Win, and you’re in! That is the scenario Sunday evening as the Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) take on the Las Vegas Raiders (9-7) for a Wild Card playoff spot. This battle of AFC West rivals will take place at Allegiant Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 8:20 pm ET.
Last week, the Chargers snapped a two-game losing streak with a 34-13 victory over the Denver Broncos.
In the win, Justin Herbert threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns. Austin Ekeler led the ground attack with 58 yards and a touchdown on 17 rushes.
The Raiders have been making quite the playoff push lately, having won three games in a row coming into Sunday. Last week, they won 23-20 in a pivotal matchup with the Indianapolis Colts.
Despite throwing for two interceptions, Derek Carr also threw for 255 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, Josh Jacobs rushed for 63 yards and a score.
The Chargers are the slight favorites despite playing on the road. They are -162 to win while the Raiders’ moneyline sits at +136. The spread features Las Vegas +3 (-108), and the over/under for total points is 48.5 (-110).
Both of these teams are longshots to win the Super Bowl at this point. The Chargers are +4500 to win it all while the Raiders are +10000.
By The Numbers
The Chargers have one of the best offenses in football. They currently rank sixth in scoring averaging 27.6 points per game (23.7 on the road). The Raiders rank 18th, averaging 21.2 points.
Defensively, both of these teams rank in the bottom third in the NFL. The Raiders rank 24th in scoring defense, allowing 25.4 points per game. The Chargers rank 26th allowing 26.5 points.
Chargers Look For Season Sweep
Back in Week 4, the Chargers were able to take down the Raiders 28-14. On Sunday, they will look for the season sweep and earn a berth to the playoffs as a Wild Card team.
Leading the team under center is second-year quarterback Justin Herbert. This season, he has thrown for 4,631 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. He has also rushed for 301 yards and another three scores.
Herbert’s leading receivers are Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Allen has 100 receptions for 1,086 yards and six scores. Similarly successful, Williams has 67 receptions for 1,027 yards and eight touchdowns.
The ground game is led by Austin Ekeler. In 16 games this season, Ekeler has rushed 190 times for 847 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is also critical in the passing game as he has 612 receiving yards and another seven scores.
Raiders Hope To Move Over .500 At Home
It has been a rather inconsistent season for the Las Vegas Raiders at home. This season, they are 4-4 at Allegiant Stadium, but they hope to move over .500 at home, which will earn them a spot in the postseason.
Veteran quarterback Derek Carr will try to get the Raiders over the hump and into the playoffs. This season, he has thrown for 4,681 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.
Carr’s go-to receiver is Hunter Renfrow, who has 1,025 yards and seven touchdowns.
The second-leading receiver is tight end Darren Waller, who has 643 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Waller is currently questionable for this game with a knee injury, though.
Leading rusher Josh Jacobs has a rib injury, but he is probable for the game. Jacobs has rushed for 740 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 games this season. He also has 336 yards receiving and another couple scores.
Take The Raiders And The Points
Despite the Chargers’ victory earlier in the year, this is a completely different scenario. The Chargers have struggled as of late, while the Raiders have been finding ways to win.
Regardless, expect this to be a close one throughout that might come down to just a possession or two. With that in mind, taking the points is the best play for the primetime matchup.
Take the Raiders +3 at home.