The Las Vegas Raiders desperately need a win to keep their fading playoff hopes alive. They go for the season sweep of the Los Angeles Chargers at Allegiant Stadium in the Week 15 edition of Thursday Night Football. Losers in three of their last four games, the Raiders are on the outside looking in and recently shook up their coaching staff firing defensive coordinator Paul Guenther just a few hours after giving up 44 points in a loss to the Colts. Las Vegas hit the board as a 3.5-point favorite on the NFL betting line. Bookmaker.eu offers a generous welcome bonus (max bonus $1600).
Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders
Date and Time: Thursday, December 17, 2020, 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
NFL Odds: Las Vegas -3.5, O/U 53.5
Chargers at Raiders TV Coverage: FOX/NFL Network
The Chargers rebounded from the worst loss in franchise history by knocking off the Atlanta Falcons last week for their first payout in seven games. They also ended a two-game SU losing streak and a stretch of five losses in six games. Included in that run was a 31-26 home loss to the Raiders where the Bolts had a 3-point halftime lead but failed to cover as a 1-point dog. It’s another disappointing season for the Bolts, who are guaranteed a second straight losing campaign. They are 4-9 SU and 6-7 ATS overall. They’ve lost five straight on the road going 2-3 ATS in those games. The Raiders suffered their third loss in four games getting pummeled 44-27 by former Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and the Colts. It was Vegas’ third straight cover loss dropping them to 7-6 SU and ATS. They have won three in a row SU and ATS over the Bolts and need to extend that streak to keep any hope of making the playoffs alive.
Los Angeles Chargers
Maybe things are starting to shift for the Chargers. Usually the team that comes out on the wrong end of a close game, the Bolts emerged victorious last week getting a late interception and a game-winning field goal from Michael Badgley to beat the Falcons. The Bolts were 4-16 in one-possession games over the last two seasons before last week’s payout victory.
It’s not enough to make up for another painful season that has Anthony Lynn on the hot seat. The Chargers will finish with a losing record for the second straight season and will miss the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years. Injuries have played a role with Austin Ekeler missing a chunk of time. And the offense could be impacted heading into this game with leading receiver Keenan Allen and starting offensive linemen Bryan Bulaga and Trai Turner all leaving the Atlanta game.
Justin Herbert probably wouldn’t have seen the field this season if not for the unfortunate injury to Tyrod Taylor. The rookie has made the most of his chance throwing for 3,467 yards and 25 touchdowns. He was 28 of 42 for 326 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions against the Raiders earlier this season. In his third game back from injury Ekeler had 79 rushing yards and caught nine passes for 67 yards against the Falcons. He could give the Raiders defense fits after missing the first meeting.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders are a Gregg Williams gaffe away from having a four-game losing streak, which just shows you how bad they’ve been during this recent spell. The Jets should have beaten Vegas a few weeks ago, only to fall on a last second heave from Derek Carr to Henry Ruggs when the New York defensive coordinator called an all out blitz, leading to single coverage on the game-winning score. Ruggs easily ran past the defender hauling in the catch for a 31-28 victory. Giving up 28 points and 376 yards to the league’s worst offense was one of the final nails in Guenther’s coffin.
The final nail came last week when the Raiders gave up 44 points and 456 yards, including 212 on the ground, to the Colts. Vegas invested a lot in a defensive upgrade and they haven’t gotten a return on their investment. The hope is that a new ‘voice’ in the locker room can spark the group over the final few games. Veteran coach Rod Marinelli has been tabbed the interim DC. He has his work cut out for him. Over the last four games the Raiders allowed an average of 37.5 points.
The inability to stop teams puts a lot of pressure on Derek Carr and the offense to produce every time. And for the most part the group has been good. The Raiders are 10th in scoring and 13th in total yards, but the numbers have faded since a hot start. I just don’t know if they can turn things around this late to make a playoff charge.
Bet Chargers at Raiders at BookMaker.eu
The teams can change cities and play in new stadiums, but the hatred is always going to be there. The Raiders’ knee jerk reaction to their defensive problems shows how much in disarray they are. With no hope of reaching the postseason this is the Bolts playoff game and they will take care of business, extinguishing Vegas’ plans.
NFL Score Prediction: Chargers 31, Raiders 26
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– Phil Simon, Gambling911.com