Raiders vs. Chargers Analysis & Prediction 10/4/21

by | Oct 3, 2021 | nfl

Las Vegas Raiders (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS)

Week 4 NFL

Date/Time: Monday Night Football, October 4, 2021 at 8:15PM EDT

Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California

TV: ESPN

Point Spread: LV+3/LAC-3 (Find the best bonuses >>> Grab a 100% bonus up to $1000!)

Over/Under Total: 52.5

The Las Vegas Raiders come to SoFi Stadium to take on the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football. With the Chiefs struggling, at least momentarily, the AFC West has a new look at the top, with this game going a long way toward determining a possible player. The Chargers are seeing some late-game action start to break their way for a change, and on Sunday, they got a huge win at Arrowhead. Now at home for a two-game stand, they look to make more headway, starting with the unbeaten Raiders. On Sunday, the Raiders won ugly but still won in a 31-28 overtime war with the Dolphins at home. Who can come out in top in this high-stakes divisional MNF spot?

Raiders for Real This Time?

We’ve seen some fast starts fade into oblivion, even under this recent Gruden era. And beating a flawed Steelers team and going to OT to beat a Dolphins team playing with its backup perhaps doesn’t suggest a Raiders renaissance, but what more can one really ask? Even without their starting running back and other issues, they’ve seen some areas that were considered dicey start to turn the corner. Derek Carr has been really good and is starting to more consistently flex that ability to be clutch when they need it most, something he has shown the ability to do before.

Still, subduing an off-key Pittsburgh offense struggling behind a woeful O-line and the sideways Miami offense, which still put up 28 points and doing that to the Chargers, are different things. There is no question that we’re seeing defensive pieces on the Raiders starting to come together. But those first-rounders in the secondary who are showing teeth will be in tougher this week. The Raiders’ middle is improved, and the defensive line is more disruptive, but let’s see how they look against Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, and Keenan Allen.

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Chargers in a Good Spot?

The first season of coach Brandon Staley is seeing some good things on both sides of the ball with the revamped staff. While their late-collapse at home to the Cowboys was quintessential Chargers, the way they charged back to beat the Chiefs on Sunday showed a team that wasn’t half-stepping late just hoping the ceiling doesn’t cave in—a staple of past Chargers teams. The offense has had its bumps but otherwise looks pretty crisp. Herbert is coming along nicely, with a good core of star players, along with an impactful supporting cast.

On the defensive side of the ball, we’re seeing some of Staley’s handiwork really pay off. The defense has been healthy, and we’re seeing guys like S Derwin James, CB Asante Samuel, Jr., Joey Bosa, and others start to make a real impact. Holding Washington, Dallas, and the Chiefs to 60 combined points is pretty good, and usually, the offense will surpass that. The loss to Dallas was puzzling, but it’s part of being a work in progress. Against a difference-making Chargers’ secondary. a defensive front that will greater test the Raiders’ offensive line, and an aerial package will maybe test the Raiders secondary to a greater degree, perhaps some of the Raiders’ overall improvements will resonate less-clearly in this spot.

Potential Problem Areas for the Raiders

Again, Herbert looks better this season, and like Carr, he’s developing a nose for late fourth-quarter victory. It’d be nice if they started getting Ekeler into more space, but he remains a valuable weapon. Keenan Allen is always a threat to catch a lot of passes, and most importantly, WR Mike Williams is really starting to flash some of the form the Chargers wanted to see since making him a high draft pick. It’s a big 1-2 receiver punch that will preoccupy this defense’s energy. The potential is there for side-cast guys to shine, and there are a lot of those on this Chargers team.

The Raiders are hoping to get Jacobs back, but even if they do, will he be at full power? Having Kenyan Drake as the lead back carries some drawbacks, and he shines in more of a complementary role. Darren Waller can have some huge games, with a lot of ordinary ones thrown into the mix. At times, their receiver package goes silent. As much as they try to make stars out of guys like Henry Ruggs, it seems like their most reliable is Hunter Renfrow, a fine player, but iffy as a top threat, certainly when compared to the high-octane Chargers’ receiver corps. Facing a road spot after going overtime in two of their first three games, will we see a less-intact Raiders’ team begin to feel some wear this week? It’s still early enough in the season where they could recover, but any ebbing will cost them in this spot.

Take the Home Team

Taking the Chargers in this spot doesn’t make you a non-believer in the Raiders. I don’t see their improvements as being a mirage or simply the byproduct of their opponents’ personnel issues. I think they’re real and that the Raiders are in a better position than they’ve been in at any point since bringing Gruden back. But the combination of the Chargers’ varied offensive arsenal and their ability to be stout and impactful on defense could create a package where the Raiders see what they’re doing well resonate less this week. I sense a slightly less effervescent Raiders team at SoFi this week, with the Chargers getting the win and cover at home.

Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Los Angeles Chargers minus 3.5 points. The public is very divided on this one. If you’re not comfortable betting it ahead of time, you can always live bet it at the BEST live wagering platform on the web —> Bovada Sportsbook! They offer a generous 50% REAL CASH bonus too!