Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) vs New England Patriots (11-5)Date : 01/13/2019
Time : 1:05 PM
Location : Gillette Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Los Angeles Chargers vs New England Patriots
The New England Patriots will play in their 1st playoff game of the 2018 season after receiving a 1st round bye and they will play host to the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium, the opening kickoff is slated for 1:05 PM. The New England Patriots were able to claim the 2nd seed in the AFC after winning the East division while the Los Angeles Chargers are the 5th seed and are coming off a Wild Card win over the Baltimore Ravens 23-17.
Los Angeles Chargers's Latest Performance :
The Los Angeles Chargers may be the best team in the AFC even though they didn’t claim their divisional crown and we saw them play well in the Wild Card against a red hot Baltimore Ravens team as they won 23-17. QB Phillip Rivers wasn’t asked to do much against the Ravens as his defense gave him great field position all game long but he was still effective in moving the chains as he threw for 160 yards on 22 completions. Rivers is having a stellar season for the Chargers as he ended the regular season with 4308 yards, 32 TDs, and 12 interceptions. The ground game has been as strong as ever for Rivers which has allowed the offense to be two-dimensional and they have one of the best all-purpose backs in football with Melvin Gordon. Gordon was able to reach the endzone for the Chargers as he had 1 TD on 40 yards, Gordon didn’t have as much as an impact through the air as we have seen this season. Gordon is one of the most prolific RBs in the NFL and we saw that on display this past season as he racked up 1375 scrimmage yards and 14 TDs in only 12 games. The Chargers have a dangerous WR corp with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams but Rivers will get back another target with TE Hunter Henry. Williams hauled in 2 receptions for 42 yards against the Ravens while Allen had 4 receptions for 37 yards. Allen was Rivers top target throughout the regular season as he finished with 1196 yards and 6 TDs while Williams was the TD machine with a team-high 10. The Chargers defense has been one of the best units in the AFC and we saw them keep a dynamic QB in Lamar Jackson in check last weekend. LB Melvin Ingram had a big outing for the Chargers with 6 tackles and 2 sacks while Adrian Phillips was able to recover a fumble as well as haul in an interception.
New England Patriots's Latest Performance :
Since the New England Patriots knew they had a 1st round bye in the Wild Card round they wanted to end the regular season with a bang which they did as they finished week 17 with a 38-3 win over the New York Jets. QB Tom Brady had arguably his best game of the season as he completed 24 of his 33 pass attempts for a total of 250 yards and 4 TDs. Brady didn’t put up MVP numbers like we have been accustomed to seeing but he still had a very efficient season as he threw for 4355 yards, 29 TDs, and 11 interceptions. The Patriots wanted to include the ground game in their identity this season which is why they spent an early pick on Sony Michel. Michel was unable to find much wiggle room against the Jets as he only ran for 50 yards on 14 carries but he had a really good rookie campaign as he finished the regular season with 931 yards and 6 TDs in only 9 starts. RB James White has been an important piece to the New England offense over the last few seasons and he showed us his versatility against the Jets as he ran for 30 yards on 4 carries while also adding in 39 reception yards and a TD. WR Julian Edelman has been one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets over the last few years as well and he was able to have a big game against the Jets as he hauled in 5 receptions for 69 yards and 1 TD. Edelman sat out the first 4 games of the season due to suspension but he still was the Patriots leading WR with 850 yards and 6 TDs. The New England defense has done enough to win games for Bill Belichick and company but they played good against the Jets as they kept them to only 3 points. DE Trey Flowers will play a key role in the playoffs especially against the stellar QBs still in contention and we saw him play well against the Jets with 6 tackles and a sack while Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, and Derek Rivers contributed sacks themselves.
How Los Angeles Chargers & New England Patriots Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Los Angeles is 10-7 ATS, 8-1 ATS on the road.
New England is 9-7-1 ATS, 6-2 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
New England ended the regular season with the 4th ranked scoring offense as they scored an average of 27.3 PPG while Los Angeles ranked 6th as they scored an average of 26.8 PPG.
New England ended the regular season with the 7th ranked scoring defense as they held opponents to an average of 20.3 PPG while Los Angeles ranked 8th as they held opponents to an average of 20.6 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: Los Angeles Chargers +4
My reason for the pick :
We have the best away team in the NFL going up against the best home team but something has got to give and I will be on the side of the Los Angeles Chargers in this one. The Patriots have not shown as much on offense this season as they Gronkowski has not been the same player we have seen in previous years and Josh Gordon is sitting out to focus on his mental health. The Chargers have one of the best defenses in the NFL and I think they have the talent and speed to cause havoc on Tom Brady especially with their pass rush. The Chargers offense should find success throwing the ball down the field as the secondary has been questionable at times and if the Patriots decide to play the pass Melvin Gordon will find himself some running lanes. The Chargers are as hot as anyone in football and I think they are a true Super Bowl contender which is why I will back them in this one.
Betting trends for Los Angeles Chargers:
- Los Angeles is 5-1 ATS as a road underdog this season.
Betting trends for New England Patriots:
- New England is 6-4 ATS after a win this season.