|Game: Las Vegas (4-3) at LA Chargers (2-5)
Location: SoFi Stadium
Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
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It’s Week 9 of the NFL season, and the Raiders will make the trip from Vegas to LA to take on the Chargers on Sunday. After a 25-point loss to the surging Bucs in Week 7, the Raiders bounced back and won a defensive battle in Cleveland. The Chargers allowed the Broncos to come back from a 21-point deficit and score on the final play to seal another loss from a blown lead. This AFC West divisional game will be the first meeting between these teams.
The sportsbook has the Chargers bouncing back from another disappointing loss as they are 1½-point favorites against the Raiders. Let’s take a look at some stats and trends affecting the betting lines from this Raiders vs Chargers matchup.
The Raiders won both games last season and have won 6 of the last 10. In the second meeting last season, which the Raiders won 24-17, Raiders QB Derek Carr completed a staggering 26-of-30 passes for 291 yards and a touchdown.
Las Vegas Raiders
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Next game: vs Broncos
The Raiders rushed for 208 yards in blustery and wet conditions as they defeated the Browns in Week 8. The Raiders defense held the Browns to 223 yards and six points. Raiders RB Josh Jacobs totaled 128 yards on 31 carries in a performance that paced the offense. Las Vegas played a conservative but effective game in treacherous conditions that would have made a pass-heavy offense difficult to execute. Carr completed 15-of-24 passes for 112 yards. Meanwhile, the Raiders defense held Baker Mayfield to a completion percentage under 50% and 122 yards.
According to FPI, the Raiders have played the most difficult schedule in the league at this point and they’ve managed to get out to a 4-3 start. They handed the Chiefs their only loss. It is encouraging for their playoff prospects that their remaining schedule is ranked 25th in terms of difficulty.
Carr’s status as the starter was in serious doubt in the offseason as Vegas added Marcus Mariota. However, Carr has played admirably. It’s looking like the Raiders will contend for a Wild-Card spot in the AFC, especially if Carr plays to the standard he’s set. He’s thrown 14 touchdowns and only two interceptions and has the league’s fourth-best completion percentage.
The defensive showing against the Browns was the Raiders’ best of the season so far by a country mile. In the four games preceding their Week 8 win, they allowed an average of 35.8 points per game in a stretch they went 1-3. They came into their Week 8 game as the second-worst scoring defense. Perhaps it was, above all, the weather that prompted the Browns’ offensive struggles, but the Raiders will be hoping to gain some momentum from their performance.
Los Angeles Chargers
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Next game: at Dolphins
The Chargers lost yet another heartbreaker, as they fell 31-30 to the Broncos on a last-second touchdown pass from Drew Lock to WR K.J. Hamler. It was an incredibly opportune time for Hamler to grab his first career touchdown. The Broncos completed a comeback after going down 24-3 with seven minutes remaining in the third quarter. Incredibly, in four of the Chargers five losses this season they have blown leads of 10 points or more. In fact, the 21-point lead that the Broncos overcame was tied for the third-largest lead the Chargers have conceded in franchise history. Denver scored on three straight drives and the Chargers’ offense came to a standstill in the second half.
Chargers QB Justin Herbert threw three touchdown passes and two interceptions and completed 29-of-43 passes for 278 yards. The Chargers picked up 210 yards on the ground with RBs Justin Jackson and Troymaine Pope adding 89 and 67 yards, respectively. WR Mike Williams led the Chargers with 99 yards and a touchdown. The Chargers outgained the Broncos 485-351 but couldn’t pull off the win in Week 8.
There was some good news for the Chargers. They managed their highest single game output on the ground, picking up 210 yards on 38 carries. Their backfield has been all over the place since Austin Ekeler’s injury. Rookie Joshua Kelley has struggled, Justin Jackson has had his ups and down, and Troymaine Pope impressed in his first game with extended run. The team is expected to be cautious with Ekeler’s return so it will be interesting to see who coach Anthony Lynn trusts this week.
The Chargers are second in the league in yards per game but it hasn’t translated to wins. A mix of bad luck, offensive inconsistency, and defensive lapses has underlined their 2-5 start. Their last three losses have seen them blow leads of 21 points and 17 points twice.
Betting on the Game
Point Spread: Chargers -1½
Despite the Raiders winning 6x of their last 10 matchups with the Chargers, they’ve gone 4-6 ATS in that span. This is the fifth time the Chargers have been favored to win, and they’ve gone 1-2-1 ATS in the previous four. This one could come down to the wire, and it’s important to note that the Chargers are 31st in the league in fourth-quarter points per game. Consistency will be the key for the Chargers as they’ve too often strung together two or two and a half excellent quarters just to let them go to waste.
Moneyline: Raiders +105 | Chargers -125
Justin Herbert will be looking forward to this matchup, as the Raiders are 25th in passing defense and 29th in sacks per game. The Raiders will certainly have some momentum after not allowing a touchdown for the first time. It’s unclear if the Chargers’ penchant for losing in spectacular fashion is being taken into account enough here. But, it is a favorable matchup for them on paper.
Over/Under: 54 Points
The Chargers could continue to rely on the run after a solid Week 8. In any case, the Chargers have averaged 31.8 points in the last four games as their offense has found their footing. The Raiders put 40 points on the Chiefs and are certainly capable of having a big game offensively. But, they’ve only managed 36 points total in their last two games. Plus, the total has gone under in six of the last seven matchups between these teams.