NFL Free Pick | Chargers @ Raiders

The Dallas Cowboys took care of us on Monday night thanks, in part, to the black cat that dashed across the field just before halftime. After the cat show, Dallas turned it on and delivered the cover we were looking for.

This week, the visiting Los Angeles Chargers are favored by a single point. Do we trust QB Philip Rivers and the Chargers? They are a lot like an ex-psycho-girlfriend. Just when you think they changed for the better – BAM! – the wheels come off the bus.


Game: Los Angeles Chargers (4-5, 3-5-1 ATS) at Oakland Raiders (4-4, 5-3 ATS)

When: 8:20 PM ET, Thursday, November 7, 2019

Where: RingCentral Coliseum, Oakland, California

Current Line: LAC -1  Total: 49

TV Coverage: FOX, NFL Network, Amazon


The Chargers offense was struggling, so they fired offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. A week later, L.A. puts up one of its better performances of the season. Rivers goes 21-of-28 for 294 yards and RB Melvin Gordon finally breaks out of his shell with 80 yards rushing and two touchdowns. 

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L.A.’s divisional opponent Oakland does have the seventh-best run defense in the NFL. That’s all great until you realize the Raiders are the worst pass defense in the league. Against Green Bay last week Rivers completed three balls to WR Mike Williams … for 111 yards. That spells trouble for Oakland.

What else spells trouble is the Raiders’ most current three-game stretch. Oakland is 1-2 with a win over the equally abysmal Detroit Lions just last week. In those three games, the Raiders have given up an average of 447.3 yards per game. Awesome.

Oakland can play the bad-boy ex-boyfriend who does a couple stints in juvie to the Chargers’ psycho ex-girlfriend who will start a fire in your bathroom. While that plays out, both teams can go 8-8 and yawn at the end of the season.



On the plus side, the Raiders’ Josh Jacobs is now the favorite to win the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. He has rushed for at least 120 yards in three of his last four games. The Chargers give up 120 yards rushing per game, but last week they looked like the sane ex-girlfriend.

L.A. allowed the Packers just 45 yards rushing, 3.8 yards per play and 11 points. And while the Chargers do give up some rushing yards, the Raiders may be without OT Trent Brown who injured a knee and is questionable for Thursday Night’s NFL Week 10 game.

What does all this mean? Well, it’s pretty simple. The Chargers are 3-0 SU and ATS in their last three games against Oakland. L.A. is also 14-5-1 ATS in their last 20 games on the road and 13-6-1 ATS in the last 20 road games against opponents from the AFC West.

Let’s add in the Chargers 6-1 record ATS in their last seven games against the Raiders and throw in a 4-1 record ATS in the last five games against the Raiders in Oakland.

Despite the Under hitting in seven of the Chargers’ last eight games with a combined score of 37.1, we’re going all in on the Chargers to storm into Oakland like the somewhat sane but psycho ex-girlfriend on a mission and cover.

NFL Free Pick: Chargers -1

Pick by Coach Rick

About the Author

A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.

His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.

When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.