Tonight is our 14th Thursday Night Football game of the season. Through 13 games, dogs have gone 7-6 ATS (54%). Road teams have gone 9-4 ATS (69%). Road dogs have gone 6-3 ATS (67%). Divisional road dogs have gone 4-1 ATS (80%). Overs have gone 7-6 (54%).
For an updated breakdown of Thursday's betting action, including a breakdown of the 14-game college hoops slate, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at noon ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the smart money is flowing tonight's Thursday Night Football matchup.
8:20 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders
This Thursday Night showdown features a pair of AFC West rivals with differing motivations. The Chargers (4-9 SU, 5-7-1 ATS) snapped a two game losing skid last week with a 20-17 win over the Falcons, covering as 1-point home favorites. However, Los Angeles has been officially eliminated from the playoffs. On the flip side, the Raiders (7-6 SU, 7-6 ATS) have struggled as of late, losing three of their last four games. Last week, Las Vegas got crushed by the Colts 44-27, failing to cover as 2.5-point home dogs. After the game, Vegas fired defensive coordinator Paul Guenther and replaced him with Rod Marinelli. Unlike the Chargers, the Raiders are still in the hunt for a final playoff spot and desperately need a victory to stay in contention. The Chargers are -65 in point differential this season and the Raiders are -41.
This line opened with the Raiders listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. The public is all over the Raiders, yet we've seen this line fall from -3.5 to -3. This signals sharp reverse line movement on the Chargers, with pros grabbing Los Angeles getting the hook (+ 3.5). Los Angeles has value as a divisional dog (38-31 ATS, 55% this season), a short road dog + 6 or less (48-28 ATS, 63%) and a primetime dog (25-16 ATS, 61%). Short road divisional dogs + 3 or less are 10-4 ATS (71%) this season. This is a revenge game for Los Angeles, who lost to Vegas 31-26 at home in Week 9. The Raiders will be down four defensive starters for this game, including Clelin Ferrell, Damon Arnette and Johnathan Abram.
When it comes to the total, the public sees two respectable offenses and two awful defenses giving up roughly 30 PPG. As a result, many are expecting a shootout and hammering the over. However, despite this lopsided over betting, we've actually seen the total drop from 54.5 to 53.5. This signals some respected under money hitting the total. The under would match a profitable late season divisional under trend. December divisional unders that are 45 or more are 6-3 this year and roughly 56% over the past decade. Primetime unders are 25-16 (61%) this season. Referee John Hussey has historically favored unders (57%). Both teams have been profitable to the over this season, with the Chargers 7-6 and the Raiders 10-3.