NFL odds, betting: Here's our blueprint for betting Rams-Raiders on Thursday night

Three weeks ago, we were all wondering if Josh McDaniels would make it to December as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Their 2-7 record at the time brought QB Derek Carr to tears, and there was hardly any faith that the season was salvageable. However, after hitting rock bottom in an embarrassing loss to the Colts, the Raiders responded by ripping off three straight victories. The Raiders' resurgence started with consecutive overtime wins on the road against Denver and Seattle and carried over to last week's 27-20 win over the Chargers.

You can point to running back Josh Jacobs as a big reason for the Raiders' turnaround. He has been the catalyst for the Raiders' recent success, combining for 373 rushing yards over the past two games. Those are impressive numbers, but they are unlikely to be sustainable against some of the league's more formidable defenses. So can Carr shoulder the load if Jacobs gets slowed down? Your answer will likely determine how you're betting Thursday night's game.

The Raiders are 6.5-point road favorites against a Rams team in the middle of a six-game losing streak. Here's why I am laying the heavy road chalk with the Raiders, plus a few different ways to attack the game.

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) and wide receiver Davante Adams (17) celebrate their touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Davante Adams and Derek Carr should be tough to contain Thursday night. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Las Vegas Raiders (-6.5)

I would be very uncomfortable playing the Raiders in this spot against almost any other team, but I just have the feeling the Rams are completely checked out. Claiming Baker Mayfield off waivers feels more like a signal that they are looking to the future than an attempt to resurrect the season. Outside of motivation, this game comes down to which team can take advantage of their opponents' struggling pass defense. The Rams can slow down Jacobs, but forcing the Raiders to attack them through the air won't end well.

Davante Adams is coming off an eight-reception, 177-yard performance in which he scored two touchdowns. The Carr-Adams connection has put up massive numbers during the Raiders' win streak, and they might be able to top last week against this Rams secondary. According to Football Outsiders, Los Angeles allows more yards per game to their opponents' top receiver than any other team in the NFL. The Raiders' offense could be even more explosive with Jacobs getting a smaller workload, and that will only help us cover this number. A short week with limited preparation time helps the more talented team, and I am betting both teams continue to surge in opposite directions.

Halftime/final: Raiders/Raiders (-110)

Teasing down from 7 or 6.5 is always a viable option when you are comfortable the team will win but less confident they're in a spot to do it by a wide margin. If you want to get away from laying a big number without relying on another team, parlaying the first-half moneyline with the full game moneyline at -110 is a sound way to do it. The first half is the Raiders' higher scoring half by a small margin (1.7 points per game), and they also average more points than the Rams (by 2.4 points per game) in first halves. Add in a motivational edge from the Raiders resurrected season, and it's hard to imagine this being a flat spot for Las Vegas.

First half: Both teams to score 10 points or more (+190)

We have two teams that average at least 10 points in the first half this season, and both have bottom-five secondaries. There is a legitimate concern about the uncertainty with the Rams' quarterback position, but I am willing to gamble at this price. The Rams hung 13 points on Seattle before halftime last week, and a team with nothing to lose is likely looking for big plays early to steal momentum. This is a solid play at +190 odds.

One-game parlay: +2200

  • Raiders ML

  • Davante Adams anytime TD

  • Adams over 75 receiving yards

  • Van Jefferson anytime TD

  • Kyren Williams 17-plus receiving yards

We are building off the premise of the Rams slowing down Jacobs enough to force Carr to win the game with his arm. The combination of the Rams' struggles to cover their opponent's best receiver and the gap between Adams and the rest of the wideouts makes him the perfect player to warrant our most significant investment. Adams has at least 74 yards in five straight games and has found the end zone seven times during the same period.

The Raiders' pass defense is 31st in EPA per dropback allowed and dead last at covering running backs out of the backfield. So we wrap up the monster parlay with two Rams offensive props from players who will likely benefit from McVay attacking the weak spots in Las Vegas' defense.

Stats provided by Football Outsiders, rbsdm, and Team Rankings.