Monday Night Football Picks: Our Staff's Top Bets for Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Fifteen games have already taken place in Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season, and just one contest remains -- the Monday Night Football matchup between the Los Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers.
While we saw seven underdogs win straight up last week, this week has been more balanced, with favorites covering in seven of the 15 games and winning nine of those. And after just four of the 15 games hit the over last week, we did see a bump to seven games this week -- still, the under is carrying its weight.
Despite the fact that we're only in Week 4, tonight's game could have huge implications. These aren't the Raiders and Chargers of old -- or even of last year, for that matter. At 3-0, Vegas sits atop a division that currently has the 2-2 Kansas City Chiefs in last place.
In other words, each game will matter for these squads, especially those within the division.
In addition to an ever-growing abundance of top-notch content, our staff will be providing us with their favorite overall plays each week of the season.
For this piece, our staff will be covering whatever bets they feel strongest about for the Chargers vs. Raiders matchup -- no limitations. Let’s get to it!
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders Picks and Predictions
Los Angeles Chargers -3.0 (-110)
This largely comes down to which defense I trust to hold their own. Derek Carr and the Raiders offense should still be able to put up a decent amount of points, but this Chargers defense has been good against the pass this season, especially with regards to limiting the explosive passing plays the Las Vegas offense relies on. Conversely, I have a hard time buying the Raiders defense right now, particularly the young secondary. Justin Herbert and the Chargers should have an easier time in this one.
-- Derrik Klassen (@QBKlass)
The Chargers have one of the most underrated defenses in the league, which is a big reason the under has cashed in all three of their games. The Raiders have been impressive, winning their first three games in large part because of an offense that has averaged 30 points per game. However, they faced a banged-up Baltimore defense that was piecing together a secondary in Week 1, and a Dolphins defense that couldn't get off the field and was not helped on offense by Jacoby Brissett. Los Angeles knows how to limit big plays, and it will be interesting to see if Derek Carr and the Raiders have the patience to dink and dunk down the field. The Chargers are built to negate Las Vegas' biggest playmaking threat in Darren Waller, which is a big reason they will come away victorious and cover the spread tonight.
-- Mike Spector (@MikeSpector01)
The one area where the Chargers have struggled defensively has been the run game. The Chargers are allowing 170 yards per game on the ground through three games so far this season. However, Los Angeles might finally luck out because they'll be facing a Las Vegas Raiders team that is averaging just 91.3 yards per game on the ground behind an offensive line that has struggled immensely in the run game. I don't doubt either quarterback and believe both signal-callers can have a big day. I just think if the Chargers can move the ball on the ground against the Raiders, they'll find more success offensively.
-- Jason Radowitz (@Jason_Radowitz)
I wanted to get creative here. Maybe throw in an anytime TD scorer that hits at a big number or find a Justin Herbert passing prop I love, but in the end Chargers -3 is the play I just can’t come off of. Every week that passes makes the Raiders’ win over the Steelers look less and less impressive. Right now, the only quality Vegas showing came in Week 1 against a Ravens team that has lost roughly a billion players to injury. The Raiders rely heavily on their pass game and are about to go up against one of the best secondaries in the entire NFL. Give me the best young quarterback in football at home laying just a field goal. If the Chargers can keep Herbert clean, we could get a 10-14 point win for Los Angeles.
-- Brian Good (@BeGood1219)
The Raiders are 3-0 but they've yet to play a quarterback who can expose their weakness in the secondary. The Chargers, on the other hand, just played Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes over the last two weeks and kept them both in check.
-- Geoff Fienberg (@gfienberg17)
Over 51.5 (-105)
The Raiders hit the over at just an insane clip. Since the start of 2020, they’re 14-4-1 at hitting the over. While the Chargers haven’t been so lucky in terms of getting in the endzone, Justin Herbert should be able to get the Chargers to put up some points here in Week 4 against this Raiders defense.
-- Matt O’Leary (@MattOLearyNY)
Derek Carr Under 282.5 Passing Yards (-115) - DraftKings
Carr leads the NFL in passing yards with 1,203 through three games, and 497 of those (41%) have come on passes that have traveled at least 15 yards through the air. Brandon Staley's Chargers' defense has allowed just four completions on passes traveling that distance so far, per Sharp Football Stats, on just 15 total attempts. And that's despite facing both the Chiefs and Cowboys so far! Look for Carr to be throwing more underneath to Darren Waller in this one, and for the Raiders to be running the ball a bit more this week.
-- Ben Gretch (@YardsPerGretch)
Mike Williams to Score Anytime (+116)
The breakout is finally here! Joke's on me -- I traded my only share of him in dynasty leagues this offseason. Williams has scored in every game thus far, including twice last week. He is among the league leaders in overall targets and trails only his teammate Keenan Allen by one red-zone target in the entire NFL. He has at least seven catches and a touchdown in every game. The Raiders have allowed the fifth-most catches to wide receivers. The Chargers are top 10 in red-zone pass rate, with Williams being the beneficiary so far in 2021. The Raiders have struggled to contain opposing wide receivers and I expect Williams to continue his dominant start to 2021.
-- Tom Viera (@Tom_Viera)
Derek Carr Under 324.5 Passing Yards and Justin Herbert 12+ Rushing Yards (+150) - DraftKings
As many on the team have already mentioned, the strength of this Chargers team is their passing defense. Over the last two weeks, they've limited Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott to 260 and 237 passing yards, respectively. Now, Derek Carr's on an insane streak in which he's eclipsed 315 passing yards in six consecutive healthy games. So just to be safe, we can use an alternate total of 324.5 -- however, if you lower the yardage to under 299.5, you'll be looking at mouthwatering +200 odds. On the other side, the Raiders have been extremely generous to opposing signal-callers, particularly on the ground. To date, the 41 rushing yards allowed per game to the position ranks second-most in the league. Meanwhile, Justin Herbert has totaled 12 or more rushing yards in 10 of his 18 career starts, including 14 and 24 in his two matchups against Vegas last season. There's no reason for him not to take advantage of a huge weakness on the Raiders' defense. As a side note, if you change Carr's yardage to under 299.5 and Herbert's rushing to 15+, you'll get +255 odds on that.
-- Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)