Chargers at Patriots: Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips
Sunday 1/13 1:05 PM (ET),
The game of the week in the NFL Divisional round takes place Sunday evening in below-freezing weather at Foxborough.
Philip Rivers has enjoyed a luxurious 15-year career. Despite tremendous heights, two things have evaded Rivers during his likely Hall of Fame run; the Lombardi Trophy (or any playoff success at that) and defeating Tom Brady. Rivers is winless vs. Brady in seven head-to-head meetings.
There are reasons to be optimistic this time around. The Chargers undoubtedly own the more talented roster between them and New England. In fact I believe the Chargers have the most talented roster left in the playoffs. Unfortunately, Rivers has entered a blatant slump over recent weeks, one that very few have spoken about. Rivers has failed to eclipse 181 yards passing in three straight games, while tossing six interceptions to just three touchdowns over his last four games.
Rivers’ struggles will likely continue to be visible against a Patriots defense that has done an outstanding job of keeping opponents out of the endzone. The 7th ranked scoring defense in all of football took their game to new heights halfway through the year. Since week 8, the Pats defense has held opponents to 17 points or less in seven of their nine games. It also doesn’t help that the team from sunny Los Angeles has to travel to below freezing weather in New England. Nor does it help that they’ll be at a stadium in which Tom Brady is 115-19 as a starter, and where the Pats haven’t lost a playoff game since 2013.
Score prediction: Patriots win 24-20
The popular betting sites and I both place a four-point spread in favor of the Patriots. With the hopes that you don’t get hit with a push, take the Pats. Their defense has been outstanding, and Brady is coming off a four-touchdown performance. The Bolts offensive struggles go well beyond Rivers’ recent play. Melvin Gordon has rushed for 42 yards or less in three consecutive games, and has gone five straight games without eclipsing 69 yards on the ground.
As the Wild Card round showed us all a week ago, playoff football is different than the regular season. The defense get stouter, the passing lanes are tighter, and the running holes shrink up just a little more. The Patriots ability to stop opponents from scoring has been well documented throughout this read. There is no reason to believe that a struggling Chargers offense will come in and disrupt what they have been doing for 8+ weeks. The Patriots also lack playmakers on offense, and Brady will likely lead the team to victory but he won’t do it in a high-scoring fashion.
Head to Head
Philip Rivers is 0-7 vs. Tom Brady all-time, and his only win vs. the Patriots was when Brady was out for the season with a torn ACL. Overall, the Patriots are 7-3 in their last ten meetings with the Chargers. The Pats have gone undefeated over their last three outings vs. the Bolts.
- New England is 10-3 SU in their last 13 games.
- New England is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New England’s last 5 home games.
- Los Angeles is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Los Angeles’ last 6 road games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Los Angeles’ last 6 games vs. New England.