Los Angeles Chargers (5-8) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (8-5)
The 5-8 Los Angeles Chargers take on the 5-8 Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday Night Football for an AFC West rivalry matchup. This game features two teams struggling to meet expectations this NFL season. The Chargers had playoff aspirations but have dropped four of their last five games. Meanwhile, the Raiders looked to build on last year’s playoff berth but have lost seven of their last ten. This figures to be a competitive divisional battle between the Chargers’ elite passing attack and the Raiders’ stout run defense. Be sure to check out today’s football free picks and predictions before betting on this matchup.
The Chargers boast a dangerous aerial assault led by star quarterback Justin Herbert and receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Herbert is posting 253 passing yards per game with 20 touchdowns. His top target, Allen, has 102 receptions for 1,175 yards already. The Raiders counter with a staunch run defense allowing the sixth-fewest rushing yards per game (104). Linebacker Denzel Perryman keys this unit with 108 tackles. Las Vegas will need to slow the Chargers’ receivers while generating pressure on Herbert.
On offense, the Raiders lean on workhorse running back Josh Jacobs who has 771 rushing yards and six scores. Newly acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has delivered mixed results so far. His top weapon, Davante Adams, looks to exploit a Chargers’ pass defense ranked 21st in yards allowed. LA has struggled recently with injuries in the secondary so Adams could be poised for a big outing. The Chargers must limit Jacobs on early downs and force Garoppolo into third-and-longs.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders Game Info
|Thursday, December 14, 2023 at 8:15 PM ET
|NFL Game Pass
Justin Herbert QB vs. Jimmy Garoppolo QB
Justin Herbert is enjoying another productive season with 3038 passing yards (4th in NFL), 20 TDs and a 95.1 rating. The third-year quarterback has shown precision accuracy and poise in the pocket this year. He effectively spreads the ball around to playmakers Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler. But Herbert favors Allen as his undisputed top target. The duo has developed strong chemistry, connecting for 1175 yards and 7 scores. Herbert should be able to exploit a Raiders pass defense ranked 26th in yards allowed. He has tossed multiple touchdown passes in three of his past four starts.
On the other side, Jimmy Garoppolo has underwhelmed since taking over the starting job after Derek Carr’s benching. He has managed just 7 TDs against 9 INTs for a pedestrian 78.1 rating. While Garoppolo deserves credit for leading the 49ers to the NFC title game last year, he has not replicated that success in Las Vegas. He struggles with accuracy on deep balls and turnover-worthy throws under pressure. However, Garoppolo has the arm talent to make big plays when comfortable in the pocket. His supporting cast includes elite WR Davante Adams and RB Josh Jacobs. The Chargers pass rush could force Garoppolo into more mistakes tonight if he holds the ball too long. This would allow Garoppolo to target Adams on more favorable passing situations.
NFL Odds/Point Spread: Los Angeles Chargers -193, Total Odds: 42.5
The Chargers are 3.5-point road favorites, indicating expectations for a close game. The total is set at a modest 42.5 points as both defenses have held opponents under 20 points per game. The trends also forecast a lower-scoring affair. Consider taking the Chargers to cover the small spread behind the Herbert-Allen duo. The under on 42.5 total points seems likely given these teams’ recent defensive efforts.
Los Angeles Chargers Betting Trends
The Chargers are just 1-4 against the spread (ATS) in their last 5 contests, failing to cover in four straight. The total has gone under in ten of their last eleven matchups. When facing divisional foes, Los Angeles is 4-2 straight up and ATS in its past six. In five straight road games, the total finished under.
Las Vegas Raiders Betting Trends
Las Vegas has struggled lately with a 2-5 straight up record in its last seven outings. The total has gone under in five of the Raiders’ previous six games. Against the Chargers specifically, four of the past five meetings fell below the total. And in seven of eight home contests this year, the final score stayed under the line. When hosting Los Angeles, Vegas has a poor 7-13 ATS mark in its past 20 attempts.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders 12/14/23 Betting Picks
Expect the Chargers to keep this game close and ultimately do enough to cover the small -3.5 point spread. Herbert and the LA passing attack should find openings to produce points against a vulnerable Raiders secondary. Though Jacobs may find some running room, Garoppolo faces a tall task trying to outduel Herbert. The under on the low 42.5 total also makes sense given these teams’ recent trends. Back the Chargers ATS and the under for Thursday night. Consider using best betting websites for reference that offers for this hard-to-predict divisional contest.