Premium Pick: San Diego –9
Time to continue the rivalry between the chargers vs raiders. San Diego rebounded nicely from a 0-2 start with a steaming 48-29 win over the Jets on Monday night. This was exactly what they needed to bring themselves back to their dominant form. Last year they started off 1-3 and revived their season with a 41-3 blowout over the Denver Broncos. Since that game they were 13-2 ATS for the remainder of the 2007 season including the playoffs. They finished the season 11-5 and lost to the Pats in the AFC championship.
I am quite confident that they will continue at same level of success that they were achieving after their first 4 games last season and may be in a position to start another profitable ATS streak. Speaking of streaks, one of the main reasons I believe that the Chargers will cover is based on the fact that they are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 meetings with Oakland.
San Diego’s offense has been explosive since the beginning of the season, despite a 0-2 start and many players not playing 100% healthy including superstars LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates. The Chargers rank fifth in yards gained and second in points scored. Philip Rivers has proven to be an all star as he currently leads the league with 9 touchdowns and has the best rating of 124.8. His 67% completion is the fifth best in the league and his 844 passing yards is the fourth best. Oakland currently ranks 26th in the league for pass defense and 23rd for points allowed. Philip Rivers should definitely be starter for week 4 in a fantasy football pool as this is a very favorable matchup for him.
The Chargers’ defense has not been efficient in its first 3 games. They rank 29th in both yards allowed and points allowed. However, on a more positive note, they have a turnover differential of +3 and are tied for third in the league with 3 other teams. They ranked first in the 2007 season with a +24 differential, which was one of the most critical components to their success. Last game they forced 3 turnovers against the Jets and converted a touchdown on each one. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who led the NFL with 10 interceptions last year, made his first two interceptions of the season, returning one for a touchdown. The Raiders are not an offensive threat by any means. They rank 21st in yards gained and 18th in points scored. Their main threat is their running game as they rank third in the league in rushing yards but second last in passing yards. The Chargers will focus on stopping the run and you can expect to see turnovers if Russell is forced to throw the ball. San Diego will have no problem covering 9 points.
Prediction: San Diego 38 Oakland 17