NFL Predictions: Chargers at Raiders Week 5 Odds and Picks
by Alan Matthews - 10/3/2013
I have always envied friends of mine who live in Los Angeles and Seattle. Why? The NFL Sunday kicks off at 10 a.m. local time -- early bar trips! -- and the night games are over by 9 p.m. However, I also really enjoy watching big events late at night. I remember back in the day when UNLV was the "it" team in college basketball during the 1990-91 season, and the Rebels' games were shown at midnight on ESPN. I'd always stay up to watch. Those 10:30 p.m. NBA playoff games also are great.
I mention this because for the first time that I can remember there's an NFL game that will kick off at 11:35 p.m. ET between the Chargers and Raiders on Sunday night. Thus, I have to preview this game even though it's far from the best matchup of Week 5. The start time wasn't a planned occurrence but necessitated because Game 2 of the American League Division Series between the Tigers and A's in Oakland won't likely end until early Sunday morning Eastern time (9:07 p.m. ET start). The workers at O.co Coliseum, the biggest dump stadium in the NFL, need nearly 24 hours to shift the stadium from baseball to a football configuration. The Raiders are the only team that shares a stadium with a Major League Baseball franchise. Because of the move, the game will be shown on the NFL Network. The league wouldn't move it to prime time, because that's the domain of NBC's Sunday night game.
Chargers at Raiders Betting Story Lines
The NFL Coach of the Year so far has to be Kansas City's Andy Reid, but the Chargers' Mike McCoy is on the short list. The Bolts are 2-2 and could easily be 4-0. They lost Week 1 at home, blowing a 28-7 third-quarter lead to Houston and falling on a 41-yard field goal at the gun. In Week 3, the Chargers led Tennessee 17-10 midway through the fourth quarter but would lose on a 34-yard Jake Locker touchdown pass with 15 seconds remaining.
McCoy made Tim Tebow look like an actual quarterback in Denver for a season and has returned Philip Rivers to Top-10 QB status. Rivers trails only Peyton Manning in rating and is completing 73.9 percent of his passes for 1,199 yards and 11 touchdowns. Perhaps most importantly, Rivers isn't turning the ball over as that had been his No. 1 issue the past two seasons. He has two picks and hasn't fumbled. Rivers does not have a great receiving corps outside of tight end Antonio Gates and that group lost Malcom Floyd (six catches, 149 yards) for the season this week. Gates is on pace for a 100-catch, 1,456-yard season. Also out for the season is linebacker Dwight Freeney. His Hall of Fame career might be over, and he hadn't been much of a factor the first four weeks.
The Raiders were expected to be one of the NFL's worst teams, and they are, with their lone win coming over the perhaps historically bad Jacksonville Jaguars. Oakland had to start Matt Flynn at quarterback in last week's 24-14 home loss to the Redskins, but Terrelle Pryor will return from his concussion for this one. Pryor has been surprisingly solid, completing 65.4 percent of his passes for 624 yards, two TDs and two picks. His 86.7 rating is better than guys like Matt Schaub, Robert Griffin III, Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger and Colin Kaepernick, to name a few. Pryor also has rushed for 198 yards on 26 carries. Flynn was so unimpressive last week that he was demoted to third string behind Matt McGloin.
The Raiders are one of the NFL's better rushing teams largely due to Pryor and Darren McFadden, but the brittle McFadden is hurt again. He left the Redskins game with a hamstring injury and is very questionable. Knowing his inability to heal quickly, don't expect McFadden to play. Fellow running back Marcel Reece also is banged up. There could be a heavy dose of Rashad Jennings on Sunday night. The Chargers have struggled defensively, ranking No. 30 in total defense. Rookie Manti Te'o made his debut last week and had three tackles.
Chargers at Raiders NFL Week 5 Betting Odds and Trends
At Sportsbook.ag, the Chargers are four-point favorites with a total of 45.5. San Diego is 3-0-1 ATS (1-0-1 on road) and 3-1 “over/under” (1-1 away). Oakland is 2-1-1 ATS (1-1 at home) and 1-3 O/U (0-2 at home).
The Chargers are 5-2 ATS in their past seven against the AFC West. They are 0-5-1 ATS in their past five after a win. The Raiders are 4-1 ATS in their past five after a loss. They are 3-1-1 ATS in their past five against the AFC West. The over is 5-0 in San Diego's past five in the division. It is 7-2 in its past nine against teams with a losing record. The under is 8-1 in Oakland's past nine after a loss. The underdog has covered eight straight in this series. The over is 5-1 in the past six in Oakland.
NFL Predictions: Chargers at Raiders Week 5 Betting Picks
San Diego has dominated this rivalry, winning three straight and 16 of the past 19. Last year the Chargers won 22-14 in Week 1 at Oakland and 24-21 in Week 17 at home in what would be Norv Turner's final game as coach. If the Bolts win this game, I think they are 5-2 entering their bye. Indianapolis visits San Diego next Monday and then the Chargers are at Jacksonville. I think they do, by a touchdown, thus ending that dog ATS streak. Also take the over.
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