Los Angeles Chargers vs Las Vegas Raiders Prediction & Best Bets: Herbert, Chargers to Clinch Playoff Berth in Elimination Encounter With Rival Raiders

Eddie Griffin

The final spot in the NFL playoffs will be decided in the final game of the regular season, as the Los Angeles Chargers will take on the Las Vegas Raiders in a winner-take-all showdown.

Perhaps it’s fitting for the team from the Las Vegas area to be involved in a high-stakes matchup in the 272nd and final game of the NFL regular season. That they’re in this position is an achievement in itself, given the season that they have had. But to secure their first playoff berth since the 2016 season would be astounding for a team that was 6-7 with four games remaining.

It is also quite an achievement for the Chargers to be in this position because they should have sewn up their spot already. But thanks to too many close home losses and an inexplicable loss to the Texans two weeks ago, they must win a rivalry game on the road for the franchise to avoid a third straight season without playoff football.

Los Angeles Chargers vs Las Vegas Raiders Matchup Info and Betting Odds

Matchup Information

  • Game Matchup: Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) vs Las Vegas Raiders (9-7)
  • Venue & Location: Allegiant Stadium (Paradise, Nevada)
  • Date: Sunday, January 9, 2022
  • Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBC

Betting Odds

  • Spread: Los Angeles Chargers -3 (-115), Las Vegas Raiders +3 (-105)
  • Total: OVER 49 (-110), UNDER 49 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Los Angeles Chargers -160, Las Vegas Raiders +135

Odds are via BetMGM.

Los Angeles Chargers vs Las Vegas Raiders Betting Outlook

Chargers Seek Season Sweep of Rival Raiders

With an emerging superstar at quarterback in Justin Herbert, the Chargers certainly have the potential to be a long-term contender. But at times this season, they have looked like they could be one of the best teams in a wide-open AFC right now.

However, those moments have been far too fleeting, which is why the Chargers find themselves in this position. They have lost four one-score games at home, to the Cowboys, Patriots, Vikings, and Chiefs.

And somehow, someway they managed an absolute implosion in a Week 16 loss to the Texans, who compiled 41 points, 437 yards, and three takeaways in their stunning win.

The reasons for those losses are numerous. But fairly or unfairly, the quarterback is going to draw a lot of the focus, win, lose, or draw. And Herbert’s numbers in losses make for some unpleasant reading.

Seven times this season, Herbert’s number of interceptions has equaled or outweighed his number of touchdown passes. The Chargers’ record in those games? 1-6. Ouch.

Here are his season splits in wins and losses.

Justin Herbert in Wins

  • Passing Yards Per Game: 311.7
  • Completion Percentage: 70.5%
  • Yards Per Attempt: 8.2
  • Touchdown Passes: 25
  • Interceptions: 3

Justin Herbert in Losses

  • Passing Yards Per Game: 260.9
  • Completion Percentage: 63.2%
  • Yards Per Attempt: 6.9
  • Touchdown Passes: 10
  • Interceptions: 11

Herbert has yet to throw an interception in three games against the Raiders. In those games, he has completed 67 percent of his passes for 862 yards and seven touchdowns. The Raiders are dead last in the NFL in interceptions with five. If Herbert keeps it clean, the Chargers will–or should, at least–be in position to win and get in.

Big Win in Indianapolis Puts Raiders in Position for Postseason

When the Raiders were 6-7 and fresh off of a 39-point loss to the Chiefs, it didn’t appear that they were going to end up here, especially with so many other hopefuls in the mix.

But three wins later, here we are, and here they are. Every game since that Week 14 loss has been a must-win game, and they have come through each time.

Statistically, very little jumps off of the page about the Raiders on offense or defense. They stand to have three players with 100+ tackles, provided linebacker Cory Littleton gets two stops against the Chargers. And receiver Hunter Renfrow is already over the 1,000-yard mark and one catch away from 100.

But the Raiders are here because they have found a way to win close games time and again this season. They have played eight one-score games this season and have come out on the short end only twice. Five of those wins have come on the final play, and they are 3-0 in overtime games.

Last week, they pulled out their second walk-off win in three games, taking down the Colts 23-20 in Indianapolis. After the Colts tied it with under two minutes left, Derek Carr marched the Raiders down the field to set up Daniel Carlson’s 33-yard game-winning kick.

It was a win against the odds in more than one way for the Raiders. They were a sizable underdog on the road against one of the hottest teams in the league, and they won despite allowing Colts RB Jonathan Taylor to hit the 100-yard mark. Prior to last Sunday, the Colts were 12-0 over the past two seasons when Taylor reached the century mark.

Los Angeles Chargers vs Las Vegas Raiders Prediction and Best Bet

Los Angeles Chargers 31, Las Vegas Raiders 24 (Chargers -3 & OVER 49)

You can’t discount the resilience that the Raiders have shown in giving themselves a chance to make the playoffs.

But the Chargers are the better team, and this is a favorable matchup for Herbert. Yes, the Raiders have been stingy against the pass in their win streak. But that was against Nick Mullens, Drew Lock, and Carson Wentz, who had been in isolation and unable to practice after testing positive for COVID.

If the Chargers do reach the point total, we will likely see them in action next weekend. When they have hit the 30-point mark this season, they are 6-0. In Herbert’s two seasons, he is 10-2 when the team scores 30+ points, with wins in nine straight in that scenario.

Look for Herbert to shine in the biggest game of his young career and for the Chargers to hit that magic number on the way to a playoff berth-clinching win.

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