The New England Patriots (-4) are favorites against the Los Angeles Chargers in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. CBS is scheduled to broadcast the action and this critical early afternoon matchup gets underway at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Betting Preview: New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Chargers
In this Sunday AFC game, New England has been projected as the favorite and is currently giving up 4 points. The Chargers are also receiving +150 moneyline odds while the Patriots are -170. Oddsmakers have set the over/under (O/U) at 46.5 points. If New England gives up points early, it’ll probably produce a worthy betting opportunity in-game.
Sharp bettors have been leaning toward both the Chargers and the under. The opening line was originally set at -5 while the game’s O/U was initially 47.5.
The Chargers have gained 6.0 units so far and are 10-7 against the spread (ATS). The team’s posted an O/U record of 8-9.
The Patriots have lost 1.1 units for moneyline bettors this season. They’re 9-7 ATS and have an O/U record of 5-11.
The Chargers are 13-4 straight up (SU) in 2018 while the Patriots are 11-5 SU.
When these two teams met last year, New England earned the win 21-13.
Each team comes into this contest on a two-game winning streak. The Chargers are coming off a 23-17 victory over Baltimore in Week 18. Philip Rivers completed 22 passes for just 160 yards. Melvin Gordon III (just 40 rushing yards on 17 attempts, one TD) and Austin Ekeler (29 yards on 11 carries) led the ground attack while Keenan Allen (four receptions, 37 yards) and Antonio Gates (four catches, 35 yards) handled the receiving duties in the win.
New England enters this one after just getting a 38-3 win over the Jets back in Week 17. The defense allowed the Jets to run for 104 yards on 23 rush attempts. Deontay Burnett was a bright spot in the defeat, recording 73 yards on five catches for New York. For New England, Tom Brady completed 24-of-33 passes for 250 yards and four touchdowns. Sony Michel (50 rushing yards on 14 attempts) spearheaded the running game while Chris Hogan (six receptions, 64 yards) and Julian Edelman (five catches, 69 yards, one TD) led the pass-catching attack in the win.
Each team sports a similar run-pass ratio on the season. Los Angeles has run the ball on 44.3 percent of its offensive possessions while New England has a rush percentage of 45.4. The Chargers have run for 115.4 yards/game and have 17 touchdowns on the ground this year. The Pats are putting up 127.3 rush yards per game and have 18 total rushing TDs.
Based on the numbers so far, it seems like the Chargers may have an advantage when it comes to RB efficiency, as their running backs has generated 4.5 yards per carry while their defense is allowing a YPC of 4.3 to opponents. The Patriots have rushed for 4.3 yards per carry and allowed a YPC of 4.9 to opponents.
The Bolts offense has averaged 263.3 yards through the air overall and has 32 passing scores so far. The Pats have recorded 275.3 pass yards per outing and have 29 total pass TDs.
On the defensive side of the ball, Los Angeles appears to have the upper hand when it comes to limiting the pass. The team has allowed 104.9 rush yards and 240.0 pass yards per game. The New England D has given up 261.3 yards per game to opposing passers and 112.7 yards per game on the ground. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to opponents, as the Bolts have given up an ANY/A of 5.88 to opposing QBs, while the Pats are yielding an ANY/A of 5.85.
Offensively, Rivers has put up 4,292 passing yards on the year. He’s connected on 355-of-516 attempts with 31 scores through the air and only 10 interceptions. Rivers has a 7.74 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number sits at 4.56 over the last two outings.
We’re expecting the Chargers to control tempo by feeding their running backs early and often. Along with Keenan Allen (1,169 yards, six TDs), Melvin Gordon III (883 rush yards, 11 rush TDs, four receiving TDs) and Austin Ekeler (525 rush yards, two rush TDs, three receiving TDs) have really been focal points in the Los Angeles offensive scheme.
For the home team, Tom Brady has connected on 362-of-546 passes for 4,229 yards, 28 TDs and nine INTs. Brady’s ANY/A stands at 7.50 for the season and 6.29 across his last two outings.
The Pats will also try to control the game’s pace by turning to their backfield. Along with Julian Edelman (780 receiving yards, five receiving TDs), Sony Michel (815 rush yards, five rush TDs) and James White (384 rush yards, four rush TDs, 738 receiving yards, seven TDs) have seen a lot of touches recently.
Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots NFL Prediction
SU Winner: Patriots, ATS Winner: Patriots, O/U: Over
Team Betting Trends
- The New England offense has lost seven fumbles this season while Los Angeles has lost eight.
- The Los Angeles defense has 45 sacks on the year while New England has just 30.
- As a team, Los Angeles has produced 3.2 yards per carry over its past three contests and 3.3 over its last two.
- New England has averaged 5.2 yards per carry over its last three matchups and 5.2 over its past two.
- Over its last three matches, New England is 1-2 ATS and the under cashed in each of those three.
- The Over/Under for Los Angeles’ last game was set at 42.5. The under cashed in the team’s 23-17 victory over Baltimore.
- Over its last three contests, Los Angeles is 2-1 ATS and the under cashed in each of those three.
- The O/U for New England’s last matchup was set at 46.5. The under cashed in the 38-3 win over the Jets.
- Los Angeles has won seven of its last eight games SU, with a 12-point loss to Baltimore on December 22nd accounting for the only slip-up over that stretch.