December 24, 2015 (1:35 PM ET)
More picks will be posted on Friday between 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM ET.
This holiday season, we'd like to wish our members a very happy and safe Christmas! Although we would have liked to go into it on a hot streak, unfortunately it didn't happen this year. Despite that, we are determined to finish what has been a good year (our historical best) on a high and have taken certain measures to ensure that 2016 will yield superior results. Happy holidays and merry Christmas!
Take Oakland Raiders at -5 spread against San Diego Chargers for 3% of the bankroll.
Sports Profit System backed the lowly Chargers on Sunday when few dared to touch them. That's because they were facing a Dolphins squad that had travelled coast to coast to play what was a meaningless game for them while San Diego was hosting its final home game of the season! Not only that, Phillip Rivers and company were determined to reward their fanbase for their support over the years in what would likely be their last ever game at the stadium before a potential relocation to LA. It was bound to be an emotionally motivating game and that's what it was as Mike McCoy's team raced out to a big lead and cruised to a double-digit win despite an ugly 3-10 record!
Now the script has flipped. The Bolts did what they needed to and have little more to play for. It is instead Charles Woodson and the Raiders' last home game of the season in what will likely be their final ever game at the Coliseum! The onus is on Jack Del Rio's squad to go out with a bang especially since they are coming off 3 straight home defeats and we believe they will. The 39-year old Woodson is retiring at the end of the season and is one of the most celebrated defensive backs in NFL history! His teammates will no doubt be motivated to rally around him and give him the farewell that he deserves. The Raiders will want to send him off in style with a W and still have a chance to finish the season with a .500 record which is an achievement given that not much was expected of them coming into this year. This is an up and coming squad that has learned some valuable lessons in recent weeks and is ready to deliver a statement about their future promise on Christmas Eve!
The Bolts on the other hand may in fact be better off losing this game to improve their chances of securing the #1 draft pick. They are currently 4-10 on the season and in contention with the Browns and Titans for the worst record in the AFC conference! They know they won't be making the playoffs and coming off an emotional victory on a short week, they are in a definite flat spot tonight. It doesn't help that the Chargers have been hit by the injury bug all season and lost even more players this past weekend! The fact that Melvin Gordon is now out for the season and King Dunlap and other starters in the offensive-line continue to miss out, means that Oakland can focus on Danny Woodhead to limit his effectiveness. Keenan Allen has proven himself as one of the top WRs in the league but has been out since midway through the season and that severely limits Rivers' options. TE Ladarius Green did not practice all week and is questionable to start this game. Even if he takes the field, he won't be at 100%. That means the Raiders should focus their attention on Antonio Gates on key passing downs and as the former defensive co-ordinator for the Broncos, Jack Del Rio knows that all too well.
Derek Carr has a bright future ahead and is already more accomplished as an NFL quarterback than many others. Nonetheless, there's a learning curve for a young QB and having thrown some untimely interceptions over the last few weeks, we believe he has picked up some valuable lessons. We expect him and the Raiders to bounce back tonight and be the hungrier of the two sides. It wouldn't surprise us if they led by a TD or more for much of the game including a comfortable double-digit lead. Our only worry is that a meaningless late TD with the outcome already out of reach could give the Chargers a backdoor cover in the final minutes as Raiders relax due to a 10-12 point lead! Nonetheless, while that would be extremely unfortunate, the chances of such occurences are not high and we therefore can not pass on this game for that sole reason. Let's also not forget that the Chargers are winless (0-4) in division games this season and were held to just 3 points on multiple occassions in recent games!
Given the current set of injuries on either side, the Raiders have the better offense and defense in our opinion. Look for Carr to hook up with Amari Cooper but dont' forget about Michael Crabtree who is just 151 yards shy of a 1000-yard season! The Oakland QB simply has more weapons at his disposal and is helped in the backfield by the emergence of Latavius Murray who helped the team rush for 120 total yards agains the Packers and break out of its pass-heavy schemes. The Bolts have been one-dimensional offensively for much of the season due to a poor ground game and could be even more that way tonight with the loss of Gordon. That doesn't bode well against an opportunistic Raiders unit that frequently jumps routes to pick up interceptions while also possessing a strong pass-rush! Look for Khalil Mack (15 sacks) and company to wreak havoc against an offensive lineup that continues to be troubled by injuries and put pressure on Rivers to frustate him. If the referees don't throw too many flags in favor of San Diego, we don't see how they'll keep up.
The Raiders showed some character, mounted a comeback and led in the second half against Green Bay before losing. They have learned some important lessons on closing out games in recent weeks. They will be more up for this game than their opponents since they are in bounce back mode and will want to give the passionate black & silver crowd something to cheer about! Look for them to win the game and cover this short spread in the process. The Chargers' most important game of the season since being eliminated from playoffs was last Sunday when it was crucial for them to clinch victory and get the proper send-off. Having experienced that, they won't be as prepared for this game or care about it as much as the hosts do. Oakland will win this game in our opinion and it is only a matter of how much by. Since only 4 numbers result in a losing wager, SPS believes it is worth laying the 5 points.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Chargers are just 1-5 on the road this season.
- Oakland has scored 7 more touchdowns than San Diego this season.
- Chargers are 1-9 ATS in division games over the last 2 seasons!
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