The Raiders and Chargers will bookend each other's seasons, having met in Week 1 and meeting again in Week 17 to close out the season. While both teams were hopeful heading into that first game - which San Diego won 22-14 - both teams have suffered major disappointments this season. The Raiders have emerged as one of the worst teams in the NFL, while San Diego has not lived up to its pedigree of recent success. With that in mind, the Chargers have emerged as 7.5-point favorites on Sunday.
Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer is out with broken ribs and bruised lung, and the Raiders must decide between former first-round-pick-turned-journeyman Matt Leinart or 2011 third-round pick Terrelle Pryor. Most oddsmakers have avoided posting a line, considering the candidates got equal reps in practice on Wednesday. But the Raiders' issues go beyond their quarterback play, with their defense giving up the third-most points in the league, nearly 28 per game. Their running game has been startlingly inconsistent, with running back Darren McFadden ineffective even when he manages to take the field.
The Chargers have been favored by more than a touchdown just once this season, when they covered handily in Week 9 against the Chiefs, who are the only reason the Raiders aren't the worst team in the AFC West. San Diego is 3-5 in games which they are favored, and 1-4 in their last five such contests. Phillip Rivers has continued to regress, creating doubts about his future as a starter and the viability of his coach, Norv Turner. The perennial AFC West favorites have been taken down a notch, but still remain the second-best team in their division, with the Raiders and Chiefs in line for high draft picks.
For all of the odds on this week's NFL games and all kinds of other sports, check out Odds Shark. SB Nation also has all of the Week 17 odds. For more on the Chargers, head over to Bolts From The Blue, and for more on the Raiders check out Silver and Black Pride.