Injured Chargers Still the NFL Pick vs. Raiders in Week 6

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 2:45 PM GMT

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 2:45 PM GMT

The upstart San Diego Chargers head north for an AFC West meeting on Sunday afternoon with the struggling Oakland Raiders in a game where simply taking the good team to cover against the bad team is the pick.

Odds Overview
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders (-9, 47, BetVictor), Sunday, (4:05 p.m. ET/1:05 p.m. PT): Coliseum in Oakland is the site of this AFC West Week 6 California date between the visiting San Diego Chargers (4-1 SU, 5-0 ATS) and the scuffling Oakland Raiders (0-4 SU, 2-2 ATS) who should be very rested coming in here off of an Open Date. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook offered this game last week on their Early Line at the Chargers -6—as written about and suggested here last week at Sportsbook Review—so if you’re interested in backing the Road favorites here this weekend, best maybe to lock in at -7 early as this one could very easily trickle above the key -7 early in the week and go to 8 and beyond. We’re talking about one of the worst, if not the worst team in the NFL going up against a focused and deep team that thinking it can get to the AFC Championship right about now.

Oddsmakers have San Diego the the aforementioned 7-point Favorites (BetVictor) here with the Total Points set at 43 (bet365). The Moneyline (Winner) odds have the Chargers at -350 (Bwin) with the underdog Raiders at +275 but anyone backing the Black-and-Silver here to win outright has to be a Raiders fan. The Chargers Total Team Points is 25½ (-120, Paddy Power) while the Raiders Total Team Points is at 17 (-120).


Oakland Raiders
The host Raiders will no doubt try to put their best foot forward here despite problems in almost every possible corner. Interim coach Tony Sparano takes over for Dennis Allen who was fired by Oakland after the team suffered its 10th consecutive loss. The Raiders are #32 in the NFL (dead last) in total points (51)—their high-mark has been 14 three different times—average points per game (12.8), total plays from scrimmage (228) and offensive yards per game (270.0), among other nasty stats. Granted, Oakland has played one less game than several other NFL teams, but their ineptitude again this season is quite evident.

Like it does at head coach, Oakland has stability issues at QB with Matt Schaub still dealing with a family emergency and listed as Probable and Derek Carr (ankle, knee) who was out indefinitely now expected to return after the Open Date in Week 5. Third-string QB Matt McGloin filled in when Carr was hurt in the 38-14 loss to the Dolphins in Week 4. But no matter who’s coaching or who’s at quarterback, this team has problems with stability and scores points like they are allergic to them.

LBs Sio Moore (ankle) and Nick Roach (concussion) are listed as Questionable for Sunday’s game against the rival Chargers as is T Matt McCants (knee).


San Diego Chargers
So far so good for the Bolts who boast the NFL’s only perfect point spread record (ATS) heading into Week 6 with a sparkling 5-0 ATS mark after their 31-0 scrubbing of the New York Jets in San Diego on Sunday as 7-point favorites. After dancing with two of the strongest teams in the league in Weeks 1 and 2 (Cardinals, Super Bowl champion Seahawks), the Chargers have played below average teams in Weeks 3, 4 and 5 (Bills, Jaguars, Jets), so, despite the nice SU and ATS numbers right now, San Diego and head coach Mike McCoy (16-6-1 ATS) still have much to prove as this date with the Raiders (4-12 SU L2 seasons) here in Week 6 also qualifies as an easy game with not much to be gleaned from. One thing this Chargers team has going for it moving forward are a number of talented skill guys that can pick up the slack on offense if someone else isn’t doing so. QB Philip Rivers (288 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT vs. Jets) and TE Antonio Gates (3 receptions, 72 yards) have always been a reliable combination but it’s guys like RBs Donald Brown (9 rushes, 26 yards) and Brandon Oliver (19 rushes, 144 yards, 1 rushing TD and 4 receptions, 68 yards, 1 receiving TD) and WRs Keenan Allen, Malcolm Floyd (3 receptions, 72 yards) and Eddie Royal (3 receptions, 40 yards, 13.3 ypc) who give Rivers (37-31-2 ATS on Road) numerous outlets and the versatility to get out of various third down situations. Against the Jets, San Diego was 12-for-18 on third down while New York was a woeful 1-for-12, also a big testament to the Chargers defense this season.

On the injury front, the Chargers are somewhat banged up but not enough to affect the line or the outcome here. RB Ryan Matthews (knee) and LB Manti Te’o (foot) are still both Out Indefinitely while Cs Doug Legursky (undisclosed) and Rich Ohrnberger (back) are both listed as Day-to-Day as are WR Floyd (calf), RB Brown (concussion), CB Shareece Wright (knee) and LBs Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) and Reggie Walker (ankle). Expect most to be ready for Sunday.


Best Betting Approaches
The last 10 meetings in this series have actually seen Oakland hold the upper hand against the number (7-3 ATS), thanks primarily to a nice 5-game ATS run from 2009 to 2011. But the Raiders are just 3-9 ATS L12 at Home against the Chargers and San Diego is 9-2 L11 SU and an impressive 17-4 L21 SU against their AFC West now sorta-foes. So the Chargers are the logical pick here (get at -7) as Oakland is 0-5 L5 SU as well as 0-5 ATS L5 against San Diego so it really won’t matter for Oakland if Schaub somehow returns here or Carr plays as expected or if even McGloin gets the majority of the minutes—none will really feel like the Raiders regular if he’s in there and this Chargers team believes in themselves—a Super Bowl futures bet may be a wise purchase before too many notice (12/1 to Win Super Bowl XLIX, William Hill)—and this is a San Diego team which has allowed a total of just 24 points in its last three games, although the competition certainly left a lot to be desired. And with the Raiders high-mark so far this season 14 points, the Chargers should be able to top the 24-point mark and find a way to get its backers the butter. Place your bet on the Chargers for your Sunday NFL picks.

NFL Pick: Chargers -7 at BookMaker

NFL Prop Pick: Chargers To Win By 13+Points +180 (Paddy Power)

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