The “Thursday Night Football” matchup between the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers is basically a must-win game for both teams if they hope to stay alive in the AFC West race. The loser of the first contest on the Week 10 schedule will be below .500, in sole possession of third place in the division and even further behind the first-place Kansas City Chiefs.
The early betting line indicates that Thursday’s contest is a virtual toss-up. According to OddsShark, the Chargers are one-point favorites on the road. The over/under is 48.
Los Angeles is on a two-game winning streak. After losing five of their first seven games, the Chargers have beaten the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers in consecutive weeks.
Oakland defeated the Detroit Lions 31-24 in Week 9. The Raiders had lost two games in a row before Sunday’s victory.
With a .500 record through the first half of the 2019 NFL season, Oakland has exceeded expectations. Los Angeles has been among the league’s most disappointing teams, though they might be turning things around with a chance to move back to .500.
If the Chargers haven’t actually turned a corner, the Raiders should take care of business against their division rivals. Oakland is 3-0 against teams that enter Week 10 with a losing record. The Raiders are 2-1 in the Bay Area, only losing to the Chiefs in Week 2.
Oakland is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven home games.
Few teams have moved the ball better than Oakland this season. The Raiders rank third in yards per play. They have scored at least 24 points in five straight games.
The Raiders ran for 171 yards against Detroit. Led by rookie Josh Jacobs, Oakland has the NFL’s No.6 rushing attack.
Derek Carr threw for 289 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions Sunday. The quarterback improved his passer rating to 105.1, putting him sixth in the entire league.
Carr was only sacked once in Week 9. He’s been sacked just two times over the last five games.
Aaron Rodgers was sacked three times Sunday afternoon in Green Bay’s 26-11 loss to Los Angeles. The Chargers have 14 sacks in their four victories and seven sacks in their five defeats.
The Chargers are fortunate to be on a winning streak. L.A. escaped Soldier Field with a victory in Week 8 when the Bears ran down the clock in the game’s final 45 seconds and Eddy Pineiro missed a potential game-winning 41-yard field goal.
Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler ran the ball 32 times combined for 150 yards in the win over the Packers. Green Bay ranks 25th in yards allowed per carry. Oakland is fifth, limiting opposing rushers to 3.7 yards per attempt.
Only when they played the Miami Dolphins were the Chargers been able to score 30 points in regulation.
Philip Rivers should have one of his best games of the season. The Raiders have surrendered more passing yards per game than any team. Matthew Stafford threw for 406 yards and a 110.4 passer rating in Oakland, putting the Raiders 30th in opponents’ passer rating.
Los Angeles hasn’t been much better. The Chargers rank 25th, allowing opposing quarterbacks to post a 100.7 passer rating. That number improved with a strong performance against Rodgers.
The Chargers haven’t proven they can play well on a consistent basis. The Raiders continue to prove they can beat mediocre teams.
Prediction: Oakland over Los Angeles, 27-20