Although Philip Rivers is coming off a monster week I'm going to go ahead and take the Raiders plus the points in San Diego. I like the fact they are coming off a bye week & David Carr at quarterback.
Across the board the Raiders are around +3.5 underdog. You can still get pretty good odds at Pinnacle at that +3.5 at -115. For one of my NFL picks of the day I like Oakland to keep this game either really close or possibly pull off the upset.
Oakland is averaging 21.4 points per game, 338.8 yards per game, and a third-down 44.93% conversion rate. Their offense has put David Carr as the focal point putting the ball in the air 64.44% of the time which ranks fifth in the NFL. They are not a very good rushing offense only averaging 90 yards per game on the ground, but they are decent in the past game ranking 15th with almost 250 yards per game and a completion percentage of 64.95%, ranked 13th. Today will be an interesting matchup for them on offense because they are facing a Chargers team that actually has a decent pass defense, but they are very poor in stopping the run. Coming off a bye week I am anticipating for Oakland to have a solid game plan.
Defensively Oakland allows 24.8 points per game, three a 2.4 yards per game, and a third-down 40% conversion rate. This is really a game of conflicting strengths and weaknesses as the strength of the Oakland defense does not match up with the strength of the San Diego offense. While the Raiders rank third in the NFL in rushing yards per game allowed at 83.2, their passing defense is one of the worst allowing almost 300 yards per game. Although I don't think they're going to completely stop Rivers I think with the extra week off, once again, should help them to at least slow San Diego down.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers averaged 22.7 points per game, 432.8 yards per game, and a third-down 41.46% conversion rate. Their yards per game rank first in the NFL and they have been moving the ball quite well this season through the air throwing the ball 65.71% of the time. They also lead the NFL in passing at 346.3 yards per game, and this could be a problem for in Oakland team that has not been good at limiting passing yards per game. Still if Oakland game plans accordingly they should be able to set themselves up to do a decent enough job to keep themselves and it. As for running the ball, don't count on San Diego to pick up many yards that way as they rank 29th in the NFL averaging just 86.5 yards per game on the ground.
Defensively San Diego allows 26.8 points per game, 354.3 yards per game, and a third-down 33.85% conversion rate. As mentioned with Oakland, defensively this will be a game of opposite strengths. While Oakland has been really good at stopping the run, San Diego has been solid in their pass defense allowing just 221.8 yards per game. Overall though this Charger defense has some gaps and they tend to give up too many yards per play allowing 6.3 yards which ranks 31st in the NFL.
This could be a good bounce back week for San Diego, but this game means just as much to the Oakland Raiders. With Oakland having a bye week to get ready for this game I like them getting these points here to keep this game close and go down to the wire. Expect David Carr to do enough offensively and for Oakland to make a couple important stops to stay within the small number. For one of your NFL picks I recommend backing the better rested team in Oakland.
NFL Pick: Oakland Raiders +4 -(115) at Bovada