The Los Angeles Chargers will travel To New England to take on the Patriots in the third of four Divisional round playoff games this weekend. These teams took very different paths to get here as last week the Patriots were home resting and preparing while the Chargers were battling for their playoff lives. New England won their 10th straight AFC East title when the Jaguars beat the dolphins in week 16 ensuring a first round bye. Even with 12 regular season wins the Chargers were forced to play on the road in the Wild Card round. They defeated the Baltimore Ravens 23-17 but had a 23-3 lead in the fourth quarter and had to hold on as the Ravens scored two late touchdowns and had a chance to tie at the end before a fumble ended their season.
The Chargers defense came up big in their victory over the Ravens last week. They shut them out in the first half and forced 3 turnovers as they recovered 2 fumbles and intercepted Lamar Jackson once. They limited Baltimore to 90 rushing yards on 23 carries which is an average of 3.9 yards per run. The Chargers defense finished 9th this season in yards allowed with 333.7 per game. Offensively, Phillip Rivers finished with a passer rating of 80 as he completed 22 of 32 passes for 160 yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Three different receivers had 4 receptions but Mike Williams only caught 2 passes but led the team with 42 yards. The team averages 2.7 yards per rush as they gained 89 yards on 33 carries. The Chargers offense finished 7th this season in points scored per game with 26.5.
Tom Brady is 41 years old and in his 19th NFL Season and he still threw for 4,355 yards, 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season. Midway through the year they acquired receiver Josh Gordon in a trade with the Browns, received an indefinite suspension by the league after violating the substance abuse policy again. This was a big loss for the Patriots as he led the team in receiving yards several times in his brief stint with the team. Tight End Rob Gronkowski had a down season catching just 3 touchdown passes, which is a tie for lowest amount of his career. Sony Michel led the team in rushing with 931 yards and 6 touchdowns. Defensively, they had an up and down season as they finished 6th in points allowed per game with 20.3 and 21st in yards allowed with 359.1.
The Patriots will have home field advantage and are favored by 4 points. They have gone 11-5 against the spread this season and are hosting their 9th divisional round playoff game in a row. The Chargers have gone 10-7 against the spread but could be without one of their biggest offensive weapons. Running back Melvin Gordon suffered a knee sprain in the win over the Ravens and his status is still questionable, but even if he plays he won’t be at 100 percent.
If you're new to sportsbetting, check out Football betting lines explained, to get a comprehensive guide how to bet on NFL games.