The Raiders have started the season 3-0 while scoring 30 points per game. Will the Los Angeles Chargers be the first team to figure Las Vegas out? For your NFL picks, read my prediction below.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Monday, October 04, 2021 – 08:15 PM EDT at United Airlines Field
The Las Vegas Raiders have started the season 3-0 and have done it between two overtime wins and a single-digit win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Chargers have been doing the same. They won two games by one possession and lost one as time expired on a field goal.
Therefore, NFL odds tell this will be a close game.
The Raiders are led by Derek Carr who has thrown for a league-best 1,203 yards in three games this season. Carr has also thrown six touchdowns and two interceptions on the season.
At the offensive line, the Raiders haven’t helped Carr, struggling to do their job in pass protection. They’ve also been terrible in the run block this season, with the run game averaging 91.3 yards per game. The reality is, the Raiders are forcing Carr to get the ball out of his hands quickly and he’s got the receivers that can make plays. That’s been very helpful.
The more surprising thing this season has been the Raiders' defense. They’ve been bad against the run and have missed plenty of tackles, but the pass rush and coverage have actually been near the top of the league to start the season.
On the other hand, the Chargers have been hot and cold offensively this season. They’re averaging just 22.3 points per game but have averaged over 400 yards of offense just like the Raiders. Justin Herbert has thrown for 956 yards through three games with six touchdowns and three interceptions. He’s found some reliable targets between Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and Austin Ekeler.
On defense, the Chargers have been much worse than the Raiders, lacking in the run game, allowing 170 yards per game on the ground to start the season. The coverage has been weak and Los Angeles continues to miss tackles in the open field. The one area where the Chargers have done well is in the pass rush but due to a poor secondary, the pass rush sometimes goes to waste.
The Chargers have really struggled stopping the run, but the Raiders rushing offense is basically non-existent this season. That will be a plus for the Chargers, who have allowed just 210.7 yards per game in the air.
However, the Chargers haven’t been great against the pass either. They’re allowing 210.7 yards because teams have been able to find holes in the run game.
On the flip side, the Raiders have been fantastic in the passing game, allowing just 248.3 yards per game. The big thing with Las Vegas is that they’ll have to minimize big plays and start tackling the first try. They’ll also have to stop the run against the Chargers, which will be difficult when looking at how well the Chargers have blocked in the run game this season.
If the Chargers find a way to run the football early, the whole playbook will open up and they’ll score some points along with the Raiders.
Choose your best sportsbook. It’s looking like a shootout in Los Angeles on Monday night.
*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.