Chargers +4 at New England, 2 units.
Any time I bet against Brady and Belichick I have to take a deep breath before I lock it. Tough to go against them. I’ve gone against them in big spots and have lost and I’ve gone against them in big spots with have won outright. Even though this isn’t New England’s best roster I obviously respect what this team is capable of from top to bottom. The numbers for this spot are also heavy for the Pats- they’re 15-0 their last 15 home games (12-3 ATS) and Brady is 7-0 against Rivers. Ridiculous. But first time playoff QBs were also 2-17-1 ATS before the Chiefs game yesterday. NE also went 1-2 ATS in the playoffs last year and the Jags tested them.
I’m betting this one for two reasons:
1- The Chargers match up well with New England. The Patriots will be able to run the ball today but when it comes to passing downs and 3rd downs, Bosa and Ingram can disrupt a game. A strong pass rush and hitting Brady from the middle has been the formula to beat him over the years. I expect Belichick and McDaniels to design a lot of short passing routes and runs to offset this but the Chargers can pressure Brady. Derwin James can also cover Gronk 1 on 1 and the Chargers’ secondary is strong enough to hold their own. The Chargers’ offense has so many weapons and having Austin Ekeler and Hunter Henry back is huge and can free up Allen, Williams, Gates and Benjamin.
2- Feel. The Chargers look like a team that doesn’t care where or when they play, they look like they’re always ready to go against the odds. They lost 9 of 10 vs KC and then came back to win a miracle in Arrowhead (on a short week). They were down big at Pittsburgh and then they made a huge come back. They flew cross-country and beat one of the hottest teams in the Ravens. They’ve won in the cold multiple times now.
I hate that the Chargers didn’t stay on the east coast and that they’re traveling far again. I can see a fast Patriots start. But throughout this bet I know that the Bolts will have the confidence in a comeback until the clock hits 0:00 because they’ve done it before. And Rivers is psychotic – the guy played on a torn ACL in Foxborough in ‘07. I think despite all the travel, this can be a “mind over matter” game. I’m betting against the other psychotic QB and the GOAT but I’m grabbing the points with the team that’s played well as a dog all year. Lynn has also been impressive as a coach. This will come down to if the Chargers are ready for the moment and can stand up to the beast. We’ll see soon enough. ⚡️⚡️+4