NFL picks Week 13: Roundup of expert predictions for Patriots-Chargers originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
A loss in this Week 13 matchup could be a fatal blow to the Patriots' playoff hopes and end their postseason appearance streak at 11 seasons.
FiveThirtyEight gives the Patriots a 13 percent chance to reach the playoffs entering this game against the Chargers, but a victory over Los Angeles would boost those odds to 21 percent. Oddsmakers are expecting a tight game, with the Patriots favored by just a single point.
Historically, the Patriots have had the Chargers' number. The Pats have won eight of the last 10 games with the Chargers, including five consecutive wins dating back to 2010. The last time the Chargers beat the Patriots came in 2008 when Matt Cassel was New England's starting quarterback in place of an injured Tom Brady.
This Chargers team, despite owning a 3-8 record, shouldn't be an easy matchup for the Patriots. Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert is having a tremendous season and has thrown 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions over 10 games. L.A. wide receiver Keenan Allen leads the league with 85 receptions, too.
The Chargers haven't won many games, but they have come close in several of them. Nine of their 11 games so far were decided by one score.
The Patriots have struggled on the road this season with a 1-4 record, but after an impressive Week 12 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at Gillette Stadium, New England is taking plenty of momentum and motivation into its upcoming three-game road trip.
Here's a roundup of expert picks for the Patriots vs. Chargers matchup in Week 13.
Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk: Patriots
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots
Bill Bender, Sporting News: Patriots
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: Patriots
Staff Consensus, Bleacher Report: Patriots
Nate Davis, USA TODAY: Patriots
Mike Clay, ESPN: Chargers
Dan Graziano, ESPN: Chargers
Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times: Patriots
Albert Breer, MMQB (Sports Illustrated): Patriots
Jenny Vrentas, MMQB (Sports Illustrated): Patriots