Chargers vs. Raiders: Expert's Final Thoughts in TNF Divisional Clash

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 1:13 PM GMT

Let’s look at the last 10 results in this AFC West series, trends and all of the other significant stuff which will help us make an educated NFL pick or two for Thursday Night Football.

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Predicted Final Score: Raiders 29   Chargers 24
NFL Picks: Raiders ML -236 & Over 47
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland RaidersFresno State product David Carr and the Oakland Raiders (5-9 SU, 6-8 ATS) host Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers (3-11 SU, 4-10 ATS) at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland on Thursday Night Football in a Chrismas Eve affair which will be Raiders CB Charles Woodson’s last game and possibly the last game in the city of Oakland, with a move to Los Angeles rumored. And the storylines outside the lines—legend and University of Michigan product Woodson retiring, a potential move by both AFC West teams, the game being the Week 16 lidlifter and it being Christmas Eve—are all way bigger than the actual game itself here which sees two dead in the water teams wondering where their futures lie lying in a meaningless game. NFL odds have the host Raiders in a 4½- (Treasure Island) to 6-point range (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) as Home favorites here with the Total (Points) in this game in a 46½- (Treasure Island, CG Technology) to 47½-point range. In the Money Line (Winner) marketplace, Oakland are -228 favorites with the visiting Chargers priced at +204 on the takeback (Pinnacle). The San Diego Chargers Total Team Points is at 21 (Ladbrokes) here while the Oakland Raiders Total Team Points is at 26 (Ladbrokes). The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened up the host Raiders as 2-point favorites over the Chargers in their renowned NFL Games of the Year—released each Summer while the Advanced Line put out last midweek was Raiders -6, so there has been a slight perception change San Diego’s way which could and maybe will be wiped out by sentimental Oakland’s gonna-win-for-Woodson money from now until Thursday night.

 

Last 10 Final Scores Series: San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders
2014—Chargers 31 @ Raiders 28 (SD -7) Total Points Scored: 59 (Over, 44)
2013—@ Raiders 27 Chargers 17 (SD -6½) Total Points Scored: 44 (Under, 47)
2012—Chargers 22 @ Raiders 14 (OAK -1) Total Points Scored: 36 (Under, 47)
2011—Chargers 38 @ Raiders 26 (OAK -2½) Total Points Scored: 64 (Over, 50)
2010—@ Raiders 35 Chargers 27 (SD -7) Points: 62 (Over, 44½) (Oakland-Alameda Coliseum) 
2009—Chargers 24 @ Raiders 20 (SD  10½) Total: 44 (Over, 43) (Oakland-Alameda Coliseum)
2008—Chargers 28 @ Raiders 18 (SD  -8) Total: 46 (Over, 45½) (Oakland-Alameda Coliseum)
2007—Chargers 30 @ Raiders 17 (SD  -9½) Total: 47 (Over, 41) (McAfee Coliseum, Oakland)
2006—Chargers 27 @ Raiders 0 (SD  -3) Total: 27 (Under, 43) (McAfee Coliseum, Oakland)
2005—Chargers 27 @ Raiders 14 (SD  -1½) Total: 41 (Under, 50) (McAfee Coliseum, Oakland)

 

Why Take the Over on Thursday Night Football in Such a Meaningless Game?
The Over (47, at Bet365) seems to be worth a moderate-sized play on Thursday Night Football for a number of seemingly logical reasons from both past and current data and feelings:
1—As you can see from the above list from the L10 games played at Oakland either at their current O.co Coliseum home, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum or the McAfee Coliseum, the Over has hit in 6 of the L8 meetings (Over 6-2 ATS L8 in Oakland) here in Oaktown, although with this being Week 16 and a somewhat meaningless game, who knows if Pace will be pushed and the same chances will be taken as would be in a game that “matters.” Those L8 Oakland games have averaged 50.3 ppg with Total points scored of 59, 44, 36, 64, 62, 44, 46 and 47.
2—The Raiders have been a strong Over team this season (8-4-2) and Silver and Black games played here at Home at O.co Coliseum are 5-1-1 ATS with the 7 games averaging a thick 49.4 ppg with Totals points scored of 46, 70, 24, 54, 44, 54 and 50.
3—In the L4 Raiders games here at Home, the Over is 3-0-1 ATS with Oakland’s talented opponents scoring at least 30 points in the L3 (30—Packers, 34—Chiefs and 30—Vikings).
4—The Raiders Defense ranks #24 in Total Points Per Game allowed (25.4) and #23 overall in Total Defense (5,136 yards, 366.9 ypg) while Chargers Defense hasn’t fared that much better, ranking #19th in Total Point Per Game Allowed (24.9) and #19 in Total Defense (5,007 yards, 357.6 ypg). These two teams give up the yardage and the points and it’s hard not to think that with both teams now having pass-happy mentalities on offense, that it justifies having Defenses which allows big chunks of yards. This is the Modern Day throw-first NFL afterall.
5—Some Oakland Raiders-centric Trends support backing the Over here: The Over is 11-4-2 in the Raiders L17 games overall, the Over is 5-1-2 in Oakland’s L8 games played on Grass (O.co Coliseum) and the Over is also 15-5-1 in Oakland’s L21 games against an AFC opponent. Pass, pass, pass and with nothing to lose and the primetime setting and all these great Receivers and Carr and Rivers, the Football will be expected to be in the Air.
6—More of a cautionary member of this list: Chargers Unders have hit in 5 of the L6 and San Diego has been an Under team this season (9-5). So despite the potential for a laissez-faire attitude from both teams, the penchant for passing, the primetime spotlights and the potential for this being the last Raiders game in Oakland, Chargers games have been stuck in the Mud lately despite the Chargers poor Defense allowing so many points. This team has been really beat up, is in an improving division and has sort of known the franchise could be heading north in California to Lalaland so everything that could work against these Chargers (6-2 ATS L8 in Week 16) pretty much has this season. Lights out.

 

Thoughts On The Side
Lowest Point Spread in Market: Raiders -4½ (Treasure Island)
Consensus Point Spread in Market: Raiders -5, -5½
Highest Point Spread in Market: Raiders -6 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Point Spread Trends, Thoughts: The Raiders are a very impressive 10-3 ATS the L13 against the Chargers and they have covered 2 straight here against the Chargers at O.Co Coliseum. But with the spread so high and the game so meaningless, the thought is that the Raiders and Rookie WR Amari Cooper will be content to just Win here in CB Charles Woodson’s last game in the Silver and Black and possibly the last game this team will play in this stadium and this city which it has called Home for 20 years. So, backing hist Oakland on the Money Line for a small to moderate amount over a tepid and beat-up San Diego (1-9 ATS L10 vs AFC West) side seems Wise here instead of risking laying the 4½ to 6 or more in this particular (really) meaningless spot despite all the bells and whistles. The bottom line is that this is a game between two teams who have to be disappointed by the seasons which they have had to date. A “Commitment to Mediocrity” quite possibly? Father Time says yes.

 

Trends, TNF Trends. How This AFC West Christmas Eve Game Could Play Out 
When these two met in Week 7 earlier this season in San Diego, the Raiders won outright and covered ATS, 37-29 as the game went well Over the Total (48). Here in this game at O.co last season, the Chargers won 31-28 but failed to get the money ATS as 7-point favorites. The Trends support backing the Silver and Black for our NFL pick, as the Raiders and QB David Carr are now 10-3 ATS the L13 against San Diego. On Sunday, mercurial QB Philip Rivers and the Chargers won 30-14 against the Dolphins in maybe their last game ever at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego while the Raiders were getting grated by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, 30-20 here at Home in Oaktown where they now have a 2-5 SU Record this season and are 14-25 SU over their L39 (35.9%) after four straight 3-5 Home seasons (2011-2014). In the Department of Trends and Missing Paper Clips, there are happily no missing Paper Clips to report at this hour but the Underdog is a crazy-ass 12-1 ATS the L13 meetings in this series so you can see why the advice on the Money Line would avoid a potential ATS Loss should the host Raiders win by 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 depending on what number you’re holding. And at the SuperBook now, a (Raiders) -6 would Push at 6 so there are six different Final Score spots this can land on with Oakland winning but a Point Spread-backer losing or not winning with Oakland. But still, the Chargers are 1-9 ATS in their L10 against an AFC West opponent and San Diego is 5-14 ATS overall in the L19 against an AFC team. And as far as those funky Thursday Night Football Trends (since 1990), Carr (6-8 ATS at Home, 2-5 ATS Home this season) the Raiders are 2-4 SU and 2-4 ATS and 1-1 at Home ATS and have yet to be in the role of Favorites (0-0 ATS) on Thursdays while San Diego and Rivers (42-38-2 ATS on Road, 4-2 ATS Road this season) are 4-3 SU and 4-3 ATS on Thursdays and 1-2 ATS as the Underdog and 1-2 ATS on the Road in this super-niche category. It seems Oakland finds a way to Win and a couple of freak plays helps this one go Over.