Tom Brady has never lost to Philip Rivers in his career, but the time-of-possession battle is the most important thing to handicap with New England taking on San Diego Sunday night.
Staying Out On the Road
New England flew directly to Southern California following its 26-21 defeat to the Green Bay Packers as 2.5-point road underdogs last week, which is important to consider when making your NFL picks, as it has compiled a 36-4 SU record in regular-season games following a loss since 2003.
The Patriots have put running back LeGarrette Blount to work the last two weeks since he was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers, as he’s gained 136 rushing yards and hit pay dirt two times.
Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is 5-2 SU and 2-4-1 ATS on the road when the betting total is 49.5 or higher, while the UNDER has cashed in five of those seven opportunities.
Streaking at the Right Time
San Diego has moved back in the AFC playoff discussion in winning its last three games, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NFL betting odds, as it has become more balanced offensively with the return of its top running back.
Ryan Mathews has totaled 215 yards on the ground over that period of time, while it’s also important to point out that the squad is 15-4 SU when winning the time-of-possession battle under second-year head coach Mike McCoy. Since the start of the 2012 campaign, the team is 13-9 SU and 10-12 ATS at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Patriots have put together a remarkable 36-4 SU record in regular-season games following a loss since 2003, while head coach Bill Belichick has captured 51 of 60 games in December during his time with the franchise.
Brady is 45-7 SU in his career during this particular calendar month, with four of those losses coming on the road against the Miami Dolphins.
River(s) Runs Through It
The Chargers have won eight of their last nine home games dating back to last year, with Rivers tossing 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions over that span, as he enters with an AFC-best 69.1 completion percentage in 2014.
San Diego has won 30 of 36 December games with its best player under center, but the former NC State star has lost all five meetings in this series when matching up against Brady.
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their top week 14 picks, as the UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings in this series when played in San Diego.
Free NFL Pick: Under 51 at BookMaker