Welcome to the Thursday Night Football betting breakdown, where I’ll provide a betting overview of the upcoming Thursday Night Football game utilizing moneyline, points spread and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Additionally, I’ll hone in on at least one player or game prop each week that I feel has profit potential at one of those three sportsbooks.
All betting takes will be classified as either a “lean” or a “pick”. A lean is a wager that we have a certain degree of certainty in. However, it’s one that still falls somewhere short of a high-confidence selection. A pick carries an additional degree of confidence based on a variety of factors. These include relevant injuries; past track record of each team in those bet types and under the specific conditions that apply; and recent performances of each team leading up to the game.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup – including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to TNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Thursday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
The Chargers come into this AFC West showdown riding a wave of optimism after notching two straight wins for the first time this season. And, it’s also a matter of what team they most recently beat and how dominating a victory it was. Los Angeles frustrated a healthy Packers offense to the tune of a 26-11 score in Week 9. Aaron Rodgers managed just 161 passing yards despite having a healthy Davante Adams back in the fold and Green Bay managed a meager 184 total yards.
The Chargers also reaped immediate dividends from the switch from Ken Whisenhunt to Shane Steichen at offensive coordinator. Steichen called a masterful game against Green Bay that produced Melvin Gordon‘s best performance yet this season (109 total yards, two touchdowns) and a 294-yard tally through the air for Phillip Rivers. What’s more, 111 of those yards went to Mike Williams in what was a season-best performance.
The Raiders also notched a win in Week 9. They recorded a 31-24 victory over the Lions. Josh Jacobs (120 rushing yards) and Derek Carr (289 yards, two touchdowns) led the way for Oakland’s offense. But the Raiders are now surrendering a league-high 297.5 passing yards per game after allowing Matthew Stafford to eclipse the 400-yard mark. With another prolific veteran arm in Rivers coming to town, that doesn’t exactly bode well for the home team’s chances of slowing down Los Angeles.
On the other side, Jacobs may present the biggest challenge to the Chargers defense. Not only has the rookie been stellar — he now has three 100-yard efforts over the last four games and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry — but he’ll face a Los Angeles defense that’s had some trouble stopping the run consistently. The Packers were forced to turn away from the ground attack fairly early due to game script in Week 9. However, the Bolts are still yielding 114.1 rushing yards per game. In turn, the Chargers are allowing the fifth-fewest passing yards per contest (208.7). Therefore, Jacobs could be leaned on heavily once more four days after taking a career-high 28 carries against the Lions.
Jacobs is ultimately just one player. He could be a bit of a fatigued one at that. Conversely, the Chargers’ diversified passing attack boasts multiple potent weapons — Rivers, Keenan Allen, Williams, Hunter Henry and both Gordon and Austin Ekeler out of the backfield — and they’ll be too much for the Raiders porous secondary. Therefore, I see a Chargers road victory here.
TNF Point Spread
The Raiders were originally the projected favorites, but that line has flipped. Both teams scored Week 9 wins. However, the Chargers’ aforementioned domination of the Packers was arguably more impressive than the Raiders’ closer victory over the Lions. Additionally, the win was Los Angeles’ second consecutive. They’ve also notched four straight wins in the series.
The Chargers are 3-4-2 (42.9 percent) against the spread this season, including 2-1-1 as an away favorite.
The Raiders are 5-3 (62.5 percent) against the spread this season, including 2-1 (66.7 percent) as a home team.
The Chargers have made a habit of close wins and losses this season, with just a couple of exceptions. However, L.A. appears to be gaining steam and could truly begin maximizing the many weapons in their offense under their new playcalling. As such, I see them managing a cover and win versus a weak Raiders secondary.
The Pick: Chargers -1 at DraftKings Sportsbook
TNF Over/Under Total
The total is fairly elevated and allows for a solid amount of scoring on the part of both clubs. However, Los Angeles seems to be turning up its defensive efforts up a notch and have been very effective on that side of the ball overall when traveling this season.
The Over is 2-7 (NFL-low 22.2 percent) in the Chargers’ games this season, including 1-3 (25.0 percent) in their away games. Then, the Over is 5-3 (62.5 percent) in the Raiders’ games this season, including 1-2 (33.3 percent) in their home games.
While Jacobs should be able to get his fair share of yards for the Raiders and the Chargers should have a solid amount of success through the air, I ultimately don’t see Oakland doing enough to contribute to the total being exceeded.
Best TNF Prop Bet
Spread/Total Points Parlay: Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5) and Under (48.5) points (+280 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
In accordance to my belief of a Chargers cover, I like this parlay at +280. I think a decent amount of points will be scored here, but it’s getting to that point in the season where Thursday night games start to see a dip in offense. It’s also worth noting the Chargers are scoring a modest 19.2 points per road game. In turn, the Raiders are scoring 21.2 points per home contest. Los Angeles has also been one of the league’s stingiest road defenses, allowing 15.5 points per game when traveling. And, for what it’s worth, each of the last five games in the series have finished well under 48.5 points.