The Oakland Raiders got a much needed win over the Baltimore Ravens last week to head back to the west coast with. Considering a loss would have placed them at 2-2 in Week 5, which would have still put them in a solid position. However, the Raiders are not just supposed to be in a solid position this season, they are expected to be a team busting out and making a run at the Denver Broncos for the division. Average is no longer good enough for the Raiders.
They’ve teetered between bad and average ever since playing in the 2002 Super Bowl against the Buccaneers. The Bucs blew them out that day, and a decade of dark clouds has hovered over them. All of that was supposed to come to an end when the drafted JeMarcus Russell. Obviously that didn’t come to fruition and the Raiders had to wait until they drafted Derek Carr.
Carr is solidifying himself as a top-flight quarterback in the NFL. It’s something his brother, David, didn’t do as the Houston Texans’ first ever NFL Draft selection. David Carr was supposed to be a can’t-miss prospect, and back then, had loftier expectations than Derek did coming out of college. Carr saved the family name, though, taking a hold of the Raiders franchise and turning a dire situation into a promising one.
The Raiders an advance to 4-1 this afternoon with a win over a team they have a weird connection with. Both the Raiders and Chargers have flirted with the idea of leaving town for a new city. As it is now, both are of course still in their respective cities. However, if Raider ownership has it their way, they’ll be playing in Las Vegas if a stadium deal gets done there. It would seem like a fitting place for them to call home. Today though, we’re heading to Oakland for this one. Find my exclusive, free pick below.
San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Raiders -3.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Chargers vs. Raiders Pick:
The Raiders defeated the Ravens as underdogs a week ago, closing the deal late thanks to a Carr to Michael Crabtree connection. The touchdown gave the Raiders a 28-27 lead and win with 2:12 left on the clock. This was after the Ravens went ahead at 3:36 of the 4th quarter. Old Raider teams would have folded up like a lawn chair and called it quits.
However, Derek Carr brings not only talent but a leadership element that is difficult to find from every quarterback around the league. Carr threw for 4 touchdowns on the Ravens and has only 1 interception to 9 touchdowns on the year. He is building of his rookie and sophomore campaign, which saw him go for 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and 32 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Oakland ranks 3rd in the NFL in total yardage per game, averaging 392.2 yards. Carr isn’t the only one finding success in the offense, the running game is 5th in the NFL in yards per game. A welcoming sign for a team that is centered around the arm of Carr. The Raiders have scored an average of 27 points per game for 7th in the league.
The Raiders should be able to feast on the Charger secondary in this one. They are already entering as a less than average unit, but now injuries are starting to pile up and making things even worse. San Diego will be down two of their top-three cornerbacks this afternoon. Jason Verrett is out with a season ending torn ACL, and Brandon Flowers has been ruled out due to a concussion. Ten years ago he would probably be playing here, but not with the new concussion rules.
The Chargers are already 30th in the NFL in yards against and now they’re down even more in the secondary. They’ve allowed an average of 30.2 points per game as well for second last in the league. Carr and the Raiders’ offense is going to go bonkers this afternoon at home. However, laying points with bad defenses always bothers me. The Raiders are dead last in the NFL against the pass. Philip Rivers should be able to find success here. The scoreboard should be lit up in this matchup. Both teams hitting the 30s looks pretty reasonable.
PICK: OVER 51 POINTS (-110)