Patriots vs. Chargers NFL Week 8 Picks and Predictions

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Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP

After routing the New York Jets last week the Patriots travel across to LA to take on the Chargers team coming off their bye week after a humbling defeat to the Ravens. The spread line has the Chargers under a TD favorite while the total is set at 49 points for this clash. Below, we’ll take a look at the early NFL odds and the best sportsbook to bet with this week. 

New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Sunday, October 31, 2021 – 04:05 PM EDT at SoFi Stadium

Can the Patriots Make it Two in a Row?

It’s been a weird schedule for the Patriots, they’ve won 3 games this year, but 2 of those came against the Jets with Zach Wilson and Mike White, and the Davis Mills Texans. Rookie QBs on terrible teams. While their losses have been against some of the best teams in the NFC, it’s been a real Studs and Duds schedule so far for them.

You’ve still got to win the games against terrible teams and Bill Belichick is the king against rookie QBs, but they need to win a game against a good team and this week provides that chance.

They picked Mac Jones in the first round of the draft this year and decided on him being the starter in week 1, they’ve kept the game simple for him and he’s worked the playbook well and seems more confident as the weeks go on. Last week his best QBR of the season completed 24 of 36 for 307 yards and 2 TDs, his first game over 300 yards.

They have moved the ball well though and Damien Harris has had a good season at running back so far, 9th in attempts, 8th in yards, and 5th in TDs scored so far this season is a good return on an average offense. He’s scored 5 of his 5 TDs in their last 3 games and should have another good game against the Chargers' poor run defense.

The passing game isn’t loaded with talent but they’ve done well with Agholor, Bourne, and Jakobi Meyers getting the yards, while big-money signing Hunter Henry has now made it 3 games in a row with a TD from the tight end position, he’s targeted often in the red zone and faces his former team in this one.

Can the Chargers Bounce Back?

The Chargers will have been happy for their bye week after a poor performance saw them have just one scoring drive against the Baltimore Ravens a couple of weeks ago. Teams that are coached well usually make good use of the bye week and Brandon Staley has been highly-rated in his first year as head coach for them.

Before that loss, Justin Herbert was one of the front runners for the MVP award this season. He has 14 TDs on the year and spreads the ball around well between his pass-catchers. He’s got everything needed to have a long and successful career in this league. He’s good with his legs as well, so can move the chains that way if required.

Having a duo of Mike Williams and Keenan Allen to get the ball to definitely helps a QB and under Staley, It looks like Williams is the main man getting the deeper shorts and the TDs this year while Allen has slightly more targets in the shorter game as he has done for years. They have the vast majority of the work but Jared Cook has chipped in at the tight end as well with a couple of scores.

At running back Austin Ekeler has overcome an early injury score to show he’s one of the best in the league on the ground and catching from the backfield with nearly 600 combined yards in their 6 games and 7 TDs. The Patriots' run defense isn’t bad but his versatility should keep getting him the ball.

Who Comes Out on Top?

The Chargers have had one of the toughest schedules to start the season yet sit at 4-2 with the losses coming against the Ravens and Cowboys (in a game they should have won) while the Patriots have only beaten the worst teams in the league this season.

For my NFL pick, I am most definitely leaning to the Chargers side of the game here. I think it will be a lower-scoring game than predicted with the Patriots running a lot to try and keep the ball away from Herbert, but I don’t think they’re going to be able to slow down this team off a bye.

NFL Pick: L.A. Chargers -5.5 (-108) with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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L.A. Chargers -5.5 (-108)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.