Raiders vs. Chargers Odds & Picks: How To Factor Keenan Allen Into Betting Thursday Night Football
Getty Images. Pictured: Chargers QB Justin Herbert, Raiders QB Derek Carr
Raiders vs. Chargers Odds
It’s hard to imagine how a Raiders defense that’s performed so poorly will be able to improve under a new coordinator with so many key players out.
After firing Paul Guenther following their 27-44 loss to the Colts, interim defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli won’t have much time to right the ship given the short week. He’ll also be without safety Johnathan Abram, defensive end Clelin Ferrell, cornerback Damon Arnette and linebacker Nicholas Morrow. And so far, the Raiders have allowed a league-worst 50.8% of drives to result in a score.
You’re going to have to trust me on this one, but that is #bad.
Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert should have no issues carving up this Raiders defense, especially considering he’ll likely have running back Austin Ekeler, who was on injured reserve for the 26-31 loss to the Raiders in Week 9. That said, it is worth noting that Ekeler (quadricep) and wide receiver Keenan Allen (hamstring) are listed as questionable for Thursday night.
There is also a chance that wide receiver Mike Williams (questionable) will be unable to play after being forced out of Week 14 with a back injury. The good news for the Chargers is that his replacement — Tyron Johnson — played well in relief after Williams went down, finishing with six catches for 55 yards and a touchdown line against the Falcons that week.
On the flip side, Derek Carr has a much tougher matchup against the Chargers this time as Joey Bosa and Chris Harris weren’t active for their Week 9 battle. Carr will also be without his primary deep threat in first-round rookie receiver Henry Ruggs.
My power ratings would have the Raiders as 3.5-point favorites, but given the cluster of defensive injuries, coaching change on a short week, and Ruggs’ absence, I would set them as 2.5-point favorites now.
I’m only interested in taking the Chargers at +3, or waiting to see if it gets pushed up to +3.5 before kickoff. Head coach Anthony Lynn has made costly coaching mistakes all season, but that’s already baked into my power rating for Los Angeles.
While Williams’ availability has no impact on the spread thanks to Johnson, Allen and Ekeler would be worth 1-1.5 points if both were to be ruled out, so I’m going to wait until we get confirmation on their status before locking in Chargers +3 or +3.5 (shop real-time lines here).
PICK: Chargers +3 or better if Ekeler and Allen are active