The New England Patriots are still in the mix for a playoff spot in the AFC, but they need a victory on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday to keep pace with the teams in the wild card race.
The Pats enter their Week 13 matchup with the Chargers at 5-6 and sit two games behind the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts for the last two wild card berths in the AFC.
Oddsmakers like the Patriots' chances of beating the Chargers, but not by much. New England is favored by just a single point.
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Here are the latest spread, moneyline and points total numbers for Patriots vs. Chargers -- odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.
The Patriots should win this game, but given the inconsistency they've shown throughout the season, nothing is guaranteed with this group.
For starters, New England is about to play three consecutive games on the road. The Pats are just 1-4 on the road this season. They also have a 1-4 record against-the-spread (ATS) away from home in 2020.
New England's offense really struggled in the Week 12 win over the Arizona Cardinals with just 179 total yards. Patriots quarterback Cam Newton completed only nine passes for 84 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Chargers offense has been pretty solid this year with rookie quarterback Justin Herbert leading the way. Los Angeles ranks No. 3 in total yards, No. 3 in passing yards and its 25.2 points per game average is 4.4 more than the Patriots. Herbert has thrown for 300-plus yards in six of his 10 games played.
However, there are a few reasons to like the Patriots on Sunday.
They have owned this matchup in recent years, winning eight of the last 10 meetings against the Chargers with a 7-3 ATS record over that span. New England also is 5-0 ATS and 5-0 straight up in its last five matchups versus Los Angeles.
Let's not forget Bill Belichick has rarely lost to a rookie quarterback in 20 years as Patriots head coach, and you can bet he'll have plenty of different coverage schemes aimed at confusing Herbert.
The Chargers also have struggled closing tight games. They are 2-9 in games decided by one score (eight points or less), and those two wins came against the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets.
It all adds up to the Patriots being a slim betting favorite Sunday afternoon. They also will be the team under the most pressure because a seventh loss likely would end New England's hopes of returning to the postseason.