In case you weren't aware, the Chargers are currently favored by seven points against the Oakland Raiders this week. That shouldn't be surprising since the Chargers have the best record in the NFL, while the Raiders have the worst. However, it is relatively uncommon for teams to be favored by a full touchdown on the road, as the Chargers are in week six.
Given the parity and robust 3-4 point home-field advantage in the NFL, it's not that common to see a seven point favorite on the road. In fact, there have only been two touchdown or more favorites on the road in 2014: Indianapolis at Jacksonville (in week three) and Seattle at Washington (last Monday night). Both teams covered. This week features two touchdown or more favorites on the road: Denver at New York Jets and San Diego at Oakland.
The Chargers have actually played fourteen games in their team history where they were at least seven point favorites on the road. This is slightly fewer games than what would be expected given the amount of seasons the Chargers have played in the NFL and the general likelihood of being a touchdown favorite on the road. On average there are about 16 games per season featuring a touchdown favorite on the road. As we have point spread data at Pro Football Reference from 1978 onwards, the expectation is that the Chargers should have been touchdown favorites on the road around 18 times.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, four of the Chargers' fourteen games where they were touchdown favorites on the road were against the Oakland Raiders, all since December 2007. The Chargers have gone 3-1 in these games, covering the spread twice.
The most recent time the Chargers were 7+ point favorites on the road was almost precisely one year ago, when the Bolts visited Jacksonville in week seven (and won 24-6). Prior to that game, the Chargers had lost three consecutive games as touchdown favorites on the road, all under Norv Turner in 2010.
Overall, though, the Chargers are 8-6 in these games. That's not great, especially given the expectations as a relatively large favorite, but it's still an indication that the Chargers are in fact favorites in these types of games. Not that you didn't know that already.
The full list of games where the Chargers were at least a touchdown favorite on the road:
|12/26/2010||CIN||16||L 20-34||-8||not covered|
|10/17/2010||STL||6||L 17-20||-8.5||not covered|
|10/10/2010||OAK||5||L 27-35||-7||not covered|
|12/6/2009||CLE||13||W 30-23||-13.5||not covered|
|9/14/2009||OAK||1||W 24-20||-10||not covered|
|11/4/2007||MIN||9||L 17-35||-7||not covered|
|10/25/1981||CHI||8||L 17-20||-11||not covered|
|12/7/1980||WAS||14||L 17-40||-7||not covered|