Chargers quarterback Phil Rivers seems like a blaze of glory type of guy but he is 5-15 O/U the past 20 times after throwing for more than 300 yards in a game
Divisional opponents in the NFL like to impose suffering upon their rivals almost as much as they enjoy winning itself. Make no mistake, it’s in second place and second is the first loser. But when you’re standing at the edge of your season, certain to fall off the playoff cliff into an abyss of free agency hell and the only option left is to fire your final round into a divisional opponent’s belly, it feels like the surest way to help a team rest in peace.
Oakland (12-3) and Kansas City (11-4) have earned their tickets toward the playoff promised land but there are still many battles to be fought. Fighting them on home turf, especially with a bye week to prepare, would make life so much easier. Denver and San Diego stand in the way and neither one of these teams is happy about their current situation.
The Broncos suffered a classic Super Bowl hangover and no amount of free Papa John’s pizza or legal marijuana in the state of Colorado is going to make the pain go away. Only time will deal this migraine but beating Oakland is like a dose of extra strength Advil.
A win for Oakland locks up the division and if New England loses to Miami, the Raiders also get home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They are 6-1 SU/ATS on the road this year and already beat Denver 30-20 at home. The monkey wrench is a broken fibula to QB Derek Carr and now Matt McGloin takes over the offense. He should have his top weapons available and Khalil Mack will make life rough for Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch, who is expected to see time in Week 17.
The run game could be the determining factor in this contest and Denver has totaled just 139 rushing yards their past three weeks — all losses. Oakland trampled Denver for 218 rush yards the first time they met and have rushed for 135-plus yards in each of their past four games. Sounds like a pretty obvious choice but when divisional road teams with a strong run game face a revenge-minded foe, the past 29 times the road team was 9-20 ATS. Defending Super Bowl champs with same season revenge are 9-5 ATS and dogs went 4-1 against the number. Totals of 41 or less are 5-1 O/U and the weather in Denver looks fine for Sunday. I think the value on this game is on the total.
The Chiefs have clinched a playoff spot but could earn a bye with a win and Oakland loss. San Diego is likely hosting its final NFL game for the foreseeable future and there’s a chance HC Mike McCoy is let go following the season but this a lot of points for any divisional team to be laying on the road.
There is one system for late-season divisional games “live” that is 12-25-1 O/U and there is another based on road teams off three-straight home games that has resulted in 28 overs and 49 unders in the Sports Database history. 13 of 19 divisional games in this profile stayed under the number. I like the Chiefs defense to have a big game but barring a ton of special teams touchdowns, feel like the value on this game is on the total as well.