NFL Picks: Raiders at Chargers Betting Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 12/3/2010
Back on Oct. 10, the Oakland Raiders stunned the San Diego Chargers, 35-27, to end a 13-game losing streak to the Bolts, which was the second-longest losing streak by one team to another in the NFL (the Pats over the Bills at 14 is still active).
That loss dropped San Diego to 2-3 and 0-3 on the road and kind of summed up how the Chargers have been playing in the first third or so of the season. San Diego had two punts blocked in that game and turned the ball over three times to ruin a 431-yard passing day by Philip Rivers and 213-yards receiving day by Malcolm Floyd.
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Another key to that game was the play of then-Raiders backup QB Jason Campbell, who entered the game for an injured Bruce Gradkowski. Campbell was a very efficient 13-for-18 for 159 yards and a touchdown in leading two second-half scoring drives. That’s relevant because Campbell is back starting now for Oakland because Gradkowski was ruled out for the season this week with a separated shoulder. Campbell actually has a better QB rating than Gradkowski and has led the Raiders to four wins in his past six starts, including a three-game winning streak.
What the Raiders really need, however, is their running game to resurface. That was a huge factor in Oakland going on that three-game winning streak and moving to 5-4. But in the two-game losing streak since the Raiders have gained a total of 77 yards on 28 carries in losses to Pittsburgh and Miami. Darren McFadden, especially, has been held in check. Just a few weeks ago, he was leading the NFL by averaging 108 yards per game. But in the past two games he has all of 16 yards on 18 carries. The Bolts have the NFL’s No. 3 rush defense and held the Colts to only 24 yards rushing last week.
As for San Diego, it’s nothing like the team that lost to Oakland back in October. The Chargers lost two more in a row following the Raiders loss, but haven’t fallen since in winning four in a row, averaging 33.3 points in that stretch, to move within a game of the AFC West lead.
You know Rivers is going to put up numbers, as he is a leading MVP candidate. Rivers has completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 3,362 yards and 23 touchdowns against nine interceptions. But look for the Bolts to pound the ball on the ground against Oakland. Miami and Pittsburgh averaged 4.2 yards a carry the last two weeks vs. Oakland in amassing a combined 348 yards, and the Chargers have rushed for at least 129 yards in three of their four consecutive victories. San Diego’s Mike Tolbert has consecutive 100-yard games. He will continue to get more carries than rookie Ryan Mathews, who practiced for the first time this week since he aggravated an ankle sprain during a Nov. 7 game at Houston.
The Bolts are expecting All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates to play again this week as he continues to deal with a torn plantar fascia. He was limited in last week’s win over the Colts, but he had four receptions for 46 yards. In the nine games he's played, Gates has gained 709 yards and scored nine touchdowns. However, receiver Vincent Jackson, who left the Colts game after two plays – leaving some to question if he was faking because of his unhappiness with his contract – probably won’t play.
The Raiders are hopeful star CB Nnamdi Asomugha can play. He played through a bothersome ankle last week against the Dolphins and had a second MRI this week (negative) and missed a few practices.
Raiders at Chargers Betting Odds and Line Movement
As of this writing San Diego is a 13-point favorite with the total at 45, according to NFL odds. There is a near 50-50 split on the side. The line has moved a half-point toward Oakland while the total has moved as much as two points downward. The Chargers are 6-5 ATS overall and 4-1 at home. The Raiders are also 6-5 ATS and 3-2 on the road.
Raiders at Chargers Betting Trends
Oakland is 8-2 ATS after its past 10 ATS losses
The Raiders are 4-0 ATS in their past four vs. the AFC West
San Diego is 10-3 ATS in its past 13 December games
The ‘over’ is 4-0 in Oakland’s past four AFC West games
The ‘over’ is 6-0-1 in San Diego’s past seven after scoring 30-plus in the previous game
The ‘over’ is 4-1-1 ATS in the past six meetings
The Raiders are 4-11 ATS in the past 15 meetings
Raiders at Chargers NFL Picks and Predictions
There is no question in my mind the Bolts win. After all, since Rivers became the starting quarterback San Diego is 19-0 in regular-season games after Dec. 1. The Raiders, meanwhile, have lost seven in a row and been outscored 204-89 during that slide.
This smells like a sandwich game, however. The Bolts just had a huge win in Indy last week and then face the Chiefs next Sunday for first-place in the AFC West. So expect a bit of sluggishness and for Oakland to cover. And take the ‘over’.
Jason Sharpe has been excellent for his expert football picks at Doc’s Sports, and he has shown a profit in 13 of 16 weeks for his NFL handicapping and college football picks and $100 players are up $4,600 on the season! He sees some weak NFL point spreads on the board this week and is very excited to extend his current run. Also this week he will have a 6-Unit Underdog Game of the Year.
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