Chargers vs. Raiders Week 1 Opening Odds See Immediate Test for Jim Harbaugh

The opening odds for the Los Angeles Chargers' Week 1 matchup versus the Las Vegas Raiders suggest Jim Harbaugh will be in a fight in his first game at the helm.
Apr 2, 2024; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh speaks at press conference
Apr 2, 2024; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh speaks at press conference / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The official release of the 2024 NFL schedule has finally brought clarity to the Los Angeles Chargers' outlook for 2024. Now incoming head coach Jim Harbaugh can start to prepare his team for a matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders, who are on tap in Week 1.

Despite having the clear quarterback advantage and home field in this matchup, oddsmakers are predicting a tough test for Harbaugh.

Chargers vs. Raiders Week 1 Odds

FanDuel Sportsbook currently lists the Chargers as slight 3.5-point favorites over the Raiders, who have the same odds to cover the spread at -110. Meanwhile, Los Angeles is -180 on the moneyline, compared to +152 for Las Vegas.

These numbers shouldn't be this close, especially considering LA's upside with Justin Herbert. Yet it speaks to the talent the Chargers have lost and failed to replace in 2024.

The departures of Mike Williams, Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler are major losses, even if Williams and Ekeler had their own flaws. What really hurts Los Angeles is the fact none of those guys are being followed by other top-end talent.

The Chargers consulted the bargain big at running back (Gus Edwards, J.K. Dobbins), and opted to address the offensive line with the No. 5 pick instead of drafting an elite receiving prospect. That leaves either Joshua Palmer or Quentin Johnston as Herbert's top targets, setting this offense up to take a major step back.

That puts Los Angeles on upset watch, especially in Week 1 when guys in new roles are still gelling.

One thing going for the Chargers in this meeting, though, is the fact the Raiders don't have an elite QB. They might not even have a clear-cut starter with Aidan O'Connell coming off of a so-so first campaign and Gardner Minshew being brought in to compete for the job.

This matchup might come down to either Herbert being a superhero or Harbaugh's new-look defense quieting Las Vegas' starter under center. The former is a legit possibility, so it's no surprise LA has the slight edge here in the opening odds.

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