Thursday Night Football: Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders Preview, Predictions, and Pick

Game: Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders

Date & Time: Thursday November 7th, 2019, 8:20 (EST)

Location: Oakland County Coliseum, Oakland, CA 

The Line: Oakland Raiders -1, O/U 49

TV Channel: FOX

NFL ATS SEASON RECORD: 30-22-2

In an AFC West matchup with HUGE Playoff implications, the Chargers head to Oakland trying to win their 3rd in a row.

Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders Preview

In the first meeting between these AFC West rivals, it comes with huge playoff implications in Week 10. Sitting at 4-4, the Oakland Raiders are only a game behind the Indianapolis Colts, who own a 5-3 record. They are coming off a 31-24 win over the Detroit Lions in which the defense held its ground as time expired. 

With 8 games remaining, the Raiders only have one game left against a team with a winning record (Chiefs, 6-3). This gives them an opportunity to rack up some victories and ultimately sneak into the playoffs during a year in which not many people gave them a chance. 

Rookie RB Josh Jacobs has been a revelation for the Raiders. He is 7th in the league in rushing yards with 740, and has had over 120 yards in 3 of his last 4 games.

Josh Jacobs has tallied 120+ yards in 3 of his last 4 games. (NFL.com)

Behind the Raiders improved offensive line, Jacobs has had plenty of room to run, while QB Derek Carr has had time to survey defenses. 

Carr has had a bounce-back year of sorts. After he was an MVP candidate back in 2016 when he finished 3rd in voting, Carr has taken a clear step back. While not flashy, he has been efficient this season, throwing for 1,984 yards, with 13 TDs to only 4 INT. While limiting his mistakes, Carr is keeping the Raiders in most of their games. 

The Los Angeles Chargers are getting going at the right time. After surviving two weeks back against the Chicago Bears 17-16, they put a beating on the formerly 7-1 Packers, stifling Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the offense into only 11 points. Winners of 2 in a row, the Chargers sit at 4-5, and just like the Raiders, are right in the playoff race again.

With Philip Rivers behind center, the Chargers like their chances against anyone. Rivers currently leads the NFL in passing yards with 2,609, and with Melvin Gordon finally looking like his former self, he has a running game behind him once more.

The Chargers have plenty of weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Not only is Gordon running like we’ve seen before, Austin Ekeler is one of Rivers’ favorite targets out of the backfield. With Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry reliable targets down the field, the Chargers feel their offense should be putting up more points than it is, as they’re only averaging a pedestrian 20.3 PPG. 

Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders Spread Pick

With the Raiders only being favored by a point on their home-field, this game is essentially a PK, with good reason. These teams are evenly matched, as evidenced by their places in the standings. The winner of this game will have a leg up in the playoff race heading into the final stretch.

While I expect this game to come down to the wire, I expect the Chargers to continue their roll. Not only is the offense slowly rounding into form, the defense has been balling as of late. They’ve held the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers to a combined 27 points the past two weeks, and while nobody is saying Chicago’s offense is great, most would argue the Packers is. What they did to the Packers was astounding, as they kept Rodgers uncomfortable all game. Expect Derek Carr to feel the same pressure.

I have more faith in Philip Rivers winning a close game than Derek Carr. Behind some big plays by Allen and Henry, and Melvin Gordon icing the game down the stretch, the Chargers will pull out a close, tense victory in Oakland. Give me the Chargers ML, because taking them at +1 is not worth it. 

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