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Why you should take the Raiders against the spread on TNF

Thursday Night Football brings a must win for the Raiders to stay in the playoff race.

Quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders speaks to teammates on the sideline in the first half of their game against the Indianapolis Colts at Allegiant Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders are a Jeckyl and Hyde organization right now, as they’ve been able to put up good points and a winning record, but their defense just doesn’t have the personnel to stop anybody. The Colts completely mashed them last week, prompting the firing of their defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. That is probably the right move, but it isn’t going to bring them better players.

The Chargers appear to be poorly coached, as they have talent and Justin Herbert has been playing like a veteran, but they lose close games more often than not and their special teams has been awful. They are likely the best 4-9 team out there, but that doesn’t change the fact they can’t win games.

The Raiders are road favorites in this game, as they are favored by 3.5-points. The total is set at 53 at DraftKings Sportsbook.

ATS Pick: Raiders

The Raiders will be without their deep threat Henry Ruggs, but I see the Raiders leaning on the run game after finding success the last time these two teams met this season. The Chargers have the better defense, but they haven’t played up to expectations while the Raiders put up 31 points on them. And that is one of the lower point-totals they’ve put together in wins this season.

On the year, the Raiders are averaging the 11th most points while the Chargers are 22nd. Defensively, the Raiders have given up the 30th most points while the Chargers rank 26th in that category. And yes, the over does look appealing this week.

The Raiders are a hard team to figure out, but the Chargers are a little easier to get a grasp on. Coach Anthony Lynn is just keeping the seat warm for whoever coaches the Chargers next season and they don’t have much to play for at this point. They always find ways to lose and now with Austin Ekeler back, they aren’t unleashing Herbert like they had earlier in the season. I don’t know how you can bet on this team and feel good about it.

The Raiders need to win their next three games and get a little help to make the playoffs, so this is a must win game for them. That doesn’t mean they’ll win of course, as they had must win games last year that they shrunk from, but with Josh Jacobs healthy and Carr playing well, I think you have to lean the Raiders way.

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