When the Chargers (9-7) and Raiders (9-7) hook up for the final game of the 2021 NFL regular season on “Sunday Night Football” (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC), they will be playing what feels like a playoff game. Barring a tie, only one of the two teams can make the AFC playoffs as a wild-card team behind the West-winning Chiefs.
The Chargers are coming off a rebound home win over the Broncos, while the Raiders stayed alive by beating the Colts on the road in Week 17. Justin Herbert and Derek Carr will duel for one of the final two wild-card spots behind the Patriots.
The Chargers and Raiders will be at near full strength, so the game should live up to the hype.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Chargers vs. Raiders in Week 18, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for “Sunday Night Football.”
MORE: Complete NFL playoff picture for Week 18
Chargers vs. Raiders odds for Sunday Night Football
- Spread: Chargers by 3
- Over/under: 49.5
- Moneyline: -164, +138
The Chargers have held as field-goal road favorites all week. They have been the better overall team all season and beat the Raiders handily at home, 28-14, in Week 4. There also is no home-field edge when it comes to either Los Angles or Las Vegas.
(betting odds per FanDuel Sportsbook)
Chargers vs. Raiders all-time series
The Raiders lead the series 66-56-2. The Chargers have won two in a row. Before then Las Vegas had a three-game winning streak going back to Oakland. That stopped a four-game run by the Chargers, which came on the heels of another three-game Raiders roll.
Three trends to know
—59 percent of spread bettors are siding with the Raiders as home night underdogs over the more electric Chargers.
—A whopping 73 percent of over/under bettors think the Chargers and Raiders offenses will exceed the under 50 total.
—The Chargers are only 4-6 against the spread and 5-5 straight up in their past 10 games. The total has gone over eight times in those games. The Raiders are only 4-6 ATS and 5-5 SU in their past 10 games, too. The total has gone over only four times.
Three things to watch
Austin Ekeler vs. the Raiders defense
Ekeler has had a terrific season as the Chargers’ lead back in the new offense under Joe Lombardi. He missed Week 16 but came back strong in Week 17. He will get a ton of touches to use his speed and quickness to burn the Raiders.
Josh Jacobs vs. the Chargers defense
Jacobs had his first 100-yard rushing game of the season in Week 16 against the Broncos. He has a great matchup this week and was key to winning a close game vs. the Colts in Week 18. It would be nice if he can get help from the passing game to open up the running lanes.
Carr, Herbert and his turnovers
Both quarterbacks have been sloppy with the ball at times. One or two mistakes can make a huge difference in a tight high-scoring game in which both teams will move the ball well. Herbert is the more reliable QB.
Stats that matter
116.1 and 136.7. That’s how many rushing yards on average the Raiders (No. 21 in the NFL) and Chargers (No. 30 in the NFL) give up. Although Herbert and Carr will dictate much of the action, this game will come down to which back can be more effective all-around, Ekeler or Jacobs.
Chargers vs. Raiders prediction
The Chargers have Herbert and the Raiders hsve Carr. Ekeler also had a more explosive season than Jacobs and Herbert has more dangerous receivers overall. They also can have more defensive success as the Raiders are limited here and can’t handle an offense so multiple, versatile and aggressive. Joey Bosa and the Chargers red-hot defense preserves the game late.
Chargers 34, Raiders 27