TNF – Chargers at Raiders

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For the first time this season, the Chargers (4-5 SU, 3-5-1 ATS) are coming off consecutive victories after dominating the Packers, 26-11 as four-point home underdogs. Although Los Angeles didn’t score its first touchdown until the second half, the Chargers owned a 9-0 halftime lead and were aided by a pair of Melvin Gordon short touchdown runs to build a commanding 26-3 advantage.

The Chargers picked up their first home win since a Week 1 overtime triumph over the Colts as L.A.’s defense stepped up by holding Green Bay to 13 first downs and 184 total yards. The Lightning Bolts posted 442 yards of offense, its highest output since a Week 2 loss at Detroit when Los Angeles racked up 424 yards offensively in spite of scoring only 10 points. Philip Rivers was held without a touchdown pass for the first time in four games, but Gordon busted out with 80 yards rushing after putting up 112 yards in the previous four contests combined.

The Raiders (4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS) climbed back to the .500 mark after holding off the Lions, 31-24 at the Coliseum last Sunday. Rookie Josh Jacobs found the end zone twice in the first half, while quarterback Derek Carr hit Hunter Renfrow on the go-ahead touchdown for Oakland with two minutes remaining in regulation. Detroit had an opportunity to tie the game in the final seconds with four and goal at the Oakland 1-yard line, but Matthew Stafford’s pass was incomplete and the Raiders grabbed their first home victory since Week 1 against Denver.

Jacobs has topped the 120-yard rushing mark for the third time in four games, while the Raiders are 3-0 when he scores a touchdown (he has actually scored twice in all three of those wins). Carr has been intercepted only once in the last five games, leading the Raiders to at least 24 points or more in five consecutive contests. The Raiders are allowing the most passing yards per game by averaging nearly 300 a contest, as Stafford and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers each threw for over 400 yards in two of the past three weeks.


It’s been all Chargers the last two seasons against their rivals from the East Bay as Los Angeles is 4-0 both straight up and against the spread. Oakland actually posted a 4-0 mark against the Lightning Bolts from 2015-2016, which included three wins by three points each. The Chargers broke that four-game skid with a 17-16 triumph in Oakland in October 2017, followed by a 30-10 rout in the season finale at home.

In Jon Gruden’s return to the Raiders’ sidelines last season, the Raiders couldn’t figure out the Chargers in a pair of double-digit defeats that each finished ‘under’ the total. The Bolts cruised past the Raiders at home, 26-10 as five-point favorites in Week 5 of 2018, led by 339 yards passing and two touchdown passes by Rivers. Los Angeles took care of Oakland at the Black Hole in the next meeting five weeks later, 20-6 as 10 ½-point favorites, highlighted by two touchdown tosses from Rivers, including a 66-yard scoring play to Gordon.


The Raiders have won back-to-back games only once since Gruden came back to Oakland in 2018 and that was earlier this season in victories over the Colts and Bears. Both came as an underdog and both came away from the Coliseum, as Oakland is 0-4 since last season off a home win. The Chargers are fresh off their first two-game winning streak of the season, while playing only their second division opponent of 2019 after losing to Denver back in Week 5.


The Chargers won their last two games in the underdog role against the Bears and Packers, but Anthony Lynn’s squad has covered only once when laying points this season, coming at Miami in Week 4 as 15-point favorites. Thursday night favorites this season have cashed twice in nine opportunities, including a pair of straight up wins/non-covers the last two weeks with the Vikings and 49ers as double-digit chalk not covering the spread in victories. The only road favorite to win and cover on Thursday night this season did so in a battle of AFC West teams in Week 7 when the Chiefs blew out the Broncos, 30-3.


The 2019 Thursday Night Football matchup has had solid back-and-forth total results with the ‘under’ holding a 5-4 record and that includes the Week 1 outcome between the Packers and Bears.

Of the nine games, six of them were divisional matchups and the ‘under’ has produced a 4-2 record in those contests but the two ‘over’ tickets did occur on the West Coast.

Will that trend continue this week at RingCentral Coliseum from Oakland? Chris David of offered up his thoughts on this total.

“Part of my handicapping philosophy is that results usually find a way to balance out in the long run and we saw that firsthand last Sunday when the home teams finally showed up. Sticking with that thought and this divisional matchup, we’re starting to see an uptick in totals for these games. The ‘under’ went 19-10 (66%) in divisional matchups through the first six weeks of the season but the ‘over’ has posted a 7-3 (70%) mark over the previous three weekends,” said David.

Backing the ‘over’ in this game could be a reach for some, especially when you look at the recent encounters. The ‘under’ has cashed in five straight games between the Chargers and Raiders, all of them clear-cut winners too with a combined score of 34 PPG.

David offered up his lean, “It’s a bit of a head-scratcher to see a line get juiced up from 47 ½ to 49 when the Chargers have been the best ‘under’ team (7-2) in the NFL. Los Angeles certainly has the ability to move the chains but its inability to cash in the red zone is beyond frustrating. This season, the Bolts have 17 field goals and 18 touchdowns, not a good ratio for ‘over’ tickets.”

“While that production certainly could make you hesitant to back them or the high side, we did see the Chargers put up 33 and 29 points in two road games played in the primetime slots last season. I’m going to buy L.A. and its sporadic offense against a suspect Raiders of the defense. If they put up sixes instead of threes, the Team Total Over (24) will connect easily.”

HANDICAPPER’S CORNER NFL expert Joe Nelson checks in with his analysis on the improvement on the offensive side of the ball for the Silver and Black, “The offense for the Raiders has been exceptional with a great rebound season from Carr who is 6th in QB Rating in the NFL. Oakland is 6th in passing yards per attempt, but the scoring has been middle-of-the-pack, averaging just below 23 points per game and sitting 20th in yards per point as there have been some red zone issues and a negative turnover differential.”

The upcoming schedules for these teams should be telling ahead according to Nelson, “The Chargers are on the road three of the next four weeks and the next two home games are against the Chiefs and the Vikings as the playoff opportunity for this team isn’t likely. This team remains capable of high-level performances and a late season run shouldn’t be ruled out while this team could be an attractive underdog in many upcoming games.”

On the flip side, if things break right for the Raiders, Nelson notes this could be a Wild Card team, “If Oakland can win this week they draw the Bengals and Jets the next two weeks before heading to Kansas City. If Oakland wins the games they are favored in, 10-6 is possible which should be enough in most scenarios for a playoff spot in the AFC.”

PLAYER PROPS – According to Westgate Superbook

Total Completions – Philip Rivers (LAC)
Over 23 ½ (-110)
Under 23 ½ (-110)

Total Touchdown Passes – Philip Rivers (LAC)
Over 1 ½ (-180)
Under 1 ½ (+150)

Total Rushing Yards – Melvin Gordon (LAC)
Over 60 ½ (-110)
Under 60 ½ (-110)

Will Melvin Gordon (LAC) Score a Touchdown?
Yes -125
No +105

Total Gross Passing Yards – Derek Carr (OAK)
Over 259 ½ (-110)
Under 259 ½ (-110)

Total Touchdown Passes – Derek Carr (OAK)
Over 1 ½ (-140)
Under 1 ½ (+120)

Total Rushing Yards – Josh Jacobs (OAK)
Over 84 ½ (-110)
Under 84 ½ (-110)


The Raiders opened as a one-point home favorite at the Westgate Superbook on Sunday evening, but the Chargers were flipped to a 1 ½-point favorite by Monday afternoon. Los Angeles has settled at that number for most of the week, while the total has moved up from 47 ½ to 49. The first half line is currently Los Angeles -½ (+105), while the total sits at 23 ½ (Over -120).

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at

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