Chargers Try to Keep Pace in the West
Los Angeles (4-2) is fresh off their bye week and ready to stay in the hunt with the 5-2 Raiders for the AFC West crown. With Kansas City (3-4) struggling this season, the division is up for grabs for the first time in five years.
New England (3-4) didn’t have an official bye last week like the Chargers, but they kind of did in a 54-13 win at home against the Jets. The Patriots are an OT loss to the Cowboys from coming into this game on a 3-game win streak, but BetUS and BetOnline still have New England as +4.5 underdogs.
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Confidence Builder for New England Last Week
It’s been a solid month for the Patriots, even though they are just 2-2 in October so far. Their losses came 19-17 against 6-1 New England and 35-29 (OT) to 5-1 Dallas. That’s playing close against two tough teams – but both of those matches were also at Gillette Stadium.
New England’s two wins this month have come at 1-6 Houston and last week against the 1-5 Jets, so not exactly quality competition.
Rookie QB Mac Jones had 307 yards, and 2 TD and the Patriots got the running game going again with Damien Harris running for 106 yards and 2 TD on just 14 carries. That’s optimistic, considering the Chargers have the worst rush defense in the NFL (162.5).
The Patriots relaxed their defense a bit after building a 31-7 halftime lead, so New York QB Mike White throwing for 202 yards in his first NFL action should be taken with a grain of salt. Things get a lot tougher in Los Angeles, where the Chargers have the #7 pass offense in the league (282.8 ypg).
Chargers Try to Get Back on Track
Los Angeles might not have preferred their bye to come last week as now they’ve had an extra week to stew about a 34-6 loss to Baltimore in Week 6. LAC had just 208 total yards in that loss, which ended a run of three straight wins for the Chargers.
The good news is that now at least L.A. is rested, and they’re also still right in the hunt with the Raiders for the AFC West title. The Chargers still have a couple of division games left with the struggling Broncos, have matchups with the Eagles, Giants, and Texans – and also close out the year in Las Vegas. The road gets less bumpy if LAC can get through New England.
The sportsbooks aren’t looking too much into last week’s Chargers loss, making them -4.5 favorites. LAC looked bad against Baltimore, though, with Justin Herbert completing just 22/39 for under 200 yards and also being the leading rusher with 12 yards.
The Chargers’ defense also needs to step up to cover this betting line as they allowed 187 yards on the ground in the Ravens’ loss. That comes a week after surrendering 230 yards on the ground to the Browns, so there are some concerns there.
Patriots at Chargers Pick
New England has played well in losses to NFC powerhouses Tampa Bay and Dallas, but those games are hard to analyze since they were both at home. Now the Patriots have to make the cross country trek up against a team that is coming off the bye.
The travel shouldn’t bother the Patriots as much, though, since last week was a breeze in the win over the Jets. The two big issues in this one is the Chargers atrocious run defense as well as Bill Belichick against a good – but still young – QB in Herbert.
NFL Betting Pick: Patriots +4.5