Chargers Won't Let Raiders Spoil Playoff Hopes

David Schwab

Friday, December 29, 2017 2:04 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 2:04 PM UTC

The Los Angeles Chargers’ playoff hopes hinge on a win, plus help from other teams, when they host the AFC West rival Oakland Raiders on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET. Are the Chargers the wise pick in their regular-season finale?

NFL Sunday: Raiders vs. Chargers

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Free NFL Pick: Chargers -8Best Line Offered: PinnacleGame Overview

Oakland’s run at a second straight postseason trip came to an end over the past few weeks with SU losses to Kansas City, Dallas and Philadelphia after closing as an underdog in all three games. The Raiders’ 19-10 loss to the Eagles on Monday night as 10-point road underdogs dropped their SU record to 6-9. After failing to cover in six of their last eight games, they are 5-8-2 ATS. The total has stayed under in their last six outings.

The Raiders played Philly tough into the fourth quarter, but behind QB Derek Carr they could not get the ball into the end zone in the second half. He ended the night with just 140 yards passing with one touchdown throw to Amari Cooper against two interceptions. Oakland had five turnovers, with one of three fumbles going the other way for a game-clinching Philadelphia score.

The Chargers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 14-7 victory against the New York Jets as 6.5-point road favorites. They are now 8-7 SU and 8-6-1 ATS. The total has stayed under in nine of their last 10 games. Los Angeles is 3-4 ATS at home, but it has gone 4-3 ATS in seven games when closing as a favorite.

Philip Rivers deserves much of the credit for keeping the Chargers in the AFC postseason picture into the final game of the regular season, but the veteran gunslinger is going to have to play better Sunday than he did against the Jets. Rivers completed 22 of 40 passing attempts for 290 yards, but he got his team into the end zone just once through the air. The Chargers added only 89 yards on the ground behind Melvin Gordon. On the year, Los Angeles ranks 17th in the NFL scoring with 21.7 points per game and has crossed that mark only once in its last four games.

Game Betting Trends

The Raiders are 3-0-2 ATS in their last five games following a SU loss, but they fall to 1-4-1 ATS in their last six road games. The total has stayed under in seven of their last eight division games.

The Chargers have gone a dismal 8-20 ATS in their last 28 home games and are 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games against an AFC West opponent. The total has stayed under in their last four division games.

The road team in this matchup has covered in the last six meetings, and the total has stayed under in four of those six games.

The Verdict

Oakland is playing on a short week following a tough loss on the East Coast, while the Chargers are playing for a possible trip to the playoffs, depending on the outcome of other games Sunday. That is enough of an edge for me to lay the points and go with Los Angeles SU and ATS.

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