Oakland also checks into Southern Cal on a 6-2 against-the-spread win streak on the road but will be facing a team that must win and get help to sneak into the playoffs.
Point spread: Chargers opened as 9.5-point favorites; the total was 50 (line updates and matchup report).
Odds Shark computer prediction: 24.3-15.7 Chargers
Why the Raiders can cover the spread
The aforementioned betting numbers tell the story between these two, as these AFC West rivals tend to play close games. Though the Kansas City Chiefs scored a 56-31 rout over these Raiders last week, the 31 points were a season high for Oakland, which is a positive way of looking at a 25-point blowout loss.
The use of two quarterbacks—Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin—may or may not have been a good thing, but it may spark something for both in these last two weeks. They enjoy a 7-2 ATS record against San Diego dating back several seasons and own a 6-2 ATS road run.
Why the Chargers can cover the spread
They've proven to themselves they can beat the almighty Denver Broncos, they're still alive for a postseason berth and now they take on the lowly Raiders. And with Philip Rivers having a breakout season, it's important to note he boasts a league-best 28-6 record in the month of December.
His modest numbers against Denver (12-of-20 for 166 yards and two touchdowns) could easily double in this game.
San Diego is going to be the way to go here, despite what the betting trends say. Any sort of defensive improvement the Raiders showed during the first half of the season is a distant memory. Oakland has been pelted for 34.7 points per game over the last seven weeks.
Since allowing 49 to the Eagles on Nov. 3, the Raiders have given up at least 31 in four of seven games. The Chargers' distant playoff hopes are alive, so they'll be out for the kill here.
- Raiders are 7-2 ATS past nine vs. Chargers.
- Chargers 0-4 ATS past four at home to Oakland.
- Raiders are 6-2 ATS past eight road games.