NFL Week 15 Thursday Night Football Preview – Raiders need win against former city mates

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert
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Thursday Night Football Week 15 Matchup – Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders

December 17, 2020, 8:20 pm EDT, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev.

The Las Vegas Raiders are beginning a stretch of two consecutive primetime contests, and they have to win both of them in order to stay in postseason contention. Prior to facing the Dolphins in a Saturday night showdown during Week 16 action, the Raiders will host the Los Angeles Chargers for Thursday Night Football. At 7-6, head coach Jon Gruden’s squad is currently fifth in the AFC’s race for three wild-card spots. In other words, Las Vegas has to win, win some more, and also get help.

Speaking of help, the Raiders’ own schedule may offer some sort of consolation for their current struggles. Miami is their only winning opponent left, preceded by this date with the 4-9 Chargers and followed by a regular-season finale against Denver (5-8). The Chargers have not won two games in a row this entire year, and that is a feat they will be trying to accomplish after scraping past Atlanta 20-17 last weekend. Los Angeles’ other three victories in 2020 have come over the three worst teams in our power rankings: the Jets, Jaguars, and Bengals (and the Falcons are not much better at No. 26).

Be sure to check out our Chargers vs Raiders Thursday Night Football predictions for our expert handicapper’s picks, computer projections, and probabilities for the point spread, total, money line, and individual player performances.

Thursday Night Football Betting Odds & Lines Preview 

The line has not done much of anything, although the Raiders were giving only a field goal at one point before moving slightly above that key number (now -3.5). It’s not hard to see why slightly more money has come in on Las Vegas. Los Angeles has been a disaster of late. Its win over Atlanta had a lot more to do with the Falcons and this team also got humiliated 45-0 two weeks ago by a mediocre New England squad. Even the Chargers’ lone bright spot in 2020, rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, has regressed of late with no better than 6.1 yards per attempt in four of his last five starts.

The total has been on a steady decline, opening at 55 at most books and now registering at 53 as of Wednesday. As mentioned above, Herbert has taken a step back—partly because head coach Anthony Lynn and the rest of the staff have not been opening up the offense for their young star. On the bright side for L.A., its defense actually played quite well against Matt Ryan and the Falcons. Meanwhile, Las Vegas just fired defensive coordinator Paul Guenther and that may light a fire under the unit.

For the thoughts of our expert NFL handicappers, who look at the Thursday Night Football betting odds and lines each week to find the best value for Thursday Night Football Picks, head over to our NFL Picks page—where you’ll also find all of our picks for the rest of the Week 15 games.

2020 Season Thursday Night Football Schedule and Scores

Week 1
Kansas City Chiefs 34, Houston Texans 20

Week 2
Cleveland Browns 35, Cincinnati Bengals 30

Week 3
Miami Dolphins 31, Jacksonville Jaguars 13

Week 4
Denver Broncos 37, New York Jets 28

Week 5
Chicago Bears 20, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19

Week 6
Kansas City Chiefs 26, Buffalo Bills 17 (game played the following Tuesday)

Week 7
Philadelphia Eagles 22, New York Giants 21

Week 8
Atlanta Falcons 25, Carolina Panthers 17

Week 9
Green Bay Packers 34, San Francisco 49ers 17

Week 10
Indianapolis Colts 34, Tennessee Titans 17

Week 11
Seattle Seahawks 28, Arizona Cardinals 21

Week 12
Pittsburgh Steelers 19, Baltimore Ravens 14 (game played the following Wednesday)

Week 13
Baltimore Ravens 34, Dallas Cowboys 17 (game played the following Tuesday)

Week 14
Los Angeles Rams 24, New England Patriots 3

Week 15
Dec. 17, 8:20 PM EDT, Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders
(FOX, NFL Network, Amazon Prime, Twitch)

Week 16 (Christmas Day)
Friday, Dec. 25, 4:30 PM ET, Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
(FOX, NFL Network, Amazon Prime, Twitch)

How To Watch Thursday Night Football 

The Thursday Night Football schedule throughout the 2020 NFL season is a complex one, but one that brings great variety with options of how to watch Thursday Night Football aplenty.

In 2020 the consumer values options, and being able to stream Thursday Night Football beyond the traditional means of a cable TV channel, and TNF is a great facilitator of that.

Across 2020 there are four official ways to stream Thursday Night Football between Week 2 and Week 15 through the following means.

  • NFL Network (weeks 2 to 16)
  • Fox Go (weeks 5 to 16)
  • Amazon Prime Video (weeks 5 to 16)
  • Twitch (weeks 5 to 16)

The season opener between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs did not fall under the banner of Thursday Night Football, with NBC holding the exclusive rights to the National Football League Kickoff game as part of its Sunday Night Football deal. The Thanksgiving games were also aired between various networks and not in line with the rest of the TNF Schedule.

Thursday Night Football Channel

While streaming Thursday Night Football is a popular way to watch the primetime games, TV networks still hold the majority of the viewership. So, what channel is Thursday Night Football on? Much like the streaming schedule, the Thursday Night Football channel changes throughout the season between Fox and NFL Network.

NFL Network was the exclusive Thursday Night Football channel for Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4, after which Fox will show the Thursday Night Football showdown each week alongside the NFL Network. The Thanksgiving Day games were aired across multiple TV channels.

What Time Does Thursday Night Football Start?

The Week 16 Thursday Night Football game is actually being played on Friday (Christmas Day) and has a different start time to the rest of the TNF schedule, starting at 4:30 pm EDT.

The remaining Thursday Night Football start times are standardized and set to kick off at 8:20 pm EDT throughout weeks 1-15.

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