This Sunday the Los Angeles Chargers (8-7) will host the Oakland Raiders (6-9) in a matchup of two AFC West rivals. Kickoff is set for 4:25 EST at the StubHub Center and will be televised locally on CBS.
Oddsmakers currently have the Chargers listed as a 8-point home favorite with the total set at 42 points. Check out our Week 17 NFL odds page for a full betting schedule and for more links to our game previews.
Raiders vs Chargers Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview
Oakland comes into this contest of a 10-19 loss at Philadelphia on Monday Night Football in Week 16. The Raiders gave the Eagles a much bigger scare than most expected, as they went off as a 10-point underdog. Oakland actually had a 10-7 lead in the 2nd half and the game was tied 10-10 before Philadelphia hit a go-ahead field goal with 22 seconds to spare. The Raiders tried to lateral the ball backwards on the final play, only to fumble it and have the Eagles return it for a score.
Los Angeles defeated the Jets 14-7 at home this past Sunday. The game ended right on the number, as the Chargers closed as a 7-point favorite. It was a big bounce back win for LA, who saw their hopes of winning the division crash and burn with their 13-30 loss at Kansas City in Week 15. However, it was far from an impressive showing for a team that was fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Chargers will need to win this game and have the Titans lose to the Jaguars and the Ravens to beat the Bengals to sneak in as a Wild Card team.
These two teams played back in Week 6 at Oakland, which the Chargers prevailed 17-16 in a game that saw three lead changes in the 4th quarter. LA won the contest on a last-second field by Nick Novak.
NFL Betting Free Pick & Predictions: Raiders +8
I would have to side with Oakland and the points in this one given the price. I believe the fact that the Chargers are still in the playoff hunt and have to win this game has this line a lot higher than it should. While the Raiders are simply playing for pride, I expect them to get up for this game, knowing they can play the role of spoiler and ruin any hopes LA has of getting to the postseason.
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If this team was going to lay down and just go through the motions, they would have done it last week against the Eagles after that crushing loss to the Cowboys in Week 15, which all but eliminated them from playoff contention. I was really impressed with how this team came out and laid it all on the line against a Philadelphia team that needed to win that game to secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
History definitely favors the Raiders catching over a touchdown. Each of the last 4 meetings in the series have been decided by 3-points or less, including that earlier matchup in Oakland, which the Chargers won by 1-point on a last second field goal. Going back even further, the last 7 meetings have all been decided by 8-points or less.
I also think the Raiders matchup well with Los Angeles. Oakland has been able to get their running game of late, as they are averaging 110.2 ypg on the ground in their last 6 and have rushed for 259 over their last 2 games. The Chargers are dead last in the NFL in stopping the run, as they come in allowing 132.9 ypg. That ability to run the ball should open up the passing game for the Raiders.
As for the Chargers offense, they haven’t exactly been moving the ball effectively the last couple of weeks. They managed just 13 points in Week 15 at Kansas City and then last week managed just 14 on the road against a bad Jets team. Star running back Melvin Gordon is probable, but he’s been unable to practice on his injured ankle and I have a hard time seeing him being effective.
You also have to factor in just how poorly the Chargers have played at home in recent years. Between LA and San Diego, they are a miserable 8-20 ATS in their last 28 home games. It’s also worth noting that the Chargers are just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 14 or fewer points in their previous game and a mere 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games played in the month of December. Give me the Raiders +8!