Thursday Night Football - Chargers at Raiders
For the first time in a while, we get a nice, center-cut, GreenZone play. Our models don't have a wide variance in the projection range and the entire set of outcomes fall into the positive expected value category. We have this as anywhere between a 6 and 7-point game, which is a lot of free value versus the market consensus line of the Raiders only laying 3.
The Raiders are coming off of a bad loss last week at home against the Colts, but are still sitting at 7-6 with a shot at making the playoffs. The 4-9 Chargers head into the desert off a home win against Atlanta, but that was only their second win in the last 7 weeks (other one was vs. the Jets), so they aren't exactly hot.
When the data is this compelling, there has to be overwhelming recent noise (QB injury, plethora of injuries, returning stud for opposing team, etc.) for us to manually override the analytics. In this case, we aren't seeing it. Yes, the Raiders have been struggling on defense, canned Paul Guenther, and inserted interim DC Rod Marinelli. But, if anything, we think the interim DC should be a short term bump to the Raiders D after all the players are put on notice.
This game is being priced like there are two equal teams playing and the home team is getting the obligatory -3. These aren't two equal teams... the Raiders have some very quality wins in 2020 (Saints, at Chiefs, at Browns..) and that's a result of them being an above average football team. The Chargers are somewhere down in our worst-5 in the league and should be at least 3-point dogs to Las Vegas on a neutral field... not when they are playing on the road on a short week at the Raiders friendly confines.
We are going to trust our data and roll with the Raiders for 6.6-units tonight to get Week 15 started off right.