NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expert Consensus On Patriots To Cover Spread vs. Chargers and Broncos-WFT Under
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Patriots QB Mac Jones
- The Patriots to cover their spread against the Chargers. The Broncos and WFT to fall short of their over/under.
- After analyzing NFL odds, our staff is aligned on those two picks, which headline their favorite bets for Sunday's late afternoon games.
Patriots at Chargers
Chris Raybon: By almost any metric, this is a matchup between two evenly matched teams:
- DVOA: Patriots +5.3% (13th), Chargers +0.3% (17th)
- Net Points Per Drive: Chargers +0.13 (12th), Patriots 0.12 (13th)
- Schedule-Adjusted Margin of Victory (a.k.a. Simple Rating System): Patriots +0.4 (16th), Chargers +0.3 (17th)
Coming off the bye coupled with the Chargers’ bottom-tier home-field advantage doesn’t equate to a four-point edge, especially after the Cam Newton-led Patriots came into L.A. and skunked the Chargers, 45-0, last season.
This is a game in which the little things could come into play — like how the Chargers are ranked dead-last in special teams DVOA (and just changed kickers) while the Patriots are 12th.
Bill Belichick has done well in the past avoiding a letdown after a big win, going 49-29-3 (63%) ATS since 2003 when coming off a win of 17 or more points.
I would bet the Patriots to +3.
Patriots at Chargers
Brandon Anderson: The Chargers are coming off a bye week, so that burned off a little bit of the L.A. buzz, but this has still been one of the early stories of the season.
I wonder if we’re overrating them a bit, though. The Chargers got big buzzy wins over the Chiefs and Browns but could — and probably should — have lost both of those games. They were throttled by the Ravens heading into the bye, and the loss against Dallas wasn’t as close as it looked either.
I love Brandon Staley and Justin Herbert and was high on this team entering the season, but the truth is that the Chargers are more average than great right now. L.A. ranks 17th overall in DVOA, per Football Outsiders. That’s below average, actually. The Chargers rank 11th in offensive DVOA and 16th on defense, and the D has been trending in the wrong direction.
The run defense has been especially bad. And while part of that is by design, we saw what happened when this defense couldn’t get off the field against Baltimore. The Chargers rank dead last in run defense, and now they’re playing a coach known for finding a specific weakness in his opponent and exploiting it over and over all game.
I think the Pats lean heavily on the run here and gash the Chargers with Damien Harris all game — I wouldn’t be surprised to see New England run the ball 30 or 40 times. Bill Belichick will run the same play five straight times if the Chargers can’t stop it, and right now, they haven’t proved they can.
The Patriots have quietly been very competitive all year. They’re 3-4 but could easily be 5-2 or even 6-1. They dominated Miami in Week 1 but lost thanks to a late fumble, and they nearly beat the Bucs before a late field-goal drive. They lost to the Cowboys in overtime. And remember, Tampa and Dallas are 11-2. New England actually ranks 13th in DVOA, ahead of the Chargers. S
taley’s defense drops two safeties and forces the opponent to check it down and run the ball, and Belichick will happily do that all game long. The Pats have a huge mismatch in the run game and also on special teams.
Belichick is 28-14-2 ATS as an underdog. He’s 23-21 straight up in those games, a better than .500 record, with a 35% ROI on the moneyline. I think this line is badly mispriced. I love the matchup for the Pats. This could be our Week 8 Upset Special.
New England is +205 on the moneyline. I would bet this to +4.
Washington at Broncos
Raheem Palmer: It’s clear this is way too low for what we’ve seen from these teams as they might be two of the most overrated defenses in football.
This Broncos defense has really fallen off a cliff. And with the injuries at linebacker, Taylor Heinicke and the Football Team should have no problems scoring here. If you get any regression from Washington’s red-zone offense after what we saw last week, they should put up a decent offensive performance.
Washington’s defense has been a complete letdown this season, ranking dead-last in opponent third down conversion percentage (56.86%) and opponent points per game (30.0).
While I do favor the Football Team’s offense in this matchup, the Broncos will have opportunities to score as well, especially with the return of wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.
I would bet this up to 46.
Washington at Broncos
Billy Ward: Washington at Denver features a matchup of two bottom-seven defenses by DVOA. The total is currently sitting at 44.5 points, after being pushed up from its 43 opening line.
Even at the current line, Washington has produced four of seven games this season over the total, while Denver has scored at least 23 points in four of six. (Denver’s games have been mostly under the Week 8 total, but the Broncos played both New York teams and the Jaguars, who combined for 26 points over three games.)
The Broncos are also getting top wide receiver Jerry Jeudy back this week, which can be a much needed boost against Washington’s pass funnel defense (29th in DVOA against the pass, eighth against the run). This funnel should also force the Broncos to the air, quickening their pace against a Washington team that themselves play at the sixth-fastest situation neutral pace in the league.
The combination of overrated defenses, a quick pace, and returning offensive firepower makes this an easy over. I’d bet this line up to 45 points.