Thursday Night Football- Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers
Point spread: San Diego -6.5
The NFL Network’s coverage of Thursday Night Football kicks-off this week with a classic AFC West Division showdown between the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers. The game is slated to get underway at 8:20 p.m. (ET).
Oakland’s strong start has faded with two straight losses that evened its record at 4-4 straight-up (5-3 against the spread). Last Sunday, it was hammered by Denver 38-24 as a seven-point home favorite. This followed a 28-0 shutout at the hands of Kansas City on Oct. 23 as a 3.5-point home favorite. The total has also gone 4-4 this year.
One of the main problems facing the Raiders is a lingering foot injury to Darren McFadden. He has been a huge part of the reason that the offense is ranked third in the NFL in rushing with 614 yards on 113 carries. They will also need a better effort from newly acquired quarterback Carson Palmer, who was brought in to replace the injured Jason Campbell.
San Diego’s season is headed in the wrong direction as well. It has lost its last three games after a 4-1 start and is now in a three-way tie with Oakland and Kansas City for the lead in the division at 4-4 SU (2-6 ATS). The Chargers latest setback was a 45-38 loss to Green Bay this past Sunday as 5.5-point home underdogs. The total went well over the 50.5-point line and is now 4-4 on the year.
The glaring problem with San Diego has been the inconsistent play of Philip Rivers. He threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns against the Packers, but was also picked-off three times with two getting returned for scores. He currently leads the NFL in interceptions with 14, while throwing just 11 TD’s.
Oakland is 5-1 ATS in its last six games as an underdog. The total has gone ‘over’ in seven of its last 10 games against the AFC West.
San Diego is 2-5-1 ATS in its last eight games as a favorite. The total has stayed ‘under’ in five of its last seven games in the division.
Head-to-head in this series, the Raiders are 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings and the total has stayed ‘under’ in 12 of the last 16 games played in San Diego. Look for Rivers to break out of his current slump with a big game that leads the Chargers to a solid win at home.
The Free NFL Pick: San Diego 28 Oakland 20
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