Chargers (13-4, No. 5) at Patriots (11-5, No. 2), 1:05 p.m. (CBS)

Spread: Patriots by 4

Outlook: I can never before recall the Patriots, at home, being the smallest of the four betting favorites in this round. New England isn’t quite the juggernaut of past years, and the Chargers are a lot scarier than your average No. 5 seed. Los Angeles has been good on the road; New England has been better at home. The forecast of rain and perhaps snow showers underlines my not liking the West Coast visitors here. L.A.’s best upset shot: bothering Brady with a four-man rush, a possibility for the team vs. a dinosaur of a pure pocket passer in Brady. Could happen. But a better bet is that New England picks Rivers at least once and that the Patriots do what they do, relentlessly: win at home in the playoffs.

Prediction: Patriots 27-20

Eagles (10-7, No. 6) at Saints (13-3, No. 1), 4:40 p.m. (Fox)

Spread: Saints by 8

Outlook: Few give the Eagles a real chance here, me included, after the Saints crushed Philly 48-7 in November, following which the Eagles went on a 5-1 run to sneak into the postseason. Philly started playing better defense, and there’s the Nick Foles magic thing. Still, 48-7. And the Saints bring a home-field advantage nearly on a Pats level – a 14-2 run, and 5-0 all-time at home in playoffs under Sean Payton. So, hey, it’s been a nice run, Eagles. Been a nice reign. Drew Brees will be taking over now.

Prediction: Saints 30-20

Last week: 2-2 straight up, 2-2 vs. spread

Season: 179-75-2, 145-104-7

– By Greg Cote, Miami Herald