NFL Picks: Raiders Motivated To Beat Chargers In Last Home Game

Jason Lake

Monday, December 21, 2015 7:02 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 21, 2015 7:02 PM UTC

The future Battle of Los Angeles goes down Thursday night between the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders. Looks like the Raiders are the fashionable NFL pick.

Jason's 2015 record as of Dec. 21: 49-47-3 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 25-32-1 Total
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Free NFL Pick: Raiders -4½
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


The NFL made history on Sunday – or at least we think so. Sunday's tilt between the San Diego Chargers and the Miami Dolphins may have been the last home game for San Diego fans before their team moves to Los Angeles. If so, the Bolts went out with a bang, beating the Dolphins 30-14 as 1-point favorites. They even played “Auld Lang Syne” on the PA after the game.

Will history repeat itself this Thursday? The Oakland Raiders are one of three teams eyeing a move to Los Angeles next year, joining the Chargers and the St. Louis Rams. The Raiders are playing their last home game of 2015, against San Diego no less, and the NFL odds at press time have Oakland laying five points with a total of 47. Our very early consensus reports show 60 percent of bettors on the Raiders with two-thirds of the action.

California Love
There's nothing left to play for but pride in this matchup – pride and continued NFL employment, that is. The Raiders (6-8 SU, 7-7 ATS) were eliminated from playoff contention last week when they lost 30-20 to the Green Bay Packers as 4-point home dogs. Despite the loss, this has already been a successful season for the Raiders. They've doubled their win total for last year. They can still finish 8-8, which would tie their best record since going to the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 campaign.

It hasn't been all smoke and mirrors, either. The stat gurus at Pro-Football-Reference have Oakland pegged at -0.8 on their Simple Rating System, just a shade worse than your average NFL team. The Chargers (4-10 SU, 6-8 ATS) check in at -3.1 SRS, by the way, so that 5-point spread seems fair enough.


Wet Christmas
Just because they're playing in California doesn't mean we can ignore the weather when we make our Week 16 NFL picks. Thursday night's forecast calls for an 80-percent chance of rain with winds up to 20 mph. This will be a dinnertime start on the West Coast (8:25 p.m. ET, NFLN), but temperatures are still expected to dip below 50 degrees by kick-off. What a delightful way to spend your Christmas Eve.

This should be enough to tip the scales toward Oakland. It's already common at this time of year for non-playoff road teams to fold their tents, especially in lousy weather conditions. The Chargers come into this contest after an emotional “last” win at home; would you blame the Bolts for just wanting to get Thursday's game over with so they can go back to their families? Speaking of which, Happy Holidays to you and yours this year, and may the prolate spheroid be under your tree.

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