With Bailey Zappe reportedly about to get his first start of the season on Sunday, should the New England Patriots count on a resurgence in their offense? Or will it be business as usual for the Patriots against the Los Angeles Chargers? We’ll break down this matchup.
Chargers vs. Patriots Betting Lines, Start Time, and More
All odds from DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Spread: Chargers -5
- Moneyline: Chargers (-238), Patriots (+195)
- Over/Under: 40
- Game time: 1:00 p.m.
- Location: Gillette Stadium
- Channel: CBS
Chargers vs. Patriots Prediction
When you allow 10 points in back-to-back games, and lose them both, it’s time for a change somewhere on offense.
For the Patriots in this case, that means the quarterback position. While nothing was official, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported on X (formerly Twitter) that Zappe will get the start under center Sunday, putting Mac Jones on the bench.
Zappe started two games last season, and the Patriots won them both, beating the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns. And Zappe was solid in those two starts, throwing three touchdowns and only one interception, with a combined passer rating of 112.5. Conversely, in his six career appearances as a reserve, Zappe has only two touchdown passes and four interceptions.
It was clear something had to be done to revive an offense that ranks ahead of only the New York Giants in scoring (13.5 PPG) and has thrown more interceptions (14) than touchdown passes (10).
Fortunately for New England, it isn’t the only team in this matchup that is reeling. The Chargers have lost three in a row, their longest in-season losing streak since 2020. Last week, L.A. was held under 300 total yards and finished with just 10 points versus the Baltimore Ravens.
It’s hard to gauge whether Justin Herbert is having a good season or not. On one hand, Herbert has 20 touchdown passes to just six interceptions. On the other hand, he is the only quarterback this season to have 400 or more pass attempts yet still average fewer than 260 passing yards per game.
Adding to the Chargers’ problems is the fact that they are now possessors of the league’s worst defense. L.A. is allowing a league-high 390.6 yards per game. The Chargers are one of three teams — the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals the other two — to allow at least 260 total yards per game in every game this season.
Injury-wise, Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen is questionable with a quad issue. He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday but was a limited participant in Friday’s practice, so his status is uncertain.
For the Patriots, two of their top four wide receivers are both out, Demario Douglas (concussion) and Kayshon Boutte (shoulder/illness). That is hardly good news for Zappe as he reportedly prepares to make his first start of the season.
In terms of betting trends, call it the resistible force that meets the moveable object. The Chargers are 2-4 vs. the spread against AFC opponents and 3-6 ATS outside their division. On the other side, the Patriots are 0-7 against the spread vs. non-division opponents, and 3-13 ATS over the last two seasons as an underdog (1-6 ATS this season).
When you give the Chargers a mediocre-to-bad team to play, they can get the job done. L.A. beat the Chicago Bears by 17 points and defeated the New York Jets the next week by 21. So, the Patriots certainly would fall into that category.
That said, I’m inclined to take the under in this matchup. The Patriots’ offense is weak, no matter who is under center, but their defense is improving. It’s hard to see the winning team here reaching the 20s, so that plays right into the under.
Best Bet: Under 40 points (-112 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
Our Betting Lines page has the freshest lines and promos to get BANG for your buck. PFN’s FREE Parlay Calculator and Betting Odds Calculator are also available for your betting process! New to sports betting? Check out our guide on How to Bet on the NFL. Visit our Sports Betting Legal Tracker on how to bet legally in the U.S.