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After a career filled with bridesmaid endings, veteran quarterback Philip Rivers and the rest of his Los Angeles Chargers teammates are looking for nothing less than a victory in Super Bowl 53. In order to get to their intended destination, the Bolts will have to go through Tom Brady and the New England Patriots when the two square off in their AFC Divisional showdown on Sunday.

With the Bolts already picking up one road win this postseason and the Past well-rested after getting a first-round bye, let’s find out which team is offering the best value against their NFL betting odds in this intriguing matchup.

Game Information

AFC Divisional Playoffs – Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots STATS

Weather Forecast

AFC Divisional Playoffs – Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots WEATHER

Los Angeles Chargers

Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers will enter this AFC Divisional showdown on fire after winning five of their final six regular-season contests while taming Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in their 23-17 wild-card win last weekend. The Bolts got past the Ravens by shutting out Baltimore for the first half while allowing just three points through three quarters. Now, Philip Rivers and the Bolts are looking for a win against New England and the Patriots say they are preparing to face a true warrior.

“I mean the guy played with a torn ACL. We played in 10-degree weather and he was still firing dimes out there,” Patriots future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady said Monday on Boston’s WEEI radio. “So, the guy’s got all of the confidence in the world. It makes for a great matchup.”

L.A. averages an impressive 26.8 points per game to rank sixth in scoring while limiting the opposition to just 20.6 points per contest defensively to rank an equally impressive eighth in points allowed.

“He’s a great leader. He’s a great passer of the football,” Brady said in continuing to praise Rivers. “He’s kind of like me. He wants the ball out of his hands. He kind of wants to be able to anticipate coverages. He’s got really a great group of skill players — backs, tight ends, receivers. They’re playing as well as any offense that’s played all season. He’s having an incredible year.”

AFC Divisional Playoffs – Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots Los-Angeles-Chargers_Philip-Rivers

New England Patriots

New England managed to win their final two regular-season contests after suffering a pair of surprising December losses to non-playoff teams in Miami and Pittsburgh in Weeks 14 and 15. New England smacked the New York Jets senseless in their 38-3 Week 17 win as Tom Brady passed for 250 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Now, the Bolts say they know they need to play their best game in order to beat the perennially-powerful Patriots.

“We know we’re going to need to play better offensively, and hopefully (the defense) can keep it rolling and see what happens next Sunday,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. “It’s a Bill Belichick-led team and defense, (and) we know they’re in these games (all the time). Whether this will be, who knows how many, Brady’s 40th, 38th, a something playoff game? So they’re used to these kinds of games, so it’ll be a heck of a challenge.”

The Patriots rank a stellar fourth in scoring (27.2 ppg) and equally encouraging seventh in points allowed (20.3 ppg), but this is a team that lost to lowly Jacksonville, Detroit, and Miami as well as mediocre Tennessee and underachieving Pittsburgh. The good news for the Pats as they get set for their divisional matchup is that they’ve gone 8-0 SU at home this season. The bad news is that they’ll be facing a Chargers team that is 8-1 in nine road dates this season.

AFC Divisional Playoffs – Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots New-England-Patriots_Tom-Brady

Expert Pick and Prediction

If you didn’t know before, now you do. A whopping 61 percent of public bettors are currently backing Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers to cover the chalk as a 4-point road dog in this contest. More importantly, I believe those very same bettors are easily making the right call for this matchup.

While New England is slightly better statistically on both sides of the ball, I believe the Los Angeles Chargers are actually the better team in this matchup, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Last weekend, defensive end Melvin Ingram completely terrorized Baltimore rookie Lamar Jackson and I believe that he, along with Pro Bowl counterpart Joey Bosa, are going to do likewise to Tom Brady in this affair.

While New England has gone 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Divisional Playoffs games and 4-1 ATS in their last five games in the month of January, the Chargers are a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and a near-perfect 5-1 ATS in their last 6 playoff road games.

While the favorite in this series has gone 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings, Los Angeles is also 7-2 ATS in their last nine playoff games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall. More importantly, I believe the Bolts are simply now, the better team in this contest. Philip Rivers and company will cover the chalk in this AFC divisional showdown – by winning outright!

Predicted Score: Los Angeles Chargers 27 | New England Patriots 21

AFC Divisional Playoffs – Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots Los-Angeles-Chargers_win

Los Angeles Chargers +4 -110 | New England Patriots -4 -110

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