The Las Vegas Raiders have kept their faint playoffs hopes – and perhaps coach Josh McDaniels’ job – alive with a three-game winning streak.
They take that momentum to Los Angeles on Thursday night to face the Rams (3-9), who are tied for the fewest wins in the NFC.
The Rams tabled any hopes of a Super Bowl repeat long ago with quarterback Matthew Stafford on the shelf, along with wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson. All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald will also miss Thursday night’s game.
The Raiders (5-7) can ill afford a letdown with a three-game stretch ahead against the Rams, Patriots and Steelers before closing the regular season with a pair of daunting home games against the 49ers and Chiefs.
Las Vegas is a 6.5-point favorite at BetMGM, where the line has moved from 5.5 points to open, with 73 percent of the spread bets and 79 percent of the money backing the Raiders.
The line is at 7.0 points at BetRivers and DraftKings. Las Vegas has drawn 67 percent of the bets and money at BetRivers and 68 and 76 percent, respectively, at DraftKings.
Raiders QB Derek Carr Over 1.5 Passing TDs (-125 at DraftKings): This has been the most popular player prop at the sportsbook. After an inconsistent start to the season, Carr has found his footing in McDaniels’ offense. He has thrown for multiple touchdowns in five consecutive games and the Rams’ pass rush is far less potent without Donald blowing up the interior.
Rams RB Cam Akers Over 44.5 Rushing Yards (-114 at BetRivers): The other two sportsbooks have a slightly higher total at 45.5 yards, and every yard might count in this one. After being sent home and put on the trade market, Akers is enjoying somewhat of a revival with an average of 13 carries over the past three games. It has been a forced function after the team cut Darrell Henderson. The Rams’ injury-plagued offensive line is woeful, but Akers is coming off a strong game with 17 carries for 60 yards and a pair of scores against Seattle.
Raiders WR Davante Adams Over 89.5 Receiving Yards (-115 at BetMGM): The same yardage total is being offered at -125 at DraftKings, where Adams is also drawing 25 percent of the bets and 25 percent of the money to score the game’s first touchdown. Adams has topped 125 receiving yards in four of his past five games while averaging 8.2 catches for 132.8 yards during that span.
Raiders: TE Darren Waller (hamstring) and WR Hunter Renfrow (oblique) are on IR, and DT Andrew Billings (fibula), ILB Jayon Brown (hand), TE Jesper Horsted (concussion) and CB Rock Ya-Sin are also out. CB Tyler Hall (back) and RB Josh Jacobs are listed as questionable but are expected to play after taking part in limited practice Wednesday.
Rams: Stafford (concussion), Kupp (ankle), Robinson (foot) and Donald (ankle) are out along with LBs Terrell Lewis (back) and Travin Howard (hip) and CB David Long Jr. (groin). With backup QB John Wolford (neck) also questionable, Baker Mayfield could be in line to start after joining the team Tuesday.
The Raiders are still holding a chip and a chair in the AFC wild card picture while the Rams are riding a six-game losing streak – an NFL record for a reigning champion. Las Vegas still has plenty of warts, but Los Angeles is riding out the string with bailing wire. –Raiders 27, Rams 19
–Field Level Media