Chargers Vs. Raiders Betting Preview

Written By


joey bosa

The NFL schedule maker has a sense of humor.

The last time we saw the Los Angeles Chargers, they were losing their season on the last play of an overtime heartbreak  against the Las Vegas Raiders in January.

Defeat denied them a playoff berth, launching a long, bitter off-season.

And the next time we  see them, they host  the Raiders in NFL Week 1.

Here’s a look forward  and back for California natives, gamblers and football fans awaiting  the rematch of that epic roller-coaster ride.


It’s a different season,  with some new looks on each team.

Here are some betting particulars.

The public loves this spread number between Los Angeles -3.5 to -4 at DraftKings.

It opened at -3.5 and was driven to four by Chargers money. Raiders backers shot that number down to 3.5 with a twist on Tuesday.

 The Raiders were -105 and the Chargers came  in -115. That means they are were a nudge from going back up to four.

Overall, the Chargers have been bringing in a little more money.

The total is 52.5. The season finale ended with 67 points, as the Raiders prevailed 35-32.

That total could fluctuate with sportsbook operators.

(Caesars sports book midweek figures indicate that 88% of its bettors had taken the over 52. What happens if the number is nudged to 52.5 or 53 should be interesting.)

Here are some interesting NFL Week 1 Game props at DraftKings.

Anytime touchdown scorer:


Austin Ekeler -140

Keenan Allen +130

Mike Williams +140

Off-season pickup Gerald Everett +230

Justin Herbert +425


New pickup Davante Adams +100

Hunter Renfrow +190

Darren Waller +180

Derek Carr +1000

Variable: Can Carr succeed at getting the ball to Adams the way Aaron Rodgers did in Green Bay?

Star receivers coming to a new team try to make a big impression throughout the first game, often on the first drive. Bettors also will be looking at Adams as a first-TD scorer, just as they did when he was in Green Bay.

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, one of the league’s star-power players, has a number of props bettors will look at.

They include the over-under for yardage at 284.5. Both sides are -115. It was raised slightly in midweek from 279.5

The over-under for  Carr is 265.5 yards.

Both sides are -115.

Although it’s a new year, there is one DraftKings prop reminding bettors that all is not forgotten about the chaotic regular-season finale.

Will the final play of the game be a field goal in overtime? Yes is +1700.


Pass the salt, Chargers fans. Somebody just rubbed it in that  wound.

Let’s Go Back

Michaels at the Mic

“Do You Believe in Miracles…YES!”

That was Al Michaels in 1980, describing the United States Olympic hockey team’s mammoth  upset of  the Soviet Union. 

In 2022,  it was the books gaining a  miracle, averting looming catastrophe.

Michaels was fittingly on the call  for this one too, along with Cris Collinsworth.

You can’t make this up.

Much has been made from the Chargers perspective on the Brandon Staley timeout with 38 seconds left in overtime. Had he not done so, the Raiders’ next play would likely have been the last of the game, sending both teams to the playoffs.

Chargers’ fans painfully recall the Raiders then stopping the clock  with two seconds left and booting  the Chargers out of the post-season.

What’s less known is the sportsbook and betting saga.


Let’s examine this development through the eyes of Michaels. Collinsworth, and Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings.

Here’s what set it up:

It started with the Indianapolis Colts losing earlier that day to  the Jacksonville Jaguars in the season finale as a heavy favorite. That meant that the Raiders and Chargers would both make the playoffs with a tie.

It continued with the Pittsburgh Steelers upsetting the Baltimore Ravens in overtime. Now another team desperately wanted this to end in anything but a tie.

For the books, the planets were lining up, badly.

“We were on the hook for a multi-million dollar hit if that game ended in a tie,” Avello told this week. 

“The problem with that game was that the tie was out there on social media all week. There was talk all week long that if there was a tie, both teams would go to the playoffs. 

“People played it and I mean they were all over that one early.  I don’t remember what the number was, just that it was less than normal because we knew people were on it. You can’t balance that game out.”

It’s  all one-way exposure. There isn’t a “no” part of the prop to create a second wagering side.

“There had been a lot of concern going into that week about the teams actually playing for a tie if that’s where the game stood in the second half,” Avello said. “And if it came down to that at the end, they were just going to let it happen.”

For more than 55 minutes of the contest, it appeared DraftKings would dodge that bullet.

The Chargers trailed 29-14. The game, and their season, looked over for them.

And then came the craziness.

Nugget No. 1 _ Herbert throws a touchdown pass on 4th and 21.

Nugget No 2 _ The Chargers make a risky two-point conversion. Now it’s 29-22.

The improbabilities grew. The Chargers got the ball back and converted 4th and 10. There was a Raiders hold on a missed fourth-down conversion. 

Another 4th-and-10 got made after that. There was  a miraculous catch at the 12. And finally, on the last play, Herbert tossed  another score.

Four conversions on fourth down and a touchdown on the final play, when everyone knew the pass had to go into the end zone.

“This is insane,”  Michaels said.

Yes, it was. The play capped a drive of  19 plays for 83 yards and  2:06 clock time.

In real time, counting commercials, the two-minute warning, replays and penalties, it consumed more than 22 minutes of real time. No drive lasts that long.

Talk about torture. That’s a long time to be on the cusp of victory, or defeat. Think of all the money that would change with one big play, either way.

Any one of several different plays could  have ended the game. None did, as the Chargers kept fighting back.

And then it was OT

To the book, this was like underwriting a multi-legged parlay of bad news.

 “We absolutely get our head handed to us with that ending,” Avello said. “ I did not like our position at the end of that game. It looked for sure like that was going to happen.”

But not until the knife was twisted.

Michaels announced that the Raiders sought to become the first team in 60 years to make the playoffs after making a midseason coaching change. It looked due.  Geez, Chargers fans, that too?

The Raiders lined up for an overtime field goal.

“Daniel Carlson hasn’t missed in this stadium,” Michaels said, imposing the jinx. Carlson did squeeze the ball in between the goalposts, but it nearly hit the upright. If there had been a piece of paper between the ball and the upright, it would have been a lot.

The Chargers came back and converted another big 4th down. Again, one play from their season being over.

“I’m speechless at this point,” Michaels said.

“If this was a movie, I would have already left,” Collinsworth said. “The script is too unbelievable.”

But it had one more plot. Staley called the infamous timeout, when it looked like the Raiders would run a play rather than take a knee to run out the clock and bring both teams to the post-season.

The announcers were stunned again. So was the Chargers sideline. So, too, were legions of Chargers bettors.

The only sigh of relief came from the books.

“I’m so glad he called that timeout, Avello said.

Post-game reactions depended upon perspectives.

For fans, gamblers and the books, it was a roller-coaster ride for the ages.

Victory had come and gone several times. The journey had defined the human interaction with gambling: agony, ecstasy, exhilaration, frustration and, finally in some cases, blood-pressure pills.

Many people with no vested interest called it the best game they ever saw. They said that Herbert’s heroics is why they love football.

Most viewers ended with that perspective.

And when those involved reflect on it, many will feel the same.