Chargers vs. Raiders Odds & Picks: Back the Road Favorite on Thursday Night Football?
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Derek Carr, Philip Rivers
Chargers at Raiders Odds & Picks
- Odds: Chargers -1
- Over/Under: 49
- Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: FOX, NFL Network
Odds as of Wednesday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
There’s been some interesting line movement for this AFC West showdown on Thursday Night Football.
After opening as underdogs, the Los Angeles Chargers have been bet up to 1-point favorites for their road matchup against the Oakland Raiders. The total has also been on the rise since opening.
So should you follow the market?
Our experts analyze every angle of this game, featuring a comparison to Sean Koerner’s projected odds and staff picks.
Thursday Night Football Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Raiders (slightly)
The Chargers have quite a few names listed on their injury report, but not many key players. Most notable, defensive linemen Justin Jones (shoulder) and Brandon Mebane (knee) have returned to limited practice after missing the last few weeks. Los Angeles has struggled to defend the run, so they’d be a welcome addition if they’re healthy enough to suit up.
The main injuries to watch on the Raiders revolve around their two centers in Rodney Hudson (ankle) and Andre James (ankle). Hudson has one of the best pass-blocking grades among all centers this season, per Pro Football Focus. Meanwhile, James drew the start last week and allowed four quarterback pressures and hurries while receiving an atrocious 0.4 pass-blocking grade from PFF in his two games this season. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Wednesday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Chargers Pass Offense vs. Raiders Pass Defense
Last week, in the wake of the offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt’s dismissal, Philip Rivers had maybe his best passing game of the year against a good Packers defense, completing 75% of his passes for 10.5 yards per attempt.
I expect the good times for Rivers to continue on Thursday night. In his two matchups against defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s Raiders unit last season, Rivers had a 75.5% completion rate and averaged 10.6 yards per attempt on his way to 281 yards passing, two touchdowns and 0.5 interceptions per game.
And the Raiders pass defense might be even worse this season. They’re No. 29 against the pass in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, but even that feels generous. Since trading cornerback Gareon Conley a couple of weeks ago, the Raiders are thin at the position.
No. 1 corner Daryl Worley is a boom/bust player who has allowed some big receiving performances — 4-93-1 in Week 2, 5-84-1 in Week 7 and 4-76-1 in Week 9. Slot man Lamarcus Joyner has allowed a putrid 78.3% catch rate. And new starter Trayvon Mullen is a rookie with just two NFL starts to his name.
Defensively, the Raiders have allowed the fifth-most air yards and yards after the catch to opposing teams with 452.5 per game.
Slot receiver Keenan Allen should be able to dominate Joyner in the middle of the field, and perimeter receiver Mike Williams — fresh off the first 100-yard game of his career — could have some deep receptions against Worley and Mullen: Williams is No. 9 in the league with 101.9 air yards per game.
And I also like the matchups for tight end Hunter Henry and running backs Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon. The Raiders are respectively Nos. 22 and 28 in pass defense against tight ends and running backs. When not targeting his wide receivers, Rivers should be able to pick up chunk yardage with his other pass-catching options.
Since their Week 6 bye, the Raiders have given up 371.3 yards and 3.7 touchdowns passing per game. The Chargers could have comparable numbers on TNF. — Matthew Freedman
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Chargers -1
- Projected Total: 47.5
The Raiders opened as 1.5-point favorites and early sharp action has flipped it to Chargers -1. The new line move appears to have wiped out the value that was offered on Los Angeles at the opening.
However, betting on the Chargers on the road is usually a narrative I tend to push as they’re 14-5 against the spread on the road over the past three seasons. This trend is rooted in their lack of true home-field advantage at Dignity Health Park — it’s a smaller stadium and there’s typically a near 50/50 split of home/away fans in attendance.
The total is where we may be able to find more value as it’s been bet up from 47.5 to 49.
Fifty and 51 are key numbers, so it’s worth seeing if the line can get that high. As of writing, 72% of the money has come in on the over (see live public betting data here), but I would think the sharps would come down hard on the under if this total ever crosses 50. You’d likely need to get in on it fast before it gets bet down.
The Raiders rank 29th in terms of pace while the Chargers are 22nd, which could result in a slower-paced matchup in which both teams have watered down game plans on the short week. This should be a close game in which neither team feels compelled to pick up the pace in comeback mode. — Sean Koerner
John Ewing: Under 49
Like Sean mentioned, this total has increased from 47.5 to 49 — a line movement that’s a little surprising considering each team is below-average in points scored per game and the Chargers rank eighth overall in points allowed (18.7) in 2019.
Divisional games tends to create a low-scoring environment with players and coaches having a good understanding of their opponent’s tendencies.
In fact, in divisional games that take place in the second half of the season, it’s been profitable to wager on the under in high-total games when we’ve seen the over/under increase:
History isn’t the only reason this under has value. According to our simulations, we project these teams to combine for 44.4 points on average.
With the total increasing, bettors should wait to place a wager until closer to kickoff in hopes of grabbing a higher line. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]