Oakland Raiders (4-11) at San Diego Chargers (6-9)
Aside from this being a divisional matchup, this is a completely meaningless game for these two teams. Both are out of the playoffs by a long shot. I have a rule against making significant plays on completely meaningless games. If the teams might not care about a game, I shouldn’t either. There’s just no way to predict what kind of effort either side is going to give.
The Raiders do have a powerful trend on their side as they are road dogs off a road loss. Teams are 86-51 ATS in this spot since 2008. The Chargers are also 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games (3-3 ATS on the road in that same time period). This is also a game they’re expected to do something in. They are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 as favorites or dogs of a field goal or less and 2-0 ATS as 3.5+ dogs in that same time period.
However, the Chargers do have one trend on their side as sub .500 home favorites are 24-10 ATS during week 17 since 2002. I haven’t used that one in any other games where it applies because I didn’t like the lack of line value we were getting with the host, but here I do. The Chargers rank 21st in net points per drive at -0.18, while the Raiders rank 29th at 0.80. If you take the difference, multiply by 11 (the average amount of drives per team per game), and add 2.5 points for home field, you get that the Chargers should be favored by 9.5. That doesn’t even take into account that the Raiders will be starting Terrelle Pryor in his first NFL start.
The Chargers are also, as bad as they’ve been, 4-1 ATS inside the division this year (3-7 ATS outside the division). On top of that, they do always close seasons out well under Norv Turner, going 21-8 ATS in week 14 or later since 2007, including 7-1 ATS in the division. As bad as they’ve been over the past 3 years, they are still 8-3 ATS in weeks 14-17. I expected them to send Norv Turner out in style, but again, it’s hard to back either side.
Public lean: ?
San Diego Chargers 23 Oakland Raiders 10
Pick against spread: San Diego -10 (-110) 1 unit