2014 NFL Week 14 - Patriots vs. Chargers Betting Odds Preview

Line: Patriots -3.5

The 9-3 New England Patriots and the 8-4 San Diego Chargers face off in San Diego on Sunday Night Football. The Chargers went on a 3 game losing streak during weeks 7-9 and in most recent seasons that would have evolved into a downward spiral that resulted in them missing the playoffs. Instead they took advantage of the week 10 bye to make some adjustments and have now won 3 straight games and are in a great position to return to the playoffs. Last weeks come from behind 34-33 win on the road against a playoff quality Ravens team is the type of game that can really get a team going in the right direction. The Chargers got off to a slow start vs. the Ravens and seemed to be in deep trouble as they trailed 30- 20 with a little over 6:00 remaining in the game. Quarterback Philip Rivers found Keenan Allen for a touchdown pass with 3:40 remaining to make the score 30-27. The Ravens were able to get into field goal range and convert for a 6-point lead with 2:22 left in the game. That proved to be more than enough time for the San Diego offense as Rivers found Eddie Royal for a game winning touchdown pass with 38 seconds left in the game. It was the first time they had led all game in a contest that was high octane with each team only punting once. Rivers finished 34/45 for 383 yards and 3 touchdowns. Allen had a huge overall day with 11 catches for 121 yards. Ryan Matthews was unimpressive at running back with 12 carries for 40 yards.

The Patriots had a tough road test against the Patriots last week and got off to a great 13-10 first quarter lead. However they were unable to hold onto that lead and ended up trailing 14-13 by halftime. A late third quarter touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson gave the Patriots a deficit they would be unable to recover from as they eventually lost 26-21. Quarterback Tom Brady went 22/35 for 245 yards and a touchdown. Running Back Lagarette Blount appears to be the next man up in coach Bill Belichick’s revolving door at running back. Rob Gronkowski had 7 catches for 98 yards and continued his tremendous season.

Tom Brady has never lost to Philip Rivers in head to head matchups and they have not faced one another since 2011. Rivers has had an under the radar type of season, he leads the AFC with a 69.1 completion percentage and has had 6 three touchdown passing games on the season. The contest features two of the games best tight ends in Gronkowski and Antonio Gates. The winner of the game may be the team that is able to get a running game going. Matthew has played well overall since returning 3 games ago and it looks like Blount will get the majority of the Patriots carries. Whichever team is able to establish the run will have a huge advantage.

Pick: Patriots -3.5

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