Just last year, a game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders could be for playoff seeding. This year, both teams are having down years, especially now that both are trying to figure out their quarterback situations. A loss for either team means a sub-.500 year immediately. Raiders being at home likely means a huge fan advantage, especially on a short week. Even with bad records, expect both teams to play hard in an AFC West divisional matchup. Each week, Canal Street Chronicles will preview the props and wagers for all Thursday games. Thank you to our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook for the wagering lines for the CSC Thursday Football preview and props.
Thursday Night Football best bets
Raiders game line -2.5(-129)
Although the Raiders have played poorly this season, their record against the spread is even on the year. Meanwhile, the Chargers have covered their spread just five times through 13 games this season. It is curious that this line is not higher in favor of the Raiders. The Chargers just lost starting quarterback Justin Herbert for the rest of the year due to a hand injury and must now give Easton Stick his first ever start. A first NFL start against a rival team, in their stadium, and on a short week seems less than ideal. The Raiders have won more games than they were forecast, and they notch another one this week by more than three against the depleted Chargers.
Aidan O’Connell over 204.5 passing yards(-115)
O’Connell has had some rough games this season, but when facing mediocre secondaries, he has shown the ability to play at an NFL level. Against the Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Giants, and Chicago Bears, O’Connell’s completion percentage was over 64% with a peak of 77%. This success is likely to repeat against a Chargers defense allowing nearly 240 passing yards per game this season. The last time these two teams faced, O’Connell tallied 238 yards in the game. O’Connell has gone over 205 yards in four of his last seven games as well. O’Connell is fighting for his future in the NFL and the conditions are right for him to hit this total in primetime.
Austin Ekeler over 75 rushing + receiving yards(-135)
With this being Easton Stick’s first NFL start, expect the Chargers to rely on their skill position players to alleviate the burden as much as possible against the Raiders. This means using Austin Ekeler in the rushing and passing scheme so that Stick does not hold onto the ball too long. Quick plays to Ekeler will take advantage of a mediocre Raiders defense and neutralize their very good pass rush. Ekeler missed the previous matchup between these two teams, but Joshua Kelley, Derius Davis, and Isaiah Spiller filled in admirably. The backs combined for 159 all-purpose yards against the Raiders on just five catches. Ekeler is much more proficient in the passing game and will see enough volume combined to go over 75 yards in the game.
Long shot of the night
Hunter Renfrow over 50 receiving yards(+330)
The Chargers pass defense is already one of the league’s worst, but they are particularly bad against slot-type receivers. The Green Bay Packers Romeo Doubs and the Detroit Lions Amon-Ra St. Brown all had very good games against the Chargers in recent history. Although Renfrow is running routes at a much lower rate than starter Jakobi Meyers, he is still getting nearly the same amount of targets as Meyers. Renfrow just knows how to get open and actually has the highest yards-per-reception on the team, even higher than superstar Davanta Adams in their last couple of games. Renfrow is averaging over 40 yards per game in his last three, so he only needs to do a bit more to hit a three-to-one prop.