AFC West TNF game as the playoff hunting Raiders welcome Justin Herbert and his Chargers to Sin City.
The Raiders made their path to a post season berth a lot more difficult with their loss to the Colts on Sunday in a game that they were comfortably beaten in, they gave up 44 points to the Colts, who threw the ball to TY Hilton with success and ran Jonathan Taylor with even greater success as the rookie runner had 150 yards and 2 TD’s as the Raiders just couldn’t stop him, and the Raiders inability to stop him was seemingly the straw that broke the camel’s back as Defensive Coordinator, Paul Guenther was relieved of his duties and will be replaced by Rod Marinelli until the end of the season. Jon Gruden will be hoping his decision to let go of Guenther will rejuvenate a defense that has struggled to make plays all season, tallying only 15 Sacks all season which is tied for 2nd lowest in the NFL. On the Offense, where the money has been spent on this team, needs to do a better job of running the football, Josh Jacobs is one of the best young RB’s in the league but this has been an underwhelming season for him, although I expect to see something in this game against a below average Chargers run defense and with Derek Carr coming off of his first multiple INT game of the season and the Chargers fresh off a game where they intercepted Matt Ryan 3 times, maybe trying to establish the run game isn’t such a bad idea.
As for the Chargers, they’re coming in here after securing only their 4th win of the season against a Falcons side who do their best to lose games in the fourth quarter. Justin Herbert played well again, throwing for over 240 yards and 2 TD’s, but he might have to do without his top two WR’s for this game as both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams will be game time decisions, both will be losses but Allen in particular has been Herbert’s favourite target and will vacate double figure targets if he’s unable to play. Austin Ekeler has been involved plenty in the passing game since his return from injury and has at least 9 targets in three straight games, posting 24 receptions in that time. Interesting note on this game is that Justin Herbert, with 3 TD passes, would break Baker Mayfield’s record for most TD passes by a rookie QB and whilst he has two more games after this to take the record it would not surprise me if he broke it tonight.
I liked the Raiders to win this game on a short turnaround before the news of the potential Charger injuries on offense so with that potentially being a factor I’m taking the Raiders to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. As for my best bet I was looking at Hunter Henry and Austin Ekeler’s Receiving Total’s line but before I could post the article they pulled the markets! So we instead move to our next favourite and this involves both Justin Herbert and Josh Jacobs. Herbert has thrown for 280 yards or more in 7 of 14 games this season, including going for over 300 yards in the first meeting between these sides whilst Josh Jacobs has rushed for 63 or more yards in 7 of his 14 games this season, including the previous meeting between the sides and with the Chargers struggling to stop the RB position all season and the Raiders defense which ranks well inside the bottom 10 in passing yards allowed, I like their chances to produce something similar to their stat lines in the first meeting and this double with William Hill is our pick. We also really like Josh Jacobs to find himself on the scoresheet tonight for what would be his 10th score of the season.
PREDICTION: RAIDERS 27 – 24 CHARGERS
BEST BET: Josh Jacobs ANYTIME TD – 4/6 with Betfair. 1 point bet.
NEXT BEST: Justin Herbert OVER 279 Passing Yards & Josh Jacobs OVER 63 Rushing Yards – 12/5 with William Hill. 0.5 point bet.