New England Patriots (5-6) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-8)
Patriots Chargers Bet Tips
Patriots Chargers Odds and Betting Lines
Against The Spread: Patriots -1 (-110)/Chargers +1 (-110)
Moneyline: Patriots (-115)//Chargers (-105)
Total: 47.5 — Over 47.5 (-115)/Under 47.5 (-105)
Implied Team Totals: Patriots 24, Chargers 23
The Patriots have won three of their past four games and look to keep their postseason hopes alive with a win over the Chargers on Sunday. The Chargers are 2-4 in their past six games, but play many of their matchups close. A Patriots loss would just about eliminate them from playoff contention.
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Patriots Chargers Key Injuries
Patriots LT Isaiah Wynn was placed on the injured reserve list this week with a knee injury suffered in Week 11, that ultimately sidelined him for last week’s win over the Cardinals as well.
Wynn’s absence is a significant blow to their offensive line as he had yet to miss time this season, leading Patriots offensive linemen in snaps. Jermain Eluemenor is expected to fill the void left by Wynn.
Wynn was the ninth-best tackle according to Pro Football Focus on 641 snaps. Eluemenor is ranked 18th but has only played in 223 snaps in 2020.
The Chargers placed pass rusher Melvin Ingram on the injured reserve list on Sunday with a knee injury. This is the second time he’s been placed on IR this season with the same knee issue. If Ingram’s year is indeed over, he will finish with zero sacks, one interception, and two deflected passes in seven games.
While the Chargers did not have Ingram for last week’s game nor will they have him moving forward, they did receive some defensive help. The Chargers activated slot cornerback Chris Harris from IR preceding Sunday loss to Buffalo. Harris has been sidelined since Week 3 with a foot injury.
Harris made a fast impact, holding Cole Beasley, who was hot in recent weeks, to two reception for 25 yards on four targets. Harris will likely shade Isaiah Ford and Jakobi Meyers in the slot on Sunday.
Patriots Chargers Players to Watch
Since Patriots RB Rex Burkhead suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 11, James White has really shown up, really, for the first time all season.
In Week 11’s win over the Texans, White made an impact in the passing game, hauling in 6-of-9 targets for 64 yards to pair with his 19 rushing yards on five attempts. In last week’s victory over the Cardinals, White was used in rare goal-line situations. While he only managed five carries for 18 yards, he scored two short touchdowns.
Since White can do a little bit of everything, he will likely be employed in Burkhead’s role more so than his previous role as a primary receiver and pass-blocking back. If you remember when Burkhead was healthy, he was also employed in red-zone situations as well.
In a game the Patriots could ultimately be trailing in if they let Justin Herbert get the best of their regressive secondary, White could make his impact once again as a receiver and as a chain-mover.
Chargers RB Austin Ekeler made a substantial impact in his first game back from a serious hamstring injury that sidelined him since Week 4. While the Chargers were able to tread water in lieu of Ekeler, they missed their stud back.
Ekeler rushed 14 times for 44 yards but running isn’t exactly what he does best. Ekeler is an exceptional receiver out of the backfield who can also be used all over the formation. As a pass-catching back, Ekeler caught 11of-16 targets for 85 yards.
In his second game back, Ekeler gets a matchup with a Patriots defense allowing the 10th fewest receptions, the 10th fewest receiving yards, and the second-fewest touchdowns (1) to running backs in the passing game this season.
If Ekeler can find holes in New England’s defense that he could exploit, they’ll have a hard time containing him, which will put the Chargers in a good place to steal their fourth win of the year on Sunday.
Patriots Chargers Weather Report
The weather at SoFi Stadium will not affect the game because it is a dome field.
Patriots Chargers Bet Tips
BEST BET: Patriots -1 (-110)
This game will be as close as the books think it will be. While Justin Herbert has been terrific this season, he has yet to face Bill Belichick. In his tenure with the Patriots, Belichick entered the 2020 season with a 19-5 record facing-off against rookie signal-callers.
If Herbert turns the football over, it will spell doom for a Chargers victory. Herbert has logged four interceptions in his past five games. The Patriots are also a team that runs the football a ton, which slows the tempo.
The Patriots are No. 3 in team run plays per game (32.3). With New England slowing the game down, Herbert will remain on the sideline, capping the damage he can do to the Patriots’ defense.
The Patriots are 3-1 straight up in their past four games, going 2-2 against the spread.
The Chargers are 1-4 in their past five games, failing to cover in all five outings.
The Patriots have won eight of their past nine games over the Chargers, victorious in each of their past five meetings.
CONSIDER: Under 47.5 (-105)
The Chargers employ one of the best offenses in the NFL, scoring 25.2 points per game, good for 16th best in the NFL. However, they are coming off of a Week 12 loss to Buffalo in which they were held to 17 points, their lowest total since late September where they scored 16 in a loss to Carolina.
Justin Herbert and the Chargers’ offense is not infallible. If the suspect Bills defense can stifle the rookie, imagine what Bill Belichick can do.
As long as Herbert and Austin Ekeler are reasonably contained, this total will fall to the Under. After all, we already know the Patriots arent hanging their hats on their offense in their past two seasons.
The Under is 6-2 in the Patriots’ past eight games while hitting in each of their past three outings.
The Over is 7-1 in the Chargers’ past eight games, meeting the Under in last week’s loss to Buffalo.
The Under is 5-2 in the past seven meetings between the Patriots and Chargers.
PASS: Patriots (-115)
I am passing on the New England Moneyline for the simple fact that it is a one-point spread and you get better odds ceding the point. You can’t win a game by less than a point. This isn’t fantasy football. We don’t need to wait for stat corrections in this one.
Anthony Cervino is 31-33-1 on his NFL Best Bets in 2020.
Anthony Cervino is an NFL Writer and Betting Analyst for The Game Day. He is also a lifelong NFL savant and self-proclaimed league historian. In the industry, Anthony has excelled in both the fantasy football and sports betting space with fantasy his proverbial bread and butter.
Anthony has made appearances on SiriusXM, amongst other publications. He is also the co-creator of the FF Faceoff (Faceoff Sports Network) and the FF Faceoff Mental Health Podathon partnered with the Hayden Hurst Foundation.
15th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for both draft and in-season accuracy (2019)
| 8th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for sleepers (2020)
| 13th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for in-season accuracy, including 2nd at quarterback and 3rd at tight end (2021).
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