NFL Thursday Night Football: Chargers at Raiders Odds, Pick & Betting Preview

Written by on December 22, 2015

This week, Thursday Night Football features a Christmas Eve tilt between two teams who just might be sharing a stadium in Los Angeles in the future: the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers (4-10) routed Miami last week, but Oakland fell to Green Bay. The Raiders are favored by six points on online NFL odds, and the over/under total is 45.5.

Why should you choose the Chargers (+6)?

San Diego has had an awful season — but not as awful as the numbers might suggest. Philip Rivers has been his dynamic self this year, throwing with vigor and abandon, but the team has found ways to cough up games close to the end, much like the Ravens were doing before Joe Flacco (and his backup Matt Schaub) went down to injury. Their whipping of the Dolphins shows that they still have spirit, and the AFC West rivalry will have them motivated so that their defense might hold together for a second week in a row.

Why should you choose the Raiders (-6)?

The Raiders are 6-8 and don’t have much of a shot to get one of the wild cards in the AFC. However, in their first year under Jack Del Rio, Oakland has come to life, playing spirited defense and letting quarterback Derek Carr start to spread his wings as perhaps the team’s first legitimate quarterback since Rich Gannon led the team to a Super Bowl. At home, the Raiders are one of the league’s toughest teams to beat when they are competitive.raiders-vs-chargers-nfl-odds-and-game-preview

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

I look to the Chargers to make a game of this but ultimately to fall, 35-31. So take them to cover…but not to win straight up. Also that over/under total (45.5) is way low, given the two offenses on the field, so I would take the over.