The Los Angeles Chargers (4-9) will be in Sin City for a Thursday Night Football AFC West match up with the Las Vegas Raiders (7-6). Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 PM EST at Alliegent Stadium in Las Vegas. The Raiders currently sit as a -3 point favorite, according to oddsmakers.
These AFC West rivals squared up in Week 8 for their first of two games this season, with the Raiders coming out on top 31-26. That game was played in Los Angeles, where the Raiders were a -1 point favorite.
Both teams are 2-3 since, and neither is trending in the right direction. The Raiders have won three straight in the series dating back to early 2019.
What To Know- Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers aren’t very good this year. Their head coach, Anthony Lynn, is on the hot seat, and for good reason. They close out the season with three straight against AFC West rivals, so he has an opportunity to make a last stand to keep his job for 2021.
The lone bright spot for the Chargers this year is rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. He hasn’t been great these past two weeks, but overall he’s been as advertised when drafted out of Oregon in 2020.
Veteran running back Austin Ekeler has been used and abused since returning from a severe leg injury sustained in Week 4 against Tampa Bay. He has carried the ball 37 times and racked up 24 catches over the three-game stretch since he returned to the starting lineup. That is a whopping 61 touches for the versatile back.
If Ekeler can play this week, he should find a lot of success against a below-average Las Vegas. He is questionable with a bicep injury, so be sure to watch the news as it gets closer to kick off.
What To Know- Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders are in a bit of a funk, and it’s coming at the worst possible time. They have dropped three of their last five games and now sit on the outside looking in for a playoff spot in the AFC.
The main issue for the Raiders of late is their leaky defense. They have yielded 72 points the past two weeks, 28 of which came against the 0-12 offensively challenged Jets. If not for a last-second defensive breakdown, the Raiders would have lost that game to the Jets.
Quarterback Derek Carr has been decent of late, throwing for 697 yards and five touchdowns the past two weeks. He has had to throw more recently because of the Raiders’ inability to get stops on defense. His five interceptions are a bit of a concern, but not all that surprising given how much he is throwing the ball.
The Pick Is In
This game will come down to which of these porous defenses can get a stop in the fourth quarter. It should be a track meet, but I will take the Raiders to cover the -3 point spread. The Raiders will pull out the much-needed win, 34-30.
The Pick: Las Vegas -3