Our Experts’ 4 Favorite Picks for Chargers vs. Raiders on Thursday Night Football
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen
- Our experts reveal how they're betting the Thursday Night Football matchup featuring the Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders.
- Find their picks for the over/under, Sean Koerner's favorite prop and an in-game line Stuckey is looking to bet below.
Chargers at Raiders Odds & Picks
- Odds: Chargers -1.5
- Over/Under: 48.5
- Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: FOX, NFL Network
Odds as of noon ET on Thursday and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
The Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders will meet on Thursday Night Football. So what are the best betting angles around this AFC West clash?
Our experts reveal how they’re betting the game featuring a pick on the over/under, Sean Koerner’s favorite prop and the live line Stuckey is looking to bet.
John Ewing: Under 48.5
Like Sean mentioned, this total has increased from 47.5 to 48.5 — 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]
Sean Koerner: Philip Rivers Under 0.5 Rushing Yards (-125)
Specific props like this can be misleading if you base them on raw projections. Instead there’s lesson to be learned of mean vs. median and why there’s so much value on the under here.
First off, it may seem tempting to bet the over on this prop considering Rivers only needs to rush for a single yard to hit to over, but that’s not necessarily true.
Last week was the perfect example: Rivers managed to scramble to the left on a broken play and pick up a yard. But it took him nearly five seconds to “run” to the left, leaving Tony Romo and Jim Nantz to ponder whether it would count as a rush or a sack if the officials gave him zero yards. They ended up giving him a 1-yard gain, so the over on this prop was a lock to win, right? Wrong — at the end of the Chargers win, Rivers kneeled twice out of the victory formation to see his rush yards drop to zero for the game.
You can see how even if Rivers sneaks in a 1- to 2-yard run against the Raiders, if the Chargers win, he could kneel one to three times to negate any small gain he may have earlier on. And given that the Chargers are 1.5-point favorites, this scenario is certainly in play.
Now, looking at the data from the past two seasons, his average yards per game is 1.24. But wait, doesn’t that mean we would lean toward the over here? Nope. If you look at the median from the past two seasons, it is in fact zero rushing yards.
Here’s the breakdown of when he’s gotten 1 or more, zero or negative yards in the 25 games over the past two seasons:
- 1 or more yards: 32%
- Zero yards: 48%
- Negative yards: 20%
So 68% of the time he’s gone under 0.5 yards. I’ll take those odds at -125. To be safe and not solely rely on the two-season sample, I would bet this down to -170.
Act quick, this line won’t last long.
Mike Randle: Mike Williams Over 59.5 Receiving Yards (-114)
Williams is on the verge of a breakout. He’s increased his receiving yards in each of the past three games and ranks sixth among all wide receivers with 18.3 yards per reception.
He’s continually lurked in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards model and is in the ideal spot tonight against Oakland’s sieve of a pass defense. The Raiders ranks 29th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA, and allowed a pair of huge wideout performances last week to Detroit’s Kenny Golladay (8/126/1) and Marvin Jones (8/126/1).
Williams is coming off a season-high 111 receiving yards and is still looking for his first touchdown. In a Thursday night game with the third-highest over/under of the week, I’m betting on Williams cresting the 60 receiving yard barrier.
I like this up to -120.
Stuckey: Chargers Live (+3 or Better)
I’ll be looking for Chargers live if they get down early (especially if by seven) against a Raiders defense that can’t generate pressure nor defend in the secondary. That spells disaster against a Chargers offense with weapons on the outside, Russell Okung back at left tackle and Melvin Gordon basically now up to full game speed.
The Raiders offense isn’t getting enough credit, but the defense is really poor. Philip Rivers and Co. should answer the Raiders throughout and ultimately find a way to pull this out. Look for any number better than +3 live.