The defending Super Bowl champion Broncos (4–1) suffered their first loss last week at home with rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch under center, and now they will be without coach Gary Kubiak as they visit the Chargers (1–4) on Thursday night. Denver opens as 3.5-point road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Kubiak was hospitalized after the Broncos lost 23–16 to the Atlanta Falcons as 3.5-point home chalk with a complex migraine condition, and he will not be on the sideline in San Diego. Instead, special teams coach Joe DeCamillis will lead the team against a Chargers squad that has lost three straight but is 3–2 against the spread.
San Diego is coming off a 34–31 loss to the Oakland Raiders as 3.5-point road underdogs last Sunday, nearly pulling off the upset versus their AFC West rivals. This week, the Chargers will face another conference foe and will be looking to break a five-game losing streak in the series.
The Chargers have lost nine in a row against teams with winning records as well, and remain one of the NFL’s worst home teams with a 3–12 mark ATS in their last 15 games in San Diego according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
Lynch was sacked six times and threw one interception in his first career start last week as he filled in for the injured Trevor Siemian, who suffered a bruised AC joint in his non-throwing shoulder at the end of a 27–7 road win over Tampa Bay two weeks ago.
Siemian is considered questionable for Thursday, but early reports have indicated he should be available to play. Denver’s offense sputtered last week, especially the running game. Lynch rushed six times for 18 yards, and the rest of the Broncos totaled just 66 yards on 18 carries (averaging 3.7 yards).
Broncos running back C.J. Anderson has not averaged more than 3.7 yards per carry in any of his last four games, something he had accomplished in 11 of his last 12 outings—including the playoffs en route to winning the Super Bowl—a year ago.