Examining trends for each team can help you make better-informed gambling and fantasy decisions. It’s never wise to bet a game based on a single trend and it’s also never wise to back off a wager based on a single trend, either. With that said, trends can point you in the right direction by corroborating stats and information you’ve gathered or they can make you reconsider making a bad wager based on flimsy data. I’ve gone game-by-game and compiled the most relevant trends for each team heading into this week’s contests. I’ve included any bets or leans I have for each game at the end of each writeup. Good luck with your wagers!
Thursday Night Football
Los Angeles Chargers (4-9, 6-7 ATS) at Las Vegas Raiders (7-6, 7-6), 8:20 p.m.
Implied Team Totals: Chargers 25, Raiders 28.5
Spread/Total Movements: 55 to 53.5
Chargers Injuries to Watch: WR Keenan Allen (hamstring), WR Mike Williams (back), RB Austin Ekeler (quad), RT Bryan Bulaga (concussion, out), FS Nasir Adderly (shoulder, doubtful), LB Denzel Perryman (back, doubtful), LB Uchenna Nwosu (back)
Raiders Injuries to Watch: WR Henry Ruggs (COVID-19, out), DE Clelin Ferrell (shoulder, out), CB Damon Arnette (concussion, out), S Johnathan Abram (concussion, out), LB Nicholas Morrow (concussion, out), CB Nevin Lawson (illness)
The Chargers snapped a six-game ATS losing streak with their 20-17 victory over the Falcons last week.
Los Angeles has played under the total in three straight games after playing over the total in seven straight in Weeks 4-11.
Justin Herbert has hit the rookie wall as he’s averaged 6.1 YPA or worse in four of his last five games after never doing it in his first seven starts. He’s failed to hit 18+ FP in three straight games, but he gets a great matchup to potentially bounce back in. The Raiders have allowed two TD passes in four straight games, and Herbert got them for 326/2 passing in Week 9.
Austin Ekeler is averaging 9.8 targets and 13.0 carries per game in his five full games with Herbert, and he’s reached 20+ touches in five of his six full games overall. Ekeler is averaging 114.3 scrimmage yards per game without a touchdown since coming back to the lineup three weeks ago. Jonathan Taylor posted 165/2 scrimmage and Nyheim Hines managed 75/0 scrimmage in this matchup last week.
Kalen Ballage stunk in his early-down thumper role (32% of the snaps) with Justin Jackson (15%) back in the lineup. Ballage has seen seven carries in each of the last two games next to Ekeler. He managed just 14 rushing yards against a tough Falcons run defense last week.
The Chargers are all kinds of banged up at WR with Mike Williams (back) and Keenan Allen (hamstring) each leaving early last week. Allen hasn’t reached 55+ receiving yards since Ekeler returned to the lineup but he’s still seen 10+ targets in four straight games. Keenan posted 9/103/1 receiving in this matchup in Week 9.
Williams has failed to reach 9 FP in each of his last three games and in four of his last five games. He has just 13 catches in that span with four games under 45 receiving yards. Williams had 5/81 in this matchup in early November.
Tyron Johnson and Jalen Guyton could have bigger roles if Allen and/or Williams can’t play on TNF. Johnson posted 6/55/1 receiving on seven targets and 36 routes last week while Guyton had just an eight-yard catch on three targets and 40 routes.
Hunter Henry has reached double-digit FP in four of his last five games, and he has 4+ catches in six of his last seven games. His lone dud came (1/5 receiving) against the Patriots in their 45-0 loss. He managed just 4/33 receiving on seven targets against the Raiders in Week 9.
Las Vegas beat the Chargers 31-26 in Week 9 as one-point road underdogs in a game totaled at 52 points.
The Raiders have failed to cover in three straight games.
Las Vegas has allowed 31+ points in four straight games and 38.3 points per game in that stretch, which resulted in the dismissal of DC Paul Guenther.
The Raiders are 10-3 toward overs.
Derek Carr has attempted 45+ passes and he’s posted 25+ FP in consecutive weeks with Las Vegas’ defense and their running game bottoming out the last two weeks. The Raiders have scored 27+ points in five of their last six games to cover up for their defense, and Carr will have to air it out plenty in this week’s highest totaled game of the week (53.5 points). He managed just 15 FP against the Chargers in Week 9, but he won’t be able to get away with a season-low 23 attempts again this week.
Darren Waller has posted 20/275/2 receiving with 59.5 FP with the Raiders skewing pass-heavy the last two weeks. He’s now posted 7+ catches and 75+ yards in three of his last four games. Waller managed just 5/22/1 receiving on 10 targets against the Chargers earlier this season.
Nelson Agholor has double-digit FP in three of his last four games after posting 5/100/1 receiving on nine targets against the Colts last week. He has 4+ catches in four straight games, and he managed 2/55/1 receiving on three targets in this matchup in Week 9.
Henry Ruggs has three catches in three straight games, but he’s only reached 9+ once thanks to the Miracle in the Meadowlands. He failed to catch any of his three targets in this matchup in Week 9, and he’s been ruled out as a COVID-19 close contact. Bryan Edwards and Zay Jones will see an increase in snaps after seeing 29% and 24% snap shares, respectively.
Josh Jacobs trolled fantasy players on Instagram last week, but he ended up playing through his ankle injury. He finished with 13/49 rushing and 3/25 receiving on five targets for 10.4 FP while playing a backfield-high 43% of the snaps. Jacobs has reached 14+ FP just once since Week 5 as his YPC average sits at just 3.8 yards. He’s also reached 6+ FP as a receiver just once since the season opener. Jacobs posted 14/65/1 rushing in their victory over the Raiders earlier this season.
Los Angeles +3.5 (Staff Pick Lean)
Kalen Ballage (LAC) over 16.5 rushing yards (Best Bet)