LOS ANGELES: — The NFL has gone all out for its 100th season, but this week represents the end of an era. For one final time, the California Relocation Bowl brings its rivalry to Oakland.
The Chargers and Raiders were both born in 1960.
The Chargers spent their inaugural season in Los Angeles followed by 55 seasons in San Diego. Then in 2018, they moved back to Los Angeles. The Raiders spent their first 22 years in Oakland. Then they spent 13 years in Los Angeles. After that, they returned to Oakland for 25 years.
Next year the Raiders leave California for good and become the Las Vegas Raiders.
In both cases, the relocations were due to an inability to get a better stadium. San Diego built a stadium for their Padres baseball team, but not their football team. Oakland built a stadium for their Athletics baseball team, but not their football team. Oakland’s basketball team, the Golden State Warriors, is fleeing across the Bay to San Francisco. On another note, the San Francisco 49ers no longer play in San Francisco. They moved an hour South to Santa Clara near San Jose.
The Raiders were going to share a stadium with the Rams until the Chargers leapfrogged over them. Then the Raiders were going to share a stadium with the 49ers until both teams rejected that as untenable. The late Al Davis hated the 49ers and would never have lived with them. Like his father, Mark Davis was never able to get his dream stadium in California.
Unlike his father, the younger Davis did get a two billion dollar palace that will be ready to open in the Nevada Desert in 2020. As for Dean Spanos, he continued the tradition of his father Alex Spanos in failing to get a new stadium. Unlike the younger Davis, the younger Spanos will not get his own stadium.
The original California nomads were the Rams.
They went from Cleveland to Los Angeles to St. Louis and finally in 2016 back to Los Angeles. Rams owner Stan Kroenke is getting his Los Angeles stadium built-in 2020 as well. The Chargers will share that stadium, but only as a tenant.
The Raiders and Chargers have played home games in multiple cities, and have seen their quarterbacks throw for multiple thousands of yards. From the glory days of Don “Air” Coryell and Dan Fouts to Al Davis and Darryl “Mad Bomber” Lamonica, Ken “Snake” Stabler, and Jim Plunkett, these teams aired it out.
There was the 1980 AFC Title Game in the rain and the Holy Roller. Now Philip Rivers and Derek Carr play the final AFC West California Relocation Bowl in the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum.
With that, here is the NFL 2019 Week 10 Preview and Bettor’s Guide, with point spreads provided by FootballLocks.com and all times Eastern.
Thursday, November 7, 2019, 8:20 p.m.
Los Angeles Chargers (-1) at Oakland Raiders —
The Chargers stunned Green Bay and reduced Aaron Rodgers to human status. The Raiders have a very good offense and a very bad defense. The Chargers have improved after their typical slow start. The Chargers have the edge thanks to Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, but the Raiders have the Black Hole. As the final season in Oakland winds down, expect emotion to carry they day with Raiders home games. Upset special, Raiders win outright.
Sunday, November 10, 1:00 p.m.
Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) at Tennessee Titans —
The Chiefs have a pinball offense, whoever is at quarterback. The Titans are boring and getting less imaginative by the week. The spread is high for a road game, but the talent and coaching differential justifies it. Chiefs cover.
Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns (-3) —
The Bills have a defense. The Browns have excuses. Until the Browns show an ounce of heart and pride, they deserve zero respect. Upset special, Bill win outright.
Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4.5) —
Bruce Arians faces his old team that he retired from only to return to coaching. The Buccaneers gave Seattle a scare before a valiant overtime loss. Neither of these teams inspires confidence, but Arians wants this game bad. His players will deliver for him. Buccaneers win but fail to cover.
New York Giants (-2.5) at New York Jets —
Saying that these teams play in New Jersey is a good way to get punched by FDNY and NYPD fans. This year they are both so terrible that even New Jersey people are calling them New York. The Jets lost to the previously winless Dolphins. Although this is technically a Giants road game, it will be played in their home stadium. Daniel Jones cannot stop fumbling. Jets fans can handle seeing their team go 1-15 as long as this is the game they win. Sometimes desperation is enough. Upset special, Jets win outright.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-13) —
The Falcons are a dumpster fire. The Saints are in Super Bowl or bust mode. Drew Brees is back in the saddle, but the pinball wizard now has a defense to help him. The spread is very high, but the Falcons are a shell of the team that reached the Super Bowl only three years ago. Saints cover.
Baltimore Ravens (-10) at Cincinnati Bengals —
Baltimore got an emotional win over previously undefeated New England. Now they take on winless Cincinnati. John Harbaugh is too good a coach to expect the Ravens to have a letdown. However, the spread is high for a road game. A garbage touchdown is possible. Ravens win but fail to cover.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-2.5) —
The Lions have the offense and the Bears have the defense. In a close game, go with the home field. Mitchell Trubisky is a game manager, but at home with his defense, that should be enough. Bears cover.
Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (-5) —
Green Bay suffered a shocking and humiliating loss at the Chargers and will take it out on a good Carolina team. Cam Newton is now officially out for the season, and Kyle Allen has filled in well. However, Aaron Rodgers coming off a terrible loss is not a fair fight. Packers cover.
Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts (-10) —
The Dolphins finally avoided going 0-16, but now they travel to face a far superior Colts team. Jacoby Brissett is playing well. This is just a mismatch on all levels. Colts cover.
Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers —
40 years ago these teams played a thrilling Super Bowl. This year Mike Tomlin has willed an injury-riddled team to a 4-4 start. The Rams have been far less consistent than last year, but trust their defense against Mason Rudolph. The extra half a point is tough on the road. Rams win but fail to cover.
Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys (-3) —
Dallas struggled to beat the Giants. Minnesota has a defense that is Mike Zimmer tough. Dalvin Cook can run hard and take the pressure off of Kirk Cousins. Upset special, Vikings win outright.
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-6) —
The 49ers are unbeaten, the Seahawks are very good, and Richard Sherman faces off against his old team. As well as the 49ers are playing, the spread is too high in a game where the two teams hate each other’s guts. Russell Wilson would love to shut Richard Sherman up. Sherman would love to see him try it. 49ers win but fail to cover.