Monday Night Football: Raiders-Chargers Best Bets

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This week has been wild already. The Buccaneers really struggled against the Patriots, the Giants beat the Saints on the road, the Jets beat the Titans, and Arizona beat the Rams by 17 on the road. Will we have another crazy game tonight or not? Let’s examine some notes on each team and see where we might be able to grab some bets.

The Raiders come into the game 3-0 having beat the Ravens, Pittsburgh, and Miami. Two of their three games have gone into overtime – both of them home games. The Ravens win was somewhat impressive, beating the Steelers is not. Struggling to beat the Dolphins at home is concerning… so the team went from impressive to expected to now concerning. Are they a good team, or are they lucky, or is it something else? Personally, I think the Raiders are a decent team that has gotten lucky so far. Derek Carr is playing well, but the defense is still allowing way too much. Josh Jacobs has only played in one game, but Peyton Barber has filled in well enough. Carr has started the season by peppering his favorite receiver, Darren Waller, with 33 targets.

The Chargers just beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead and now return home for the matchup with the Raiders. Each of their games has been a one-score game with them losing only to the Cowboys. Second-year quarterback Justin Herbert has played well so far, completing 70% of his passes, but likely will need to shoulder more of the responsibility as the season goes along. Mike Williams has been a disappointment for most of his career, but so far, he looks great and has already hauled in four touchdowns. Keenan Allen has a few more targets than Williams and has been as reliable as usual.

The line for this game is -3 in favor of the Chargers. I’m not sure that they are the better team though. Both teams have had some difficult matchups already and this game shouldn’t be a cakewalk for either of them. In games like this, I always prefer to take the points. And, this may just be a gut feeling, or something I’m completely wrong about, but I FEEL like the Raiders seem to win or cover during every single primetime game. I’m going to take the Raiders +3 and look for all the talking heads to start asking if this is their year… it isn’t.

The public appears to be jumping on the over for the game tonight, but the line has been dropping from 52.5 to now at 51. Only one Chargers game has gotten to the 50s, whereas only one Raiders game has not gotten over 50 points. Personally, I lean over on this game, but these divisional matchups seem to be wild usually. If you like the Chargers tonight, and there is a lot to like about them, the under probably hits. I think if it becomes a shootout, the Raiders have the edge. Ultimately, I’ll pass on this play.

I like Austin Eckler to be the first touchdown scorer of the game at +600. The first offensive touchdown in all three of the Raiders games has been from the opposing team and come from a running play. Just to clarify the previous sentence, against the Dolphins, the first touchdown came from the Dolphins defense. Eckler is used in both the passing and running game and has a great chance to have the first touchdown in this game.

I think these two props are also interesting and will put a little sprinkle on them. Herbert and Carr are both plus money to throw a touchdown pass in both halves. This one seems a little less likely in my analysis for Herbert than for Carr, but I’ll play them both. Herbert is +130 and Carr is +160. This can be found under Match Specials.