Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders: NFL betting picks, odds and analysis

Chargers' Mike Williams runs with the football against the Dallas Cowboys.
Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams runs after making a catch against the Dallas Cowboys at SoFi Stadium on Sept. 19.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The Chargers, fresh off their upset of the Kansas City Chiefs, take the national spotlight as they host the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football.

Las Vegas oddsmakers have the Chargers (2-1) as 3- to 3.5-point home favorites, depending on where you shop. This is a tough line to bet into as this should be a shootout that could come down to who has the ball last. Chargers backers are advised to find a book with -3 in case they win by exactly three points while Raiders bettors should take the +3.5 for the same reason as it turns a push into a win.

Meanwhile, VSiN’s Adam Burke says the better way to bet this game is on the Over/Under.


Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5, 51.5)

If you like smash-mouth football and defense, Monday Night Football is probably not for you this week. The Chargers host the Raiders in a battle of two of the pass-happiest teams in the NFL. With good reason. Derek Carr and the Raiders have thrown for nearly 380 yards per game and Justin Herbert and the Chargers are above three bills per contest as well.

The Chargers have thrown on 65.2% of their offensive plays and the Raiders have thrown on 64% of theirs. These are not teams throwing because they trail all the time, like the Jaguars, Jets or Falcons. These are teams throwing a lot because they play to the strengths of their offenses.

This total may be inflated slightly because primetime Overs were 8-1 heading into Week 4, but also because these two offenses look a bit better than expected. The difference between Anthony Lynn’s staff and Brandon Staley’s staff has been night and day for the Chargers, who have also been more aggressive in going for fourth-down situations. The Raiders are loaded with offensive speed and Carr has been the benefactor.

Chargers were thrilled that the ground game finally got going against the Chiefs, and know they will need it to beat the undefeated Raiders at home.

Sept. 30, 2021

The Raiders are fourth in yards per catch and Carr ranks seventh in intended air yards. The Chargers don’t go vertical as much, but throw with such volume that their passing numbers are solid, ranking 10th in completion percentage and fourth in yards.

The two teams rank fifth and sixth in percentage of drives ending in points, with the Chargers at 50% and the Raiders at 48.6%. The Chargers have the most red zone trips with 15, but have scored only seven touchdowns, so that should improve. The Raiders have 13 red zone trips with seven TDs.

It may come down to red zone efficiency here, but we should have the yardage for an Over.

Pick: Over 51.5

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