Oakland Raiders (1-3) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-2)
NFL: Sunday, October 7, 2018 @ 3:05 PM CT (StubHub Center)
Line & Odds: Los Angeles Chargers -7.5 – O/U 51.5
Free NFL Pick Oakland Raiders vs. Los Angeles Chargers
An AFC West shootout is in store as divisional rivals the Oakland Raiders and the Los Angeles Chargers square off at the StubHub Center on Sunday afternoon.
The Raiders came into the season with buzz surrounding them. Coach Jon Gruden was back after signing a $100 million contract over the next 10 years, and he caught the ire of many fans when he traded standout pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Bears for a handful of draft picks. Prior to last season, many had the Raiders pegged as an up-and-coming team with Super Bowl potential. The 2017 campaign saw the Raiders return to form going 6-10 and missing the playoffs. This year it has been much of the same. Except for a controversial win against the Browns last week in overtime, the Raiders have gone winless. They sit in last place in the AFC West. Quarterback Derek Carr is 4th in the league in passing yards with 1,373 but only has 6 touchdowns and has thrown 7 interceptions. Even though he recently got paid, it remains to be seen if Gruden intends to keep Carr as his long-term solution. The Raider offense is 2nd in the league in yards but an average 15th in touchdowns. Yards may be great for fantasy players, but it takes points to win in today’s NFL. The Raider defense is porous, allowing 30.8 points a game and over 400 yards a game against, ranking 2nd worst in the league behind Tampa Bay. It’s not looking good for Gruden’s first year as a head coach but the consensus is that the Raiders are merely trying to get situated so when they move to Las Vegas in 2020 they are in prime position to make a Super Bowl run. If that’s the case, it’s going to be a rough couple years for Raider nation.
The Los Angeles Chargers were picked by many to be Super Bowl contenders this year. Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers has thrown for 1,156 yards, 11 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He has played well so far and surprisingly the Chargers have beaten the teams they should beat. They ran into a buzz saw of a Chiefs team to start the season and a Rams team that has everything working in week 3. Last week’s game against a Jimmy Garoppolo-less 49ers demonstrates why the Chargers are a perennial under-performer. They barely got the win on an average team without its starting quarterback. Their offense ranks near the middle or slightly better than average in all major categories but their defense is near the bottom of the league in points/game at 30 and yards/game giving up 385. They are suffering from injuries this year with tight end Hunter Henry, receiver Travis Benjamin, and defensive end Joey Bosa out for sure and wide receiver Keenan Allen listed as questionable. It’s a good thing for the Chargers that Melvin Gordon has become versatile on the ground and in the passing game with 276 yards on the ground and 199 yards receiving. Gordon has 5 total touchdowns on the year and will be crucial if the Chargers expect to win on Sunday.
Cover The Spread 365 NFL Betting Trends:
Oakland is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing LA Chargers
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Oakland’s last 5 games when playing LA Chargers
Oakland is 4-11 SU in its last 15 games when playing on the road against LA Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers
LA Chargers are 17-8 SU in its last 25 games when playing Oakland
The total has gone OVER in 4 of LA Chargers’s last 5 games
LA Chargers are 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games when playing at home against Oakland
Free NFL Prediction Los Angeles Chargers vs Oakland Raiders
This is an interesting match-up. The total is where I’m putting my bet. Both defenses are terrible and both offenses move the ball with ease. I don’t trust either team to win the game as mentioned but I do expect a bunch of points. Carr throws the ball to both teams and Rivers hasn’t shown an ability to lead his team to the big one. They are both stat-acquirers which is great for the regular season and exciting for fans to watch a shootout. It wouldn’t surprise me if both teams close in on the 50 point mark and we get a true example of the new, softer, offense-packed NFL.
Pick: Over 51.5