On Thursday night, the Las Vegas Raiders host the Los Angeles Chargers in a primetime AFC West showdown. In this article, find the latest betting odds for the game and a full preview of the matchup. Also, get our Chargers vs. Raiders best bet, which is over 34 points.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders Prediction
The Chargers and Raiders both enter this game at 5-8 and while they aren’t officially eliminated from the playoff hunt in the AFC, it would be a real uphill battle. That’s especially true for the Chargers, who just saw starting quarterback Justin Herbert suffer a season-ending fractured finger, leaving Easton Stick to make his first career start.
Stick is a North Dakota State product who was a fifth-round pick in 2019. For what it’s worth, he had a 49-3 collegiate record and holds the record for most wins by a quarterback in FCS history. However, this is a much different level of competition, and Stick didn’t look like a quarterback ready to win games on Sundays.
While Stick had a putrid PFF offensive grade of 37.1, he made some big throws, including a deep bomb to Quentin Johnston. However, he also showed no feel for pressure, getting strip-sacked twice, one of which resulted in a Broncos’ defensive touchdown. Stick will at least have a little more time in the pocket this week against a Raiders defense that ranks dead last in pressure rate.
Meanwhile, Aidan O’Connell had an ugly game on Sunday, leading the Raiders to zero points in a 3-0 loss to the Vikings. Still, O’Connell has flashed potential at times this season, and he’ll have more success this week against a Chargers defense that ranks 27th in passing success rate allowed.
The under has been a profitable bet for these teams this season, with the Raiders 10-3 to the under this year and the Chargers 11-1 in their last 12 games. However, this is by far the lowest total for a Chargers game we’ve seen all season, and I believe it’s an overreaction from the Raiders getting shut out and the Chargers losing Herbert.
On the fast track in Las Vegas, I expect both young quarterbacks to make mistakes, resulting in short fields for the opposing team. With Josh Jacobs questionable and Austin Ekeler ineffective, I expect heavy passing game plans for both teams, with opportunities for big plays through the air against weak secondaries. With a deflated total, let’s bet the over in this Thursday Night Football game and root for some points to be scored.
Los Angeles Chargers Vs. Las Vegas Raiders Prediction: Over 34 Points
Los Angeles Chargers Vs. Las Vegas Raiders Best Odds
The look-ahead lines for this game are quite different than the actual odds we’re getting now as Herbert’s injury and the Raiders’ shutout loss changed the calculus. Before Sunday, the Chargers were set to be favored by 3.5 points with an over/under of 42.5 points. Now, the spread is -3 in favor of the Raiders, with an over/under of 34 points. Those new numbers lead to an implied score of around 19-16 in favor of the home Raiders.
Los Angeles Chargers Vs. Las Vegas Raiders Key Injuries
Beyond the obvious Justin Herbert injury, the Chargers actually got some good news this week with Josh Palmer returning off IR. Wide receiver Keenan Allen is listed as questionable, but he’s expected to play. On the Raiders’ side, Josh Jacobs is a question mark after his quadriceps injury, while Maxx Crosby is listed as questionable with a knee issue.
Los Angeles Chargers Vs. Las Vegas Raiders Key Matchups
While this Thursday Night Football matchup doesn’t feature quarterbacks vying for the MVP award, there are some talented quarterbacks on the field. Let’s break down some of the key matchups in this game featuring each team’s highly talented top wide receiver.
Keenan Allen Vs. Nate Hobbs
While it’s been a tough year for the Chargers overall, Keenan Allen has been a bright spot with a league-leading 108 catches. He has taken those receptions for 1,243 yards and seven touchdowns. He ranks 12th with 2.36 yards per route run and is one of the best route runners in the NFL, putting teach tape on film every week.
Allen runs 59% of his routes from the slot per PFF, and he’ll be matched up with Nate Hobbs, who has had a tough year. Hobbs ranks 118th out of 126 qualified cornerbacks with a 78.7% catch rate allowed, and it’s easy to see him getting burned by Allen on Thursday night.
Davante Adams Vs. Asante Samuel Jr.
Davante Adams remains the Raiders’ top wide receiver despite this being far from his most productive season. He ranks just 19th in the NFL with 867 receiving yards, but he certainly hasn’t benefitted from elite quarterback play. He ranks second in the NFL with 249 air yards lost from uncatchable targets, according to Football Insights.
Not much has gone right for the Chargers’ defense as of late, but Asante Samuel Jr. has been very productive at cornerback, grading out as PFF’s 22nd-best corner in coverage out of 126 qualified players. Samuel has eight pass breakups, tied for the sixth-most in the NFL, and hasn’t allowed more than 20 yards in coverage in five weeks.