Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers Preview
Where: Qualcomm Stadium — San Diego, CA
When: Sunday, December 18, 2016, 4:25 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
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Betting on the Oakland Raiders (-3)
The Raiders got pushed out as the leader of the AFC West this past Thursday, as their division rival Kansas City Chiefs humbled them with a 21-13 thumping to take over the spot. It was only the Silver and Black’s third loss of the season (10-3), but two have now come in the hands of the Chiefs.
Derek Carr had a horrible outing. Forget tagging it as his worst game of the year, it was probably the worst game of his life. He was 17-of-41 (41.4 percent) for 117 yards and was unable to throw a TD. The 49.1 passer rating he earned for the night was the lowest in his career, including his time in Fresno State.
Against Week 15 opponents, San Diego Chargers, which is their less-threatening division rivals, Carr and company should be able to regain their winning form. They beat their California neighbors in their matchup back in Week 5, 34-31. Second-year receiver Amari Cooper starred in that game, catching six passes for 138 yards and one TD.
Aside from Cooper, look for Latavius Murray to be productive from the backfield. The RB has 42 carries for 185 rushing yards in his last two, including three running scores.
With the Raiders ranking in the bottom 10 of passing yards (263.4) and rushing yards (120.2) allowed per game, they’ll once again hope that their potent offense can help them overcome their foes. They are fifth in scoring (27.5 PPG) and eighth in yards (380.2 total YPG). Their offensive line should be a big help too, as the unit has allowed the fewest sacks this season, with 13.
The Raiders are 5-1 SU and ATS on the road this season.
Betting on the San Diego Chargers (+3)
Their recent 28-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers was a good example of how the Chargers’ games this season have played out, as they had five crucial and frustrating turnovers (two fumbles and three INTs). Philip Rivers now has a league-leading 17 INTs.
At 5-8 (7-6 ATS), they are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, but it’ll take a miraculous surge from them and a massive collapse from an AFC team before they clinch a berth, which is very unlikely.
The Bolts would rather forget their last meeting with the Raiders, since they infamously botched a field goal attempt that would’ve tied the game. It was so bad, Rivers was seen mouthing off that they were “the Bad News Bears.”
In trying to take back a win, expect the passing game to be there. Through Rivers, the Chargers are sustaining their image as one of the most dangerous aerial attacks in the league, with a 264 passing YPG average. It’ll be in a good position to excel on Sunday, since the Raiders aren’t good at defending the pass.
Dontrelle Inman has emerged as one of the team’s most reliable receivers in the last three games. During the span, the third-year wideout has 239 yards (17 yards per catch), with one TD grab in each contest.
Defensively, they’re just as bad as Oakland in giving up yardage through the air, as they are allowing 262.2 passing YPG. They are better in terms of stopping the run, with a fifth-best 94.5 rushing YPG. However, the defensive front hasn’t been in their very best in the last few weeks, since two of the past three teams they have faced exceeded the 100-yard plateau.
The Raiders (-3) win, 31-23.
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