5 min read

Matchups Week 1: Chargers vs. Raiders

Justin Herbert

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Spread: Chargers -3.5.

Game Total: 52.

Team Totals: Chargers (27.75), Raiders (24.25)

Weather: SoFi Stadium is an indoor-outdoor stadium. Game-time temperature will be the only weather factor felt in this contest. 

The Line Report

  • The current consensus line here is Chargers -3.5, with a few Chargers -3s available.
  • This line opened as Chargers -4 at most sportsbooks, with a few opening with Chargers -3.5.
  • This line has peaked at Chargers -4.5, while fluctuating as low as -3 this summer.
  • DraftKings Pick’Em has the Chargers -3.5.
  • Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Chargers -3.5.
  • The consensus total for this game is 52 points, with a few 52.5 options out there.
  • This total opened at 52 points in most spots, with a few 51.5 point options in the mix. That 51.5-point opening has been the floor for this total, while the peak has been 53-points. 

Notable Injuries 

Chargers: CB J.C. Jackson (Questionable, considered a game-time decision)

Raiders: OT Brandon Parker (IR)

The Chargers Offense vs. the Raiders Defense

The strength of the Raiders defense is their EDGE duo of Maxx Crosby and free-agent signing Chandler Jones. The Chargers top-ten caliber offensive line is equipped to mitigate that strength. Chargers left tackle Rashawn Slater is already a premium player at the position. That enables Los Angeles to help right tackle Trey Pipkins III through scheme as needed. 

Las Vegas has two new cornerbacks in Anthony Averett and Rock Ya-Sin. Both players are solid, but they’ll see plenty of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Justin Herbert’s passing attack has more continuity and high-end talent than the Raiders secondary.

Notes and Observations

  • The Chargers were 8-9 against the spread in 2021.
  • Los Angeles was 10-7 on overs in 2021.
  • The Chargers were 5-4 against playoff teams last season.
  • The Edge has the Raiders were tenth-best in pressure rate in 2021.
  • Per The Edge, the Raiders yielded the seventh-most receptions to enemy running backs last season.
  • Per The Edge, Chargers headliner Austin Ekeler was second among running backs in receptions (70) last season.
  • Mike Williams went for 9-119-1 on 17 targets in last year’s regular season finale in Vegas. 

The Raiders Offense vs. Chargers Defense

Adding Khalil Mack to Joey Bosa gives the Chargers a top-of-the-food-chain edge duo. The Chargers top-tier pass rush has a potentially game-wrecking advantage on the Raiders' bottom-tier offensive line. New Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels can be counted on to gameplan for this matchup disadvantage. Additionally, Derek Carr played well last season despite the downgrades on the Raiders offensive line. There is at least a path to the Raiders mitigating this mismatch.

Chargers newly signed cornerback J.C. Jackson is currently viewed as a game-time decision. If Jackson can’t go, the Chargers will have an even tougher time managing Raiders wide receivers Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow along with dynamic tight end Darren Waller.

 Notes and Observations

  • The Raiders were 8-9 against the spread in 2021.
  • The Raiders were 8-9 on overs 2021.
  • Las Vegas was 3-3 in the regular season against playoff teams last season.
  • The Chargers beefed up their interior defensive line this offseason. However, per The Edge, Los Angeles yielded the third-most rushing yards last season.
  • Per The Edge, the Chargers surrendered the sixth-fewest yards to wide receivers last season.  
  • Per The Edge, the 2021 Chargers yielded the sixth-most receptions and the most yards to opposing tight ends.
  • Darren Waller’s production against the Chargers was mild last season, but he combined for 16 targets in his two matchups with Los Angeles.

This is What You’re Betting On in Chargers vs. Raiders 

A bet on the Chargers is a bet on one of the NFL’s bright young stars in quarterback Justin Herbert, who is supported by one of the league’s best rosters. It’s a bet on the Chargers new edge duo greatly impacting this game. It’s also a bet on a favorite in a contest that sportsbooks opened by giving the underdog the hook. We can expect the Chargers to be highly motivated after their win-and-in loss to the Raiders on the final day of the 2021 regular season. My biggest concern with a Chargers bet is Los Angeles’ ability to manage the Raiders talented group of pass catchers. Especially if J.C. Jackson misses this contest.

A bet on the Raiders is a bet on a Raiders team with a new head coach and considerable roster turnover. Difference makers Davante Adams and Chandler Jones are part of that transition, making Vegas a team with more high-end talent now than they had last season. If you bet the Raiders, you are getting the +3.5 hook which is a general positive in ATS betting. My biggest concern with betting on the Raiders is their ability to manage the Chargers elite pass rush.

Winner/ Confidence Pool: We should treat the Chargers as a solid winner pool option that will have roughly 70% of the field on the Chargers side. In confidence pools the Chargers should be in the middle of your weekly rankings. If you go with the Raiders in that format, you want to consider moving them closer to the bottom of your weekly rankings.

Spread Pool: I’m going to wait on J.C. Jackson’s status, but I have the Chargers in my pool of options for tournaments currently.

Survivor: This game should be avoided for survivor purposes.