Oakland Raiders (0-9) at San Diego Chargers (5-4)
I’m completely split on this one. On one hand, this seems like a perfect spot for the Chargers to bounce back off of back-to-back big losses on the road in Denver and Miami. Despite those two losses, they are still significantly better than the Raiders, to the point where I think we’re getting some line value with them as only 10 point favorites. The Chargers still rank 17th in the NFL, moving the chains at a 75.19% rate, as opposed to 75.46% for their opponents, a differential of -0.28%. Meanwhile, the Raiders rank dead last, moving the chains at a 64.20% rate, as opposed to 75.68% for their opponents, a differential of -11.49%. No one else has a differential worse than -7.93% (Tennessee).
In addition to still ranking relatively high in rate of moving the chains differential despite those two losses, the Chargers are also still above .500 despite those two losses, which brings in another trend that support the theory that they’ll have a bounce back week. Teams with a winning record are 49-28 ATS since 1989 at home off of back-to-back road losses. On top of that, the Chargers had an embarrassing loss in their last time out, losing 38-0 and teams tend to bounce back off of those as teams tend to be undervalued, overlooked, and embarrassed. Teams are 46-24 ATS off of a loss by 35 or more since 1989, including 4-0 ATS off of a bye.
The Raiders, meanwhile, have another tough game against the Chiefs on deck. Teams are 56-85 ATS since 2012 before being home underdogs of 3 or more, 28-60 ATS before being road favorites of 4 or more, and 8-22 ATS before being road favorites of 7 or more (the early line is Kansas City -7.5). That’s because when you have a game coming up like that it generally means one of two things. One, you have a very tough, important game coming up. Two, you really aren’t that good of a football team. Here, I think it’s both.
However, there is one very powerful trend on Oakland’s side that can’t be ignored. Teams that are 0-8 or worse (the Raiders are 0-9) cover at a very high rate as road underdogs historically, going 17-3 ATS since 1989. That’s because no one wants to bet on a team that is 0-8 or worse so the odds makers know they can boost the spread as high as they want. I don’t know that that’s happening here because the Chargers are coming off of a rough stretch as well, but the public is all over the Chargers and I like to fade the public whenever it makes sense. At the end of the day, I still like the Chargers to bounce back and cover this spread, but I’m not confident at all.
San Diego Chargers 34 Oakland Raiders 23
Pick against the spread: San Diego -10