Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders | NFL Thursday | OSB
Thursday Night Football Odds & Free Pick — Chargers Vs Raiders (12/17)
The Las Vegas Raiders are still alive in the playoff race, although they are by no means in any kind of advantageous position. And there may be a little internal trouble as they get ready to face the Los Angeles Chargers. That game will be taking place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas at 8:20 PM ET on Thursday night.
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At 7-6 straight-up (and also against the spread), the Raiders have been able to generate enough offense on most occasions, but they haven’t been able to stop too many people. That’s plain to see for most people, and it was enough of a concern to head coach Jon Gruden that he had to make a move on his coaching staff.
So after last week’s 44-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, he gave the heave-ho to defensive coordinator Paul Guenther and replaced him with Rod Marinelli.
Reportedly there wasn’t a big dust-up about it, as there was when New York Giants coach Joe Judge fired his offensive line coach Marc Colombo, who had gotten into a shouting match with him over the hiring of a “consultant.”
But if you are wondering about trouble on the Strip, it’s probably there. The Raiders have been sliced open on the defensive line the last two games, giving up over 200 yards on the ground to both the Colts and the Jets. And so they promote the guy who coaches that defensive line? There must have been a real difference in philosophy between Marinelli and Guenther.
Marinelli has a load of experience; aside from having served as an assistant head coach for Gruden in Tampa Bay, he was also a coordinator at both Dallas and Chicago, as well as the head coach with the Detroit Lions, with whom he went 0-16 in 2008. He’s going to have to draw upon all of that experience to get a game plan together reflecting the “different perspective” and “different approach” Gruden has been saying he’s going to get out of him.
In the Thursday Night Football odds at onlinesportsbet on this game, the Raiders are favored at home:
Las Vegas Raiders -3 (-115)
Los Angeles Chargers +3 (-105)
Over 53.5 Points -110
Under 53.5 Points -110
Watch this video as Tommy D. breaks down the chargers vs raiders game and analysis their performance.
Unless the Raiders can come up with a way to shore up their run defense in a hurry, the Chargers may be in a position to exploit them. We know that L.A. coach Anthony Lynn, who is probably a lame duck, has yearned for a way to create more balance in this offense, so as not to leave rookie quarterback Justin Herbert out there without any help.
But crucial to those efforts might be the availability of Austin Ekeler, who came into the season as the top running back after the departure of Melvin Gordon, but has battled injuries. Well, he had a very strong effort in the 20-17 win over Atlanta last week, with 146 combined rushing-receiving yards from scrimmage. But he’s been listed as questionable with a quad injury. Wide receiver Keenan Allen is also questionable with a hamstring.
If Allen is absent, that will hurt the Bolts a great deal. But the Raiders will assuredly be weaker on offense with rookie receiver Henry Ruggs, averaging a whopping 18 yards a catch, put on the COVID reserve list.
The Chargers’ defense, believe it or not, is still ranked 7th in yards allowed per drive and in the top ten in both three-and-outs and punts forced on a per-drive basis.
The value here, in our opinion, resides with the visiting Chargers. who at 4-9 (4-7-2 ATS), don’t have any playoff hopes but could get a lot of satisfaction if they can get some payback for the first meeting, in which they thought they scored the winning touchdown on the last play of the game but saw it overturned on a replay call.
By Charles Jay
OSB Sports Expert
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