The Los Angeles Chargers (8-7) will attempt to keep their slim playoff hopes alive Sunday when they host the Oakland Raiders (6-9) as large home chalk.
The Chargers must beat the Raiders, have the Tennessee Titans lose and the Baltimore Ravens win in order to get into the postseason.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 31.9-11.2 Chargers (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Raiders can cover the spread
Despite losing late to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night, Oakland showed some competitive fire for most of the game with nothing on the line. That effort nearly kept the Eagles from clinching the top seed in the NFC.
A similar performance from Oakland on Sunday could prevent Los Angeles from making the postseason, although the Chargers will need some help from other teams along the way too.
The Raiders are 7-1 against the spread in the past eight road meetings, so they also have history on their side in this matchup.
Why the Chargers can cover the spread
Los Angeles has traditionally finished the season strong, going 8-3 straight up in its last 11 regular-season finales.
The Chargers usually fight to the end with veteran quarterback Philip Rivers under center, whether they are trying to make the playoffs or playing the role of spoilers.
Whatever the case might be, Los Angeles should be motivated to win in this spot, and the players should not be worried about anything other than playing well for themselves and the fans who have supported them in Carson.
Outside of a 30-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15, the Chargers have been one of the hottest teams in the league. They have still won five of their last six games and covered the spread in five of seven, while Oakland has headed in the opposite direction.
The Raiders are riding a three-game losing streak and have gone 3-8-2 ATS in their past 13, with one of the covers coming Monday night. They have not covered two in a row since Week 2, so do not expect that to happen again.
Back the Bolts here.
NFL betting trends
The Raiders are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games on the road against the Chargers.
The Chargers are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games at home in December.
The Raiders are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games as road underdogs.
All NFL odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.