San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders Betting Odds, Analysis, NFL Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2015

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws against the Green Bay Packers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Ryan Kang/Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders (6-8) will play their home finale against the San Diego Chargers (4-10) in what could be their last game at O.co Coliseum in an AFC West matchup Thursday night. The Raiders and Chargers are both planning on moving to Los Angeles after this season, and the visiting team has gone 7-3 against the spread in the past 10 meetings. San Diego is also 3-0 ATS in its last three games as an underdog versus Oakland.

Point spread: The Raiders opened as six-point favorites; the total was 44.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).

NFL pick, via Odds Shark computer: 26.6-16.0 Raiders

Why the Chargers can cover the spread

The Chargers proved last week what it means to play for pride, as they disposed of the Miami Dolphins, 30-14, as one-point favorites in what could be their last game at Qualcomm Stadium. Ironically, the Raiders have had a bit of a home-field advantage at Qualcomm when they have visited there because of all the fans in the area who supported them when they called Los Angeles home.

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San Diego now has an opportunity to earn some payback here in Oakland after falling 37-29 in the first meeting, which was not nearly as close as the final score indicated. The Chargers trailed 37-6 heading into the fourth quarter before quarterback Philip Rivers threw all three of his touchdown passes, including two to running back Danny Woodhead. Rivers should be primed for revenge in this prime-time divisional game.

Why the Raiders can cover the spread

The Raiders appear to have the brighter future of the two rivals because quarterback Derek Carr is just coming into his own as a young signal-caller, while Rivers is clearly on the downside of his career. Carr burned the San Diego secondary in the first meeting, completing 24 of 31 passes for 289 yards with three touchdowns in the easy victory.

Oakland has also been the better of the teams this season, which is obviously why the Chargers have two less wins. The Raiders have alternated wins and losses in their last five overall and have mostly played well against AFC West opponents this year outside of a 34-20 home loss three weeks ago to the Kansas City Chiefs, who beat them as three-point favorites on their way to a current eight-game winning streak.

Smart pick

Even when Oakland was bad, the team enjoyed ATS success in this rivalry. The Raiders have covered five of the past six meetings and 10 of the last 13, and they will be very motivated to sweep the Chargers here. For that reason, bank on Oakland to beat San Diego and the spread in another convincing performance on Christmas Eve.

Betting trends

The visiting team is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games in this matchup.

The Chargers are 3-0 ATS in their last three games as underdogs against the Raiders.

The Raiders are 5-20-1 ATS in their last 26 games as home favorites.

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

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