Chargers vs. Raiders NFL Week 18 Picks: Arguments for Both Sides of the SNF Spread

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Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers drops back to pass over the defense. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP.

When I went to bed last night, I thought I’d be writing about the Cowboys and the Eagles in a who gives a damn game to decide the Cowboys seeding for the NFC Playoffs. Then when I woke up this morning and sat down with coffee in my Montreal Canadiens mug, I saw that we have a game that… that matters.

BLESS YOU FLEX GODS!

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Sunday, January 09, 2022 – 08:20 PM EST at Allegiant Stadium

That’s right the Cowboys/Eagles game has been moved to Saturday night and instead it’ll be an AFC West battle between the current 7th and 8th seeds in the American Football Conference, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders.

Two teams that have been inexplicably tied together for the last 62 years will face off with not only their playoff hopes on the line (with the Chargers currently locked in as the 7th seed) but the positioning/hopes for Indianapolis (who play the Jaguars) and Baltimore and Pittsburgh, who face each other on Sunday afternoon.

The Chargers and Raiders both need a win and they're in, as it is unlikely that the Colts will look at the lights against a Jaguars team limping to the finish, and Baltimore and Pittsburgh are in a knife fight to avoid going under .500 for the season.

When looking at this game we have to ask the question “are the Raiders for real?” 

Why is that? Cause this season this team has gone from extreme highs and extreme lows with very little lulls in-between, and that’s even before we delve into all the stuff with Jon Gruden and the emails.

This game will come down to both teams quarterbacks, for the Raiders it is the empirically better of the Carr Brothers, Derek, battling against what may be the most handsome man to play behind center for the Chargers ever/the man Sid Gillman was waiting for his whole life to coach, Justin Herbert.

With the Raiders sixth in the NFL in passing yards per game (247.7) and LA fourth at 277.8 per game and both QBs under 400 yards away from 5,000 yards passing this season, we have two great players looking to throw BOMBS this Sunday night under the bright lights of Sin City.

Since the QBs may be a push on the stat sheet, we have to remember that defense wins championships and see that the Raiders, once held to a defensive standard that seemed undeniable, now are 24th in points against, giving up an average of 25.4 per game and in their first matchup against the Chargers at SoFi earlier this season, they got doubled up 28-14, which is not a good sign. 

Another sign is that the Chargers defense has not shut out an opponent or kept them to one score this season, that being said, for my NFL pick I’d take the Chargers straight up (-150 per Heritage Sports) and the O 48.5 which we were TWO POINTS away from getting last night (I screamed at my television for all of us), as they make their way to the AFC playoffs to play more than likely the Kansas City Chiefs in what will be a tremendous wild card weekend.

On that note, it has been a BLAST writing these SNF columns at BMR and hopefully, I’ll be back for the playoffs!

NFL Pick: Chargers (-150) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Chargers (-150)
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NFL Pick: Over 48.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Over 48.5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.