Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders Preview, Predictions and Picks

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Josh Widman
Josh graduated from Syracuse University in May 2020 with a degree in Broadcast and Digital Journalism. He played basketball and baseball in High School. Despite growing up in New Jersey, he roots for the Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers and Indians. He has two favorite sports movies: Dodgeball and Major League. Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals is his favorite sporting event of all-time and his favorite sports memory is playing in a white-out basketball game under the lights against a rival summer camp when he was 15 years old.

NFL Week 15 kicks off with a Thursday Night Football matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders.

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Josh’s Season Record: 29-20

Thursday Night Football Betting Lines

The Los Angeles Chargers are going to miss the playoffs for the second straight season but the future is bright. That’s because sixth overall pick QB Justin Herbert is legit. Herbert is widely considered the front runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year and with good reason. He’s thrown for nearly 3500 yards with 25 passing TDs and three on the ground in 12 games.

LA is better than their record. The Chargers are top-10 in total offense and defense. Seven of their nine losses are by single digits. RB Austin Ekeler has accounted for over 100 total yards in two of three games since returning from injury. One of the games he missed was the first matchup with Las Vegas. DE Joey Bosa also missed that game. Bosa leads the Chargers with 7.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss.

The Las Vegas Raiders are hanging on by a thread in the AFC playoff race. After starting 6-3, Vegas is a Greg Williams job-costing defensive play call away from a four-game losing streak.

Four defensive starters are out for this game and rookie WR Henry Ruggs is on the COVID-list. Ruggs is a homerun threat so his absence will surely have a negative effect on the Raiders offense. QB Derek Carr has thrown an INT in four straight games for the first time since games two through five of his rookie season.

RB Josh Jacobs is struggling during this recent stretch. Over his last three games, Jacobs is averaging 3.5 yards per carry, hasn’t rushed for more than 55 yards in a single game and has only 1 TD. The Raiders have won the last three meetings but only by a total of 14 points.

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders Key Stats

  • QB Justin Herbert has multiple TD passes in 8 of the last 10 games
  • QB Derek Carr is 7-6 against the Chargers in his career
  • WR Keenan Allen caught 9 passes for 103 yards and a TD against LV in Week 9

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders Predictions

The Chargers led at halftime of the first meeting and only lost by five despite being without Ekeler and Bosa. On Thursday night, they’ll have both. WR Keenan Allen is questionable at the time of writing so his status is something to monitor. If he goes and is able to contribute like normal, I think LA has a solid chance to win outright. Las Vegas is sputtering at the worst possible time. I mean, they should’ve lost to the Jets.

Both teams are in the bottom-10 of the league in scoring defense. The Raiders allow opponents to score over 30 points a game and will be without four defensive starters for this game. The Chargers aren’t much better. They allow just under 28 points per game. 10 of Vegas’ 13 games

have hit the Over. I expect this game to be no different. Don’t be surprised if both teams score in the 30s.

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders Picks

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