NFL odds: Can Chargers deal Patriots a rare second straight loss on SNF?

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Is Keenan Allen the key to the Chargers success?
Friday December 5th, 2014

The San Diego Chargers have thrived as home underdogs over the past decade and will get another opportunity this weekend when they host the New England Patriots in a pivotal Week 14 Sunday Night Football matchup.

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San Diego is 10-4 against the spread as a home underdog dating back to 2004, winning nine of those games straight up, with their most recent victory coming against the Seattle Seahawks back in Week 2 of this season. The Chargers beat the Seahawks 30-21 after entering as 4.5-point underdogs, and they are consensus 3.5-point underdogs against the Patriots.

New England will be playing its second straight road game after losing to the Green Bay Packers 26-21 last Sunday as three-point underdogs at sports books monitored by The Patriots saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end as Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers outdueled Tom Brady in what could be a preview of this year's Super Bowl matchup.

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The Packers jumped out to a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, but New England battled back to pull within 16-14 in the second quarter. The back-breaking score was a 45-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to wide receiver Jordy Nelson with 14 seconds left in the half that gave the home team a 23-14 lead at the break. The Patriots had also covered six of seven games before their Week 13 loss.

San Diego was also on the road last week but managed to pull off a 34-33 upset victory in Baltimore after the closing NFL betting lines showed the Chargers as a 6.5-point underdog to the Ravens. Philip Rivers led the comeback by throwing two touchdown passes in the final 3:40, including the game-winner to wide receiver Eddie Royal on a one-yard pass with 38 seconds remaining. San Diego had trailed 30-20 with 6:23 left in the game.

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San Diego hopes to stay in the AFC playoff race with a win on Sunday but has lost 10 of the past 13 meetings with New England, according to the OddsShark NFL database, going 4-8 against the spread in the previous 12 meetings.

Most other key betting trends in this matchup favor the visiting Patriots. New England is 24-5 in December road games since 2002 and has not lost consecutive games within the same regular season since 2012. In addition, the Patriots are 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 games against AFC West opponents. However, they are just 2-7 against the spread in their past nine games as road favorites, coming away with victories in five of those games. 

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