Raiders vs Chargers Preview & Free Pick [October 4th 2021]

Las Vegas (3-0) at LA Chargers (2-1)
When: Monday, October 4th, 2021
Where: SoFi Stadium,
Inglewood, CA
Time: 8:15 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Los Angeles -3/52.5

We are just into Week 4 of the NFL season, but the most surprising division so far is the AFC West. The Super Bowl-contending Kansas City Chiefs were the overwhelming favorite to run away with this division, but they are looking up at everyone else. The Las Vegas Raiders take their 3-0 record into Los Angeles to battle the Chargers, who are right behind Vegas at 2-1. The Denver Broncos are also up top at 3-0 with the Raiders in an upside-down AFC West. The Chargers will return home after knocking off the Chiefs at Arrowhead last week 30-24, while the Raiders won their second overtime game of the season at home in a 31-28 triumph over the Miami Dolphins.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September after compiling a league-leading 1,203 passing yards and six touchdowns to go along with two interceptions. Las Vegas leads the league in total offense (471.0 yards per game) and is tied for sixth in scoring (30.0 points per game). The QB facing Carr on Monday night is not too shabby either. L.A.’s Justin Herbert set the NFL rookie record of 31 touchdown passes last season, and tossed four scoring passes in the Chargers upset win at Kansas City last week. He connected with Mike Williams on a 4-yard scoring pass with 32 seconds left while outdueling Patrick Mahomes. Last season, Herbert passed for 640 yards and four touchdowns against the Raiders as the teams split the two meetings.

Carr is just the fourth player in league history with at least 1,200 passing yards through his team’s first three games of a season. Dating back to Week 16 last season, Carr has thrown for at least 325 yards in five straight games. Las Vegas fell behind visiting Miami 14-0 early on Sunday but Carr led the comeback and Daniel Carlson booted the game-winning 22-yard field goal as time expired. Top Raiders running back Josh Jacobs missed his second game in a row with an injury and Peyton Barber filled in with 111 yards and a TD on 23 carries. Jacobs is currently questionable for Monday. The Chargers have the worst run defense in the NFL, entering Week 4. The Raiders are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games on a Monday. Defensive tackle Solomon Thomas (knee) was among the Las Vegas players who were limited at practice on Thursday. He leads the Raiders with 2 1/2 sacks.

Herbert became the fifth player in the Super Bowl era to record five games with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in his first two seasons. Herbert did injure his hand last week but is expected to be fine. Mike Williams was his favorite target last week with 122 yards receiving and two TDs and is off to a fantasy owners dream start (22 catches, 295 yards, four TDs). The Chargers are currently 19th in the NFL with 22.3 points per game and ninth with 394.7 total yards per contest. The team has been having some issues scoring in the red zone but the Raiders are 30th in the league in opponents’ red zone touchdown scoring percentage. New head coach Brandon Staley’s defense has forced six takeaways so far but they lead the league in penalties as a whole (32 for 243 yards. Receiver Keenan Allen (ankle) and safety Derwin James (toe, shoulder) were among the Chargers who were limited in practice.

I don’t think anyone expected these teams to be a combined 5-1 coming into this Monday night matchup. I’ll side with the Raiders in this one. Carr and the Raiders have been very good on Monday nights the last few seasons and even have a win this year over the Ravens. This will also feel like a true home game for Las Vegas with all the leftover L.A. Raiders fans packing SoFi Stadium. Give me the points.

Pick: Raiders +3
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