NFL Picks & Predictions: 2 Ways To Bet Chargers vs. Raiders On Thursday Night Football
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Austin Ekeler
Sean Koerner — our Director of Predictive Analytics who has an 333-249-4 (572.%) record on all-time NFL bets he’s tracked in the Action app — details how he’s betting the Thursday Night Football matchup between the Chargers and Raiders. Find how he’s looking to bet the spread and what his favorite player prop is below.
NFL Picks & Predictions
Chargers +3.5 at Raiders
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 the absence of Henry Ruggs, I would set them as 2.5-point favorites now.
While Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn has made costly coaching mistakes all season, that’s already baked into my power rating for Los Angeles. So while Mike Williams’ reported unavailability has no impact on the spread thanks to Tyron Johnson’s ability to fill in for the wide receiver effectively, Keenan Allen (game-time decision) and Austin Ekeler (questionable) would be worth 1-1.5 points if both were to be ruled out.
I’m going to wait until we get confirmation on their status before locking in the Chargers +3.5 or better if Ekeler and Allen are both active.
Tyron Johnson Over 41.5 Rec Yards (-112)
Williams is expected to miss with the back injury he sustained during the Chargers’ 20-17 win over the Falcons last week. Johnson filled in nicely for Williams, running a route on 80% of Justin Herbert’s dropbacks and recording six catches for 55 yards and a touchdown.
I’ve been monitoring Johnson for weeks now as a potential sleeper if Williams ever missed time. From Weeks 4-13, it would be fair to think of Johnson as a one-trick pony and a wide receiver who only knows how to run a go route. But in Week 13, he ran a very diverse route tree. And after watching the film, I’m even more bullish on him.
He had six catches for 55 yards and a touchdown, which is impressive considering he replaced Williams in-game. Johnson left quite a few yards behind as well. I would assume a full week of practice in which the Chargers know Johnson will be the starter should only elevate our expectations for him.
It appears Allen will be limited even if he’s active. I want to get on Johnson’s over before Allen’s status potentially worsens.
I would bet this up to 46.5, and potentially higher depending on Allen’s status, but here are Johnson’s projected chances of going over or under various lines based on my 10,000 player prop simulations: