In the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, the Los Angeles Chargers are underdogs as they prepare to battle the New England Patriots. CBS is scheduled to televise the action and this crucial early afternoon matchup gets going at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots Betting Preview
In this Sunday AFC game, New England has been tabbed as the favorite and the team’s currently giving up 4 points. The Chargers are also receiving +150 moneyline odds while the Patriots are -170. It appears that there might be some good live betting scenarios in this game, and Vegas has determined the over/under (O/U) to be 46.5 points.
Early action has been shifting in the direction of both the Chargers and the under. The line originally opened at -5 and the O/U was initially pegged at 47.5.
The Chargers are 10-7 against the spread (ATS) and have gained 6.0 units so far. The team has posted an Over-Under record of 8-9. The Patriots have lost 1.1 units this season. The team is 9-7 ATS and owns an O/U record of 5-11.
The Chargers have gone 13-4 straight up (SU) in 2018 while the Patriots are 11-5 SU.
Both teams come into the contest on two-game winning streaks. The Chargers are coming off a 23-17 victory over Baltimore last week. The passing attack was sharp as Philip Rivers completed 22 passes for just 160 yards. Melvin Gordon III (only 40 yards on 17 rushes, one TD) and Austin Ekeler (29 yards on 11 carries) provided the ground attack while Keenan Allen (four receptions, 37 yards) and Antonio Gates (four catches, 35 yards) handled the receiving duties in the win.
The New England Pats just earned a lopsided 38-3 win over the Jets. The team’s defensive unit allowed the Jets to run for 104 yards on 23 rush attempts. Deontay Burnett had a good showing 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 yards on 14 rush attempts) mounted the running game while Chris Hogan (six receptions, 64 yards) and Julian Edelman (five catches, 69 yards, one TD) led the receiving corps in the win.
Each squad 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 produced 115 rush yards/game and have 17 scores on the ground this year. The Pats are averaging 127 rush yards per game and have 18 total rushing TDs.
Based on the results so far, the Chargers should own the edge in all aspects of the ground game, since their backfield has produced 4.5 yards per carry while their defense is allowing a YPC of 4.3 to opponents. The Patriots have recorded 4.3 yards per carry and allowed a YPC of 4.9 to opponents.
The Bolts offense has averaged 263 yards through the air overall and has 32 passing scores so far. The Pats have recorded 275 pass yards per game and have 29 total pass TDs.
Defensively, Los Angeles should have the upper hand when it comes to limiting the pass. The team has allowed opponents to run for an average of 105 yards and pass for 240 yards per game. The New England defense has given up 261.3 yards per game to opposing passers and 112.7 yards per game to opposing runners. 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 amassed 4,292 passing yards on the year, and has completed 355-of-516 attempts with 31 passing scores and only 10 interceptions. Rivers has a 7.74 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 4.56 over the last two outings.
The Chargers will probably try to control tempo by pounding the defense with their running backs. 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 offensive game scripts for Los Angeles.
On the other sideline, Tom Brady has connected on 362-of-546 passes for 4,229 yards, 28 TDs and nine INTs. Brady’s ANY/A sits at 7.50 for the season and 6.29 across his last two games.
The Pats will also try to dictate 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 gotten a lot of looks lately.
When these two teams faced one another last year, New England earned the win 21-13.
NFL Prediction: Los Angeles Chargers vs. New England Patriots
SU Winner – Patriots, ATS Winner – Chargers, O/U – Over
Team Betting Trends
The O/U for Los Angeles’ last game was 42.5. The under cashed in the team’s 23-17 victory over Baltimore.
As a team, Los Angeles has produced 3.2 yards per carry over its last three outings and 3.3 over its last two.
New England has averaged 5.2 yards per carry over its last three contests and 5.2 over its past two.
New England has lost seven fumbles this season while Los Angeles has lost eight.
Over its last three matchups, Los Angeles is 2-1 ATS and the under cashed in each of those three.
Los Angeles has won seven of its last eight games SU, with a December 22nd defeat to Baltimore accounting for the only loss over that stretch.
The Over/Under for New England’s last matchup going into it was 46.5. The under cashed in that 38-3 victory over the Jets.
Over its last three matches, New England is 1-2 ATS and the under cashed in each of those three.
The Chargers offense has created 10 pass plays of 40 yards or more, while the Patriots have accounted for eight such plays.
The Los Angeles defense has allowed nine pass plays of 40 or more yards, while New England has given up eight such plays.
The Los Angeles offense has created 16 rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while New England has created 11 such runs.
Both defenses have allowed 11 rushing plays of 20 or more yards. The Chargers have given up 42 running plays of 10+ yards while the Patriots have given up 59 such plays.
The Los Angeles D has 45 sacks on the year while New England has just 30.