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Los Angeles Chargers vs. New England Patriots Point Spread - Pick

Los Angeles Chargers (3-4 SU, 3-3-1 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (5-2 SU, 3-4 ATS)
Week 8 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: LAC +7.5/NE -7.5
Over/Under Total: 48.5

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Chargers come into Foxborough for a week 8 matchup with the New England Patriots. The Chargers have overcome an 0-4 start to win their last three games. On Sunday, they were impressive in a 21-0 shutout win over the Broncos. With two road wins preceding that, they have shown they can get it done away from home this season and look for more of that against the Pats on Sunday. The Pats are also coming off a big week, beating the Falcons in a Super Bowl rematch, 23-7. They have now won 3 in a row and look to put the troubles they had earlier in the season behind them at 5-2. They better be on-point against a rising force in the Chargers who have shown some good road-resiliency this season so far.

The Chargers have shown some mettle this last several weeks, beating the Giants, Raiders, and Broncos in consecutive games. It gets a little tougher this week. Their offense wasn't really that great on Sunday, with just 242 total yards. But the big-play ability of WR Travis Benjamin was key, as he caught a 41-yard pass for a score, while retuning a punt early for a 65-yard touchdown. And the defense, which has been showing good signs, was excellent for the Chargers, securing three turnovers and never letting Denver get much foothold.

It's hard for an offense to shine against the Denver defense, but the Chargers did enough. Philip Rivers threw a pair of touchdowns, one to Benjamin and the other to blossoming playmaker Austin Ekeler. He connected well again with TE Hunter Henry, who had another good day. But even with Melvin Gordon stymied by a good Denver "D," the offense was still able to make some good things happen. Gordon has had his moments this season, but it will be interesting to see if Rivers can get a talented receiving crew in order, with difference-makers like Keenan Allen, rookie Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams, and Antonio Gates rather quiet, even during this latest 3-game win streak.

The most-promising part of the Chargers heading into the midway point of the season is their blossoming defense. Though injuries have taken them down a notch, they have still made a lot of progress this season. They held Denver to no points on Sunday and have been pretty rigid the past few weeks. They have been really good against the pass and Casey Hayward had a pick on Sunday. With Jahleel Addae, Tre Boston, and Trevor Williams, they've been playing really well in the back. They are definitely getting a boost from the play up-front. The pass-rushing duo of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa is very legit. Bosa had two sacks on Sunday, while Ingram had another. Chris McCain, a reserve end, added two sacks in the game. Combined, Bosa and Ingram already have 16 sacks.

Earlier in the season, the Patriots looked a bit one-dimensional, relying overly on the passing game and Tom Brady's capacity for making things happen. The defense has sprung to life in the past three games, as they've been a big part of the recent success, allowing a total of 38 points in that span. On Thursday, against an Atlanta offense that at times victimized them big-time in the Bowl, they held them to one late fourth-quarter garbage touchdown. We also see a run-game starting to be a bigger part of the offense and the Pats are starting to look more like their old selves.

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Tom Brady was pretty efficient on Sunday, completing 21 of 29 passes with two TD passes. Brandin Cooks and RB James White caught the TD throws. Also through the air, Chris Hogan (questionable) was productive. The offense wasn't that effervescent and they didn't need to be, as Rob Gronkowski was a bit quiet with just three catches. The run-game was pretty good, with 76 yards from Dion Lewis and 31 each from Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead. White also had some runs to go along with his big TD catch. It was more of a clinical performance than anything, but effective. Not helping was a fog that lied over the whole field, making certain things harder than normal in Gillette Stadium, especially for the Falcons.

Granted, the Atlanta offense is in a major funk, but the Patriots certainly deserve credit for holding them to just a meaningless TD late in the game. In the first month of the season, we saw a lot of problems on this side of the ball, making the last three games a very positive development. Atlanta couldn't sustain many drives for much of the game, converting only 2 third downs the whole night. And New England held them to a near-shutout despite not securing any turnovers. They got a lot of good individual play with solid tackling all around. Receivers were covered up top and under and after giving up a slew of huge passing performances, they held Matt Ryan to just over 200 yards. One game does not a season make and Philip Rivers might be able to do what a lot of quarterbacks have been able to do this season and take this secondary to school.

The Chargers would have been better off playing that earlier-season version of the Pats. Still, there are some things this offense should be able to do in New England. If guys like Allen, Williams, and others step up, they can make life hard on the Pats. The reverse is also true, with the Chargers' defense facing a stiff challenge this week against an offense that might be a little out of their depth. Beating the Super Bowl Champions and getting back to .500 after an 0-4 start would be gigantic and I expect the Chargers to play accordingly. I see them covering the spread again this week.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Los Angeles Chargers plus 7.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Chargers vs. Patriots game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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