Chargers vs Raiders Predictions | Sunday Night Football

It’s pretty simple what’s at stake when the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders battle in the Week 18 Sunday Night Football matchup. The winner gets the final AFC playoff spot while the loser goes home. In reality it isn’t that simple. Depending on how some games finish during the afternoon, there’s a chance the AFC West rivals both reach the postseason by finishing in a tie.

As remote as it is there’s still a possibility. We don’t see many tie games in the NFL, but it does happen, including once this season. But I’m willing to wager that these teams will do their best to keep the other out of the playoffs making for an exciting end to the regular season.

Chargers vs Raiders Date & Time

The Week 17 Sunday Night Football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders will take place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NV at 8:20 p.m. ET on January 9 and will be televised on NBC.

Chargers vs Raiders Odds

Los Angeles Chargers -3 | Las Vegas Raiders +3 [BET NOW]

Over/Under 49.5 [BET NOW]

Odds Analysis

There hasn’t been much line movement so far with the Chargers wagered up a half-point after hitting the board at -2.5. LA got back in the win column setting the stage for this winner-take-all contest by routing Denver last week 34-13 as an 8.5-point home favorite. The Bolts had lost two straight before that, including a devastating 41-29 setback in Houston in Week 16.

If the Bolts fail to reach the postseason they’ll be kicking themselves over that one the entire offseason. While they’ve been an even bet ATS going 8-8, the Chargers have cashed the OVER in five consecutive games. Playing as a home dog is nothing new for the Raiders, who have closed catching points in half of their eight home games. They are 2-2 SU and ATS in those matchups. We saw the total spike to 49.5 after surfacing at 48. The Chargers won the first meeting 28-14, their second straight win and cover in the series.

Los Angeles Chargers

Which Chargers team is going to show up on Sunday night? The one that beat Cincinnati soundly on the road in Week 13 or the one that lost to Houston as a 13.5-point favorite in Week 16. In the case of the Chargers the saying ‘on any given Sunday’ has a lot of meaning. The Bolts have the offensive firepower to trample the Raiders defense.

They’ve scored at least 28 points in five straight games putting them sixth in the NFL in scoring averaging 27.6 points. And they have a star in QB Justin Herbert, who broke Phillip River’s team record for touchdown passes in a season. He’s thrown for 4,631 yards leading the league’s fourth-best passing attack.

What’s hurt the team has been the defense, especially against the run. The Bolts allow 136.7 yards per game on the ground putting them 30th in the NFL. And they can expect a strong dose of Josh Jacobs on Sunday. The Chargers played perhaps their best game of the season on defense in the first meeting holding Jacobs to 40 yards while allowing only 48 yards on the ground. And they silenced Derek Carr recording four sacks and an interception. Joey Bosa may have supplied locker room fodder though with a comment he made about Carr after that game. Bosa and his mates better be ready.

Las Vegas Raiders

Considering all that’s happened with the Raiders this season it’s a credit to them they are in a position to reach the playoffs. Let’s see, Jon Gruden resigned after some poorly worded emails were leaked. Henry Ruggs killed a woman and her dog while driving drunk, Damon Arnette was released after posting videos threatening violence, and most recently Nate Hobbs was arrested for DUI. That’s just what was made public. I guess such adversity can bring a team together and its looks like that’s what happened with the Raiders.

A non-factor in the playoffs a month ago after getting smoked by Kansas City, 48-9, the Raiders reeled off three consecutive wins with two of them coming via a Daniel Carlson last second field goal. They certainly haven’t been winning with a scintillating offense since they’ve haven’t scored more than 23 points in any of their last five games.

And that point total came just last week in an upset of the Indianapolis Colts. That could change on Sunday though. Darren Waller was removed from the COVID list and if he’s otherwise healthy he’ll be in the lineup for the first time since the Dallas game. That should help Carr, who has relied on Hunter Renfrow in the passing game. A more diverse attack will likely give the Bolts some problems.

Prediction: Los Angeles Chargers -3 and UNDER 49.5

Chargers vs Raiders Prediction

It’s come down to this after 17 grueling weeks. There will be no shortage of intrigue with a playoff berth going to the winner in a rivalry that’s been around since the old AFL. The Raiders are hot winning three in a row, but they haven’t dominated teams. They’re actually kind of lucky to be in this position. And good luck always has a way of changing. Herbert and Austin Ekeler are stars and I can see them doing the necessary damage to get the Bolts to the postseason.

Prediction: Los Angeles Chargers -3 and UNDER 49.5

View NFL Week 18 betting lines.