NFL Betting AFC West Picks: Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers

Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers
Qualcomm Stadium – San Diego, California
Sunday, December 22, 2013, 4:25 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket
Opening Line: San Diego -7 1/2
Current Line: San Diego -10
Opening Total: 48
Current Total: 50 1/2
Opening Money Line: Chargers -440 / Raiders +350
Current Money Line: Chargers -460 / Raiders +370

Raiders-chargers Betting Preview
San Diego is a 10 point favorite at home against Oakland. The Chargers face a must win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The 7-7 San Diego Chargers stayed alive for a playoff berth with their upset win at the Denver Broncos last Thursday night. The Chargers still need some help as they are a game behind the 8-6 Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins for one spot. The 6-8 New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers are still barely alive for the spot as well. The Chargers must win their remaining games both at home against the Oakland Raiders Sunday and next week against the Kansas City Chiefs. San Diego does not hold the tiebreaker over Baltimore or Miami, so both of them have to lose out.

First the Chargers must take care of business against the 4-10 Oakland Raiders Sunday in San Diego. The Raiders have lost 4 straight games and 6 of the last 7 games. Since 2001, San Diego leads the series 17-8 against Oakland. The Raiders won 27-17 in Oakland earlier in the season to snap a three game losing streak to the Chargers. That game started at 11:35 pm Eastern (8:35 Pacific) because the grounds crew at the Coliseum needed more time to convert the field to football after the Oakland A’s played an MLB  playoff game at home the night before. In that game San Diego had 5 turnovers, and Oakland had none. The Chargers came back from a 24-0 deficit in the third to within 24-17 with 10:17 left in the fourth. However, the Chargers would get no closer, and Oakland added a late field goal to ice the game 27-17.

Oakland is coached by Dennis Allen. The Raiders have home wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars 19-9, Chargers 27-17, and Pittsburgh Steelers 21-18, along with a road win over the Houston Texans 28-23. Oakland has road losses at the Indianapolis Colts 21-17, Broncos 37-21, Chiefs 24-7, New York Giants 24-20, Dallas Cowboys 31-24, and the New York Jets 37-27. The Raiders have home losses to the the Washington Redskins 24-14, Philadelphia Eagles 49-20, Tennessee Titans 23-19 and last week against the Chiefs 56-31. The Raiders are 7-6-1 ATS and the total is 7-6-1 this season. Oakland was a 6.5 point underdog against Kansas City last week and the total was 44.

Oakland is being outscored 28-21 this season. Oakland is #29 in points allowed and #26 in scoring.  The Raiders are averaging 344.3 total yards on offense including 210.2 passing and 134.1 rushing yards. The Raiders are #25 in passing and #6 in rushing in the league. Oakland is #15 in total offense. On defense, the Raiders are allowing 358.4 yards per game including 254.1 passing and 104.2 rushing yards. Oakland is #18 in total defense, #9 against the run and #24 in pass defense. Oakland is -9 in turnovers. The Raiders are 75/208 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 78/191. Oakland has forced 34 sacks and allowed 41. The Raiders have 5 defensive/special teams touchdowns and have allowed 6 this season. The Raiders average 59 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 43.

Quarterback Matt McGloin took over when Terrelle Pryor was injured last month. Pryor is healthy but McGloin will remain the starter. Pryor did come in for a few snaps in the last two games. Pryor has completed 57.7% of his passes for 1,591 yards, with 5 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, along with 74 carries and 527 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has been sacked 29 times this season. McGloin has completed 56% of his passes for 1,341 yards with 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, along with 22 rushing yards. He has been sacked 5 times this season.

Running back Rashad Jennings has 149 carries for 679 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 31 catches for 257 yards. Darren McFadden has 103 carries, 365 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 13 catches for 85 yards. He has even thrown a touchdown pass. He has only played in one game since November 3, but is probable with an ankle injury.  Fullback Marcel Reece has 46 carries for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns along with 27 catches for 294 yards and 2 touchdowns. Little used running back Jeremy Stewart is questionable with an ankle injury.

Receiver Rod Streater has 54 catches, 846 yards and 3 touchdowns. Denarius Moore has 39 catches, 615 yards and 5 touchdowns. Mychal Rivera has 34 catches, 341 yards and 4 touchdowns. Andre Holmes, Brice Butler and Jacoby Ford will also get some catches. Six defensive players are listed on the injury report.

San Diego is coached by Mike McCoy. The Chargers have home losses to the Houston Texans 31-28, Denver Broncos 28-20, and Cincinnati Bengals 17-10, along with road losses at the Tennessee Titans 20-17, Raiders, Washington Redskins 30-24 in overtime, and Miami Dolphins 20-16. Every loss but the Raider game was by 8 points or less. The Chargers have won 3 of their last 4 games after a 3 game losing streak. San Diego has home wins over the Dallas Cowboys 30-21, Indianapolis Colts 19-9, and New York Giants 37-14, along with road wins at the Philadelphia Eagles 33-30, Jacksonville Jaguars 24-6, Chiefs 41-38, and last week at the Broncos 27-20. The Chargers are 8-5-1 ATS and the total is 6-8 this season. San Diego was a 10 point underdog at Denver last week and the total was 56.5.

San Diego is outscoring teams 25-22 this season. The Chargers are #14 in scoring and #11 in points allowed in the NFL. On offense, San Diego is averaging 396 yards per game including 279.5 passing and 116.5 rushing yards per game. The Chargers are #6 in total offense, #4 in passing and #15 in rushing. On defense, San Diego is allowing 376.2 total yards per game, including 267.4 passing and 108.8 rushing yards. The Chargers are #25 in total defense, #29 in pass defense, and #14 in rush defense. The Chargers are -2 in turnovers this season. San Diego is 90/183 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 65/163. The Chargers have forced 32 sacks and allowed 26 this season. San Diego is averaging 33 minutes for time of possession. The Chargers are averaging 51 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 55. San Diego has allowed 3 defensive touchdowns this season and has one of their own.

San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers is having his best season in years. He has completed 69.9% of his passes for 4,048 yards with 28 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, along with 73 rushing yards. He has been sacked 26 times.

Running back Ryan Mathews has 236 carries for 1,012 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 21 catches for 158 yards and a touchdown. He is probable with a foot injury. Danny Woodhead has 93 carries for 359 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 66 catches for 547 yards and 6 touchdowns. Ronnie Brown has 45 carries for 157 yards and a touchdown, along with 8 catches for 60 yards.

Receiver Keenan Allen has 63 catches, 931 yards and 7 touchdowns. Allen has a good shot at being the Rookie offensive player of the year. Tight end Antonio Gates has 70 catches, 799 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Eddie Royal has 40 catches, 543 yards and 7 touchdowns. He is probable with a toe injury. Vincent Brown has 39 catches, 434 yards and a touchdown. Receivers Malcolm Floyd and Danario Alexander are both on IR. Six defensive players are listed on the  injury report.

Oakland is 7-1 ATS after failing to cover, 6-1-1 after allowing 350 total yards or more, 9-3 after a straight up win, 5-2-1 in road games, 7-3 after a double digit home loss, 17-35-1 in December, 2-6 in week 16, 1-4-1 after allowing 90 rushing yards or less, and 1-7 after allowing 30 points or more. The underdog has covered the last 9 games in this series. The road team is 5-1 ATS in the series recently. The Raiders are 7-2 ATS in the last 9 against the Chargers and have covered in their last 4 trips to San Diego.

San Diego is 3-9-1 ATS after a cover, 2-8-1 after a straight up win, 1-4 after allowing 90 rushing yards or less, and 0-4 after allowing more than 250 passing yards. The under is 6-1-1 ATS in the last 8 games between the Chargers and Raiders.

Last week, Oakland made Chiefs’ quarterback Alex Smith look like Peyton Manning. Philip Rivers should be able to carve them up like a Christmas turkey. On paper, this looks like a game the Chargers should dominate, but San Diego has shown a tendency to blow winnable games when trying to get into the playoffs. Ten points seems like a lot, as I think the Chargers will win an ugly close game.

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