, Antonio Gates, Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams will give opposing defenses plenty to worry about. It’s in the hands of Rivers to capitalise in the mismatches they will provide this season.

Lynn’s men also have talent on defense led by the outstanding Joey Bosa. Bosa was named Defensive Rookie of the Year last season, notching 10.5 sacks. The 22-year-old has the ability to become a superstar rushing the passer. Should he raise his game, the Chargers have the talent to form a solid unit under new coordinator Gus Bradley. There is pressure from them to kickstart their campaign with a strong performance against one of their divisional rivals.

Betting Options

The two sides split their two meetings last season. The Chargers won the first clash at Qualcomm Stadium, but two weeks later the Broncos earned their revenge at Mile High. Both matches were relatively close, both being decided by eight points.

Los Angeles are considered team on the rise, while the perception of the Broncos is that they could take further steps back this term.

However, Denver are still a tough challenge on home soil given the atmospheric conditions at the stadium. The high altitude gives opposing teams problems at the best of times, but considering it’s the start of the term the lack of match fitness will be an issue for the Chargers.

The main weakness over the past few seasons for Los Angeles has been their offensive line. Miller is one of the most dangerous defenders in the NFL at rushing the passer, but the lack of support around him will allow the Chargers to key in on him. Rivers will have time to connect with his receivers, including his tight ends, who will expose the safety position and Ward’s departure.

Denver have also had problems on the offensive line. Bosa and Melvin Ingram will be able to wreak havoc to stymie Siemian’s offense. Therefore back the Chargers to claim the win with TopBet at odds of +150 , and back them to beat the -3.5 spread at -120 .

Tight end Henry will be active, especially in the redzone. As a result, backing him for an anytime touchdown at +400   with Coral. The Broncos’ offense struggled last season and that will not change this term – so take them to score under 20.5 points at +138 with SkyBet.

Tips Summary

Los Angeles Chargers To Beat Denver Broncos
Monday 11th September 2017 22:20 ET (Tuesday 12th September 03:20 BST)
Odds: +150

Los Angeles Chargers To Cover -3.5 Spread
Monday 11th September 2017 22:20 ET (Tuesday 12th September 03:20 BST)
Odds: -120

Hunter Henry To Score Touchdown Anytime
Monday 11th September 2017 22:20 ET (Tuesday 12th September 03:20 BST)
Odds: +400

Denver Broncos To Score Under 20.5 Points
Monday 11th September 2017 22:20 ET (Tuesday 12th September 03:20 BST)
Odds: +138

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