Could it be that Raider Nation has finally had enough? Oakland surely isn't giving its fans much to celebrate and they won't cover as 7-point home dogs to the Chargers.
The San Diego Chargers take their high-powered offense on the road as they visit the Oakland Raiders Sunday. The Chargers opened as 5 ½-point favorites but that number quickly shot up to six at Pinnacle, TheGreek and Bookmaker. The best spot for Oakland shoppers is 5Dimes where Oakland is priced at plus seven.
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The NFL betting total opened at 44 ½ but, with the exception of a few shops, is now at 45.
NFL money line players who are backing the Chargers are laying minus 265 while the home underdog Raiders are listed at plus 225 to pull off the upset victory without the help of the points.
Over the past eight-plus seasons, the Chargers have played a lot of different Raiders teams and beaten them all (13-0) dating back to 2002 when Oakland won the Super Bowl. If San Diego can put together 60 minutes of football like they did Sunday against Arizona they’ll extend that streak.
San Diego Chargers (2-2 SU & ATS)
Last Sunday, the Chargers played their best game of the year routing the Arizona Cardinals 41-10 and easily covering as 10-point favorites. San Diego produced 419 offensive yards with quarterback Phillip Rivers hitting on 15 of 20 passes for 241 yards with two touchdowns and no picks. Most of his aerials found the hands of tight end Antonio Gates who had seven grabs for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
On the ground, Mike Tolbert led the way with 16 rushes for 100 yards and a touchdown while rookie Ryan Mathews contributed with nine rushes for 55 yards and a touchdown. All told SD amassed 180 yards on the ground with a lofty 4.7 yards per carry average and that unit is licking its proverbial chops for a shot at the Raiders 31st ranked rush defense.
San Diego is first in the league in total yards (450.8), third in passing (318.5) and third in scoring (28.2) behind New England and Indianapolis. On defense they rank first in total yards (235.5), fourth in passing (155.2) and seventh in rushing (80.2). With those glossy numbers you would expect the Chargers to be unbeaten and not a .500 club. However while they’ve excelled at home going 2-0 both SU and ATS, they’ve self-destructed on the road losing to Kansas City as a 4-point favorite and dropping a 27-20 decision at Seattle as a 3 ½-point choice.
San Diego needs to shed its Jekyll and Hyde image before they can truly be considered an elite team. The Bolts have won their two home games by a combined 56 points but are 0-2 on the road failing to cover in each game.
Oakland Raiders (1-3 SU & ATS)
We all knew the day was coming when even the heartiest of Raider souls would tire of all the losing. That day has arrived with the “Black Hole” truly becoming a black hole. Oakland fans, it would appear, have had it with Al Davis and after seven straight seasons of five wins or fewer they have decided to walk the plank instead of walking through the entrance of Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Last Sunday the Raiders drew 32,218, the lowest attendance at a home game since the year after the “Just Win Babies” moved into their American Football League stadium in 1966. It seems “Raider Nation” has had enough.
Those who had the stomach saw Oakland lose to the Houston Texans 31-24 as a 3-point home underdog. The Raiders produced 363 offensive yards and improved on their penchant for penalties committing just 2-for-23 yards.
There were other positives as well. Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski hit on 24-of-39 passing for 278 yards two touchdowns and the running game produced 118 yards rushing on 25 totes. Darren McFadden rushed it 12 times for 47 yards. Michael Bush had seven carries for 40 yards and a touchdown.
Tight end Zach Miller had 11 receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown while McFadden caught six passes for 82 yards. But the Raiders got nothing from their wide receivers with starters Louis Murphy and Darius Heyward Bey combining for two catches for seven yards.
Then there’s that whole issue about stopping the run. Oakland was shredded by the Texans who gained 249 yards on the ground and finished with a total of 441 on the day.
The Raiders 2010 defensive numbers look like those from 2009 and 2008 and…well you get the picture. They’ve got the 29th-ranked scoring defense (26.8) and are 31st against the run allowing 162 yards per game.
So after crunching all the numbers is there any reason to think the Raiders can snap their 13-game losing streak to the Chargers. In a word, No.
If you’re an Oakland backer and still live in the days of George Blanda and Daryle Lamonica, then you no doubt cling to the fact the Silver and Black lead the all-time series 55-44-2 and there once was a stretch of 18 straight games (1968-77) in which San Diego lost to Oakland. However as someone far greater than I once said, “That was then, and now is now,” and even in the parity crazy NFL, it doesn’t seem likely that the Raiders will be able to stop or even slow down Rivers and company.
The Chargers are 7-2 to the ‘over’ in their last nine games as a favorite and 6-2 to overall. The ‘over’ is on a 6-2 run in the Raiders last eight games as an underdog. San Diego is 7-1 ATS in its last eight visits to Oakland and 11-3 versus the number in its last 14 against the Silver and Black. Kickoff Time and Weather Details
NFL Live Odds
Kickoff is slated 4:15 p.m. Eastern with television coverage on CBS and Direct TV. The Oakland weather forecast is calling for partly cloudy conditions with temperatures in the upper 50s.