Oakland Raiders (0-9 SU, 4-5 ATS) vs. San Diego Chargers (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS)
NFL Week 11
Date and Time: Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 4:05PM EST
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
by Scott, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OAK +11/SD -11
Over/Under Total: 44.5
Bet your Raiders/Chargers pick at an online sportsbook where you can bet on games at -105 odds instead of the more expensive -110 price tag that your bookie is sticking you with! Making the switch to betting at discounted odds will save you TONS of cash! Find this great offer as well as 20 point teasers and parlays up to 25 teams at the web’s best bookmaker: 5Dimes.
On Sunday, the winless Oakland Raiders look for their first victory against the 5-4 San Diego Chargers in an AFC West match-up. Oakland is coming off a rough 41-17 home loss to the division leader Denver Broncos. The Chargers, meanwhile, are coming off a bye-week where they licked their wounds after losing three straight, following a 5-game winning streak.
These divisional rivals already played once, on October 12–a 31-28 road win for San Diego. The Chargers needed some good breaks in that game, including a late acrobatic interception by rookie Jason Verrett to seal the win. Derek Carr was pretty good, throwing for nearly 300 yards and 4 touchdown passes. WR Andre Holmes had a big day catching the ball and Darren McFadden even sprung loose some big runs. The Raiders showed they match up pretty well with the Chargers stylistically, in addition to the extra energy they get from playing their longtime in-state division rival.
Hopefully for the Chargers, the bye week was put to good use. They needed it just with all the players they have who are banged up. But they also needed a mental boost. In losing 37-0 to Miami in their last game before the break, they were awful and appeared to have officially hit the wall. It was their third straight loss and whatever wind was in their sails earlier in the season has left with a big whoosh.
With San Diego, at least they have a good excuse. The injuries have been unrelenting. They did well to play through it, but at some point in the past month, the sheer losses of manpower began to register. There arent many teams that possess the depth to withstand the losses San Diego has incurred. Starters are starters for a reason and when you lose almost all the big guns on your defense, its going to be hard.
The results of the injuries have been multifold. The offensive line has been roughed up all season. Theyre getting Ryan Mathews back and he may need a game or two to hit full-stride. They have been using Branden Oliver, who was 4th on the depth chart. But again, its been the defense thats been getting shattered with personnel issues.
Among the San Diego players hurt are Melvin Ingram, Manti Teo, Jerry Attaochu, Verrett, and Brandon Flowers, among others. Flowers played last week and with others starting to return to practice, this D can reclaim some of its footing. At its best, its a good unit. They can rush the passer. They were the top-scoring defense until injuries began to accumulate. As their playmakers begin to return, things can get back on the right track. It just might take a little time.
The Chargers have been outscored 73-21 in their last two games. Both were on the road and after a bye week and facing a team like Oakland, being at home should provide an energizing element. Rivers hasnt been at his best in recent weeks, but a lot of that was out of his control. Against Oakland the first time around, he got off to a slow start, before clicking into gear and throwing for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns. Oliver ran for over 100 yards. WR Malcom Floyd caught a TD pass and was also over 100 yards. They got some timely contributions from Ladarius Green, Eddie Royal, Antonio Gates, and Keenan Allen–underscoring San Diegos diversity on offense. Still, the Chargers could really use backup center Rich Ohrnberger, who has done a fine job, but is listed as questionable for Sunday.
Denver hung in there for a little bit against Denver, taking a 3-0 lead and leading 10-6 until late in the 2nd quarter. That only makes it more painful that they ended up losing 41-17, with a trio of Denver touchdowns in the third quarter sealing the deal. Oakland added a garbage time TD at the end to make it look slightly more respectable. On one hand, asking a winless team to beat one of the leagues powers is asking too much, but the home effort was a disappointment. At the same time, with Denver coming off a loss to New England, it was to be expected to some degree.
Last Sunday, Carr was 37-for-50 with a pair of TD passes and two picks, as well. Oakland again had massive trouble running the ball, with an anemic 30 yards of rushing. You can go on and on as to why the Raiders stink. But the bottom-line is that they have come close a number of times this season, with the first Chargers game being one of those times. This game is in San Diego and the Chargers got a well-needed break and should be pumped-up for this game. In addition, after dropping 3 straight, San Diego will be pining to get back in the win column. Oakland continues to run into teams that have an axe to grind, therefore not getting the normal letdown factor a winless team would normally receive.
On one hand, the Raiders are desperate for a win and playing a team where they had success, with their rookie QB having their best game against this team. But with San Diego coming off the bye and needing a win so badly, it looks like an Oakland team hungry for their first win may have landed in another tough spot. But watching San Diego over the past month, one should feel awfully hesitant about laying double-digit points, even against a winless team like Oakland. I see the Raiders keeping it within range to earn the cover.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Oakland Raiders plus 11 points.