Last Updated: 2017-12-29
One of Sunday’s games with playoff implications is the Oakland Raiders at the Los Angles Chargers, where the home team is favored by eight and the total on the game is down to 42. The oddsmakers are definitely making you pay a premium if you want to back the Chargers, who are in a must-win situation.
The Raiders have fallen on hard times, but to their credit, they’re still playing hard. In last week’s 19-10 loss to the Eagles, Oakland doomed themselves with five turnovers and actually out-gained the Eagles by 64 yards. They played the Cowboys tough the previous week, so the team isn’t packing it in and looking forward to next year, at least so far. Having a chance to keep the Chargers out of the playoffs is probably reason enough for the Raiders to be up for this game.
Prior to San Diego’s 17-16 win earlier this season, the Raiders had won the previous four meetings between the two teams, although the games were typically pretty closely contested. Three of those games were decided by a field goal and the Raiders won by eight in the other game, so asking the Chargers to win by more than eight might be asking a bit much, when you consider the last four games have been decided by a total of 10 points.
The Raiders can rush the ball a little bit and rushing defense is probably the weak point of San Diego’s defense, so Oakland can shorten the game a bit, which should help them keep things close in the beginning. The Chargers have allowed 371 rushing yards their last two games and that’s going to catch up with them eventually.
The Chargers haven’t been known as a team who plays its best when the pressure is on, which will be the case here. Even though the Chargers were able to take care of business against the Jets last week, it wasn’t easy and took three New York turnovers to help the cause.
The Raiders are in a somewhat favorable situation, as teams who were double-digit underdogs and lost the previous week are 44-33-1 if they are are road underdogs the following week and getting more than a touchdown.
Have to take the Raiders in this spot, as they’ve shown a bit of character the past couple of weeks despite not really having anything to play for other than pride and believe they’ll try to give another good effort here.
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