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Raiders vs Chargers Odds, Pick, Prediction: NFL Betting Preview

Raiders vs Chargers Odds, Pick, Prediction: NFL Betting Preview article feature image
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Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Jacobs

  • The Raiders are home favorites against the Chargers in Week 13.
  • Josh Jacobs should thrive against this leaky Los Angeles run defense.
  • Check out how Ricky Henne is backing the Raiders running back below.

Raiders vs Chargers Odds

Sunday, Dec. 4
4:25 p.m. ET
CBS
Raiders Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-2.5
-110
49.5
-110o / -110u
-138
Chargers Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+2.5
-110
49.5
-110o / -110u
+118
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

The Chargers and Raiders square off in a Week 13 coin flip between a pair of evenly matched AFC West rivals.

What’s not evenly matched, though, is Josh Jacobs against the LA rushing defense. There are a lot of things to like about the Chargers, who have the talent if healthy to take the AFC crown should they make the playoffs, but their ability to stop the run isn’t one of them.

Now the Bolts are tasked with keeping Jacobs, the NFL’s rushing leader with 1,159 yards on the ground, in check. Good luck with that. Even though Jacobs is questionable with a calf injury, reports are he’s more likely than not to suit up.

Let’s take a deeper dive into why that’s terrible news for the Bolts, and where you might want to pivot in the unlikely event he’s sidelined.

Raiders vs. Chargers Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Raiders and Chargers match up statistically:

Raiders vs. Chargers DVOA Breakdown
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 23 32
Pass DVOA 21 32
Rush DVOA 30 23
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 11 22
Pass DVOA 17 15
Rush DVOA 4 29

It’s impossible to stress how dreadful the Chargers are defending the run. In fact, they’re historically bad. The 5.44 average yards per carry against them is the worst in the Super Bowl era by a good amount, blowing away Chicago’s 5.35 mark set in 2013.

The Bolts have given up at least 150 yards on the ground in five straight games, and twice surrendered more than 200 yards. Six players have gone over the century mark, and even middling running backs have had a field day. James Connor is the latest example. He hadn’t had a 100-yard rushing game in more than two years but gashed them for 120 yards a week ago. His previous high this season was 69 yards.

Bet at FanDuel


Meanwhile, Jacobs is fresh off the single greatest performances in Raiders history. He set franchise records for rushing yards (229) and scrimmage yards (303). The latter ranks as the seventh best overall in the Super Bowl era.  He also chipped in with a pair of rushing touchdowns, giving him nine on the year, which is fourth most in the league.

A lot was said about the Raiders’ decision to decline Jacobs’ fifth-year option, and he’s making them look foolish.  Not only does he lead the league in rushing yards, but he also has the most first downs on the ground (67), longest run of the season (86), fourth-best yards per carry among running backs with 100 attempts (5.4) and sixth most carries (216). He’s also the only player averaging more than 100 yards per game.  His 105.4 average is 10.1 yards more than Derrick Henry, who ranks second with 95.3.

Both teams surrender more than 25 points per game, so there should be plenty of fireworks. The Chargers’ offense has underperformed expectations, but Justin Herbert has a prime chance to go off against a ghastly Raiders defense.  Football Outsiders ranks them dead last in total DVOA (17.9%) and passing DVOA (33.1%). They’re also 22nd vs. the run (1.4%).

As such, there’s a world in which the Bolts race off to a big lead, forcing the Raiders to abandon their ground attack in favor of Derek Carr, Davante Adams and a potent passing game.

Betting Picks

I’m not getting cute here.

One of my golden rules is to bet the over on running back yards every week against Los Angeles. It won’t hit every game, but it’s darn profitable over the long haul. So I’m rolling with Jacobs to do what even mediocre running backs have done — carve the Bolts up on the ground.

I do get it if you’re a bit leery, though. It’s not risk free. He’s had 20-plus totes in seven of his last eight games, but it’s fair to wonder if Las Vegas limits his carries to manage his calf injury. I’m definitely taking the chance on the NFL’s leading rusher, though. I mean, did you watch how Jacobs dominated last week despite being banged up? He carried a monster load all game long and still ripped off a game-winning 86-yard game-winning touchdown deep in overtime.

That being said, monitor Jacobs’ situation throughout the day, especially when inactives are announced. If reports are wrong and he happens to be ruled out, quickly pivot to Las Vegas’ other running backs, particularly Zamir White. Reports are he’s likely the one to pick up the slack. He had limited opportunities a week ago but did rip off gains of 17 and 11 yards on his only carries of the game. White’s averaging 4.7 yards per carry on the season, and if he’s the main back, there’s a good chance he does what virtually every primary ball carrier does, and that’s hit the over on rushing yards.

Still, I think it’s highly likely Jacobs gives it a go unless his calf is about to fall off. Las Vegas is flawed, but has a puncher’s chance of a playoff push, or at least making it close. The Raiders need their star running back to make that a reality.

Add it all up and I expect the Raiders to ride Jacobs like Secretariat. BetMGM and DraftKings have 90.5 as the line, as of Saturday afternoon.

Pick: Josh Jacobs Over 90.5 Rushing Yards or Better

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