Raiders-Chargers Betting Preview: Will Another Bolts Game Going Over the Total?
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Marshawn Lynch, Melvin Gordon
Betting odds: Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers
- Spread: Chargers -5.5
- Over/Under: 52.5
- Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: Though there haven’t been any true sharp indicators on this game, the line movement tells the whole story. After opening between 7 and 7.5, the line hasn’t stopped moving toward the Raiders.
Oakland is getting a bit less than half the bets and a bit more than half the money, but went down to +4.5 at some books at the time of writing.
Trends to know: More than 60% of bettors laid the points with the Raiders last week and were rewarded as Oakland rallied to win and cover against the Browns in overtime.
A majority of bets are on Jon Gruden’s team once again this Sunday, but considering Gruden is 44-53-3 (45%) against the spread in the regular season including 17-27 (39%) ATS following a win since 2003, gamblers might be placing their faith in the wrong coach/team. — John Ewing
Matchup to watch: Derwin James vs. Jared Cook
Ten years into his NFL career, Jared Cook is finally living up to his potential as a 2009 third-round draft pick. Even though he’s a tight end, Cook is entrenched as the top pass-catcher for the Raiders.
A mismatch nightmare as a move tight end with wide receiver speed, Cook is first on the team with 35 targets, 26 receptions, 370 yards receiving, 189 yards after the catch, and two touchdowns receiving.
This week, though, he’ll be tested against ace first-round strong safety Derwin James, who already has a top-10 PFF coverage grade (80.2) at the position and is the highest-rated cover man in the Chargers secondary.
On 130 coverage snaps, James has been targeted 13 times, allowing just six receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown and picking off a pass in the end zone.
If the Raiders are going to upset the Chargers, they will need to figure out a way to get their most dynamic playmaker involved. — Matthew Freedman
Which team is healthier? Raiders
Both offenses could be without their starting left tackle and right tackle Sunday. The Chargers will also be without starting linebacker Kyzir White (knee) and stud defensive end Joey Bosa (foot).
The Raiders aren’t exactly the league’s healthiest team, but wide receiver Amari Cooper (foot), center Rodney Hudson (ankle), defensive tackle Maurice Hurst and running back Marshawn Lynch aren’t thought to be dealing with serious injuries.
DFS edge: Melvin Gordon is in a potential smash spot against a Raiders defense that ranks 28th in rush DVOA.
Austin Ekeler is seeing around 30% of the Chargers’ carries, but Gordon still owns 57% of the overall carries and he’s dominating usage in the red zone, with 38% of their red-zone market share of opportunities.
Gordon has the highest ceiling projection among running backs on both DraftKings and FanDuel. — Justin Bailey
Bet to watch: Over 52.5
The Chargers have seen all of their games this year hit the over, and that’s not a fluke.
Without Bosa, the Chargers defense has been a shell of its 2017 self, failing to pressure quarterbacks and allowing opponents to average 30.0 points per game.
The Chargers are the only team in the league to allow all their opponents to hit their implied totals, which they’ve surpassed by a league-high mark of 8.56 points.
And on the other side of the ball, the Chargers offense has been strong. The emergence of second-year first-round wide receiver Mike Williams has given the team a strong complementary option to Keenan Allen, and the development of Austin Ekeler as an explosive change-of-pace player to Melvin Gordon has bestowed the Chargers with one of the league’s best backfield tandems.
Scoring a robust 27.8 points per game, the Chargers have exceeded their implied Vegas total in each game by an average of 2.8 points.
With a challenged defense and top-tier offense, the Chargers seem likely to hit a lot of overs this year. — Matthew Freedman
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.