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Here's How the Raiders Can Clinch a Playoff Spot in Week 18

Larry Rupp
A look at how the Las Vegas Raiders can clinch a postseason spot in Week 18.
A look at how the Las Vegas Raiders can clinch a postseason spot in Week 18. / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

The Las Vegas Raiders have found a way to fly under the radar all season long. They are now 9-7 and head into Week 18 with a shot to clinch their first postseason berth since 2016. It all comes down to a highly-anticipated matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football.

Raiders Playoffs

It's rather simple. Win and you're in. The Raiders can clinch a playoff spot by coming out on top and defeating a divisional rival. Las Vegas couldn't get it done the first time these two teams met, losing to the Chargers by a score of 28-14 back in Week 4. However, a lot has changed since that point.

The Raiders head into Sunday night as 3-point home underdogs, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Playing in front of their raucous home crowd is sure to come into play, though. Las Vegas' road to the postseason gets much tougher if they are unable to pull off an upset to end the regular season.

The only way the Raiders can reach the postseason with a loss is coupled with a Colts' loss and the Steelers losing one of their next two games. Las Vegas' win over Indianapolis in Week 17 gave them a crucial head-to-head tiebreaker. The only downside here is that Frank Reich's squad faces one of the worst teams in the NFL in Week 18.

With the Jacksonville Jaguars in contention for the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, it is hard to see them beating the Colts on Sunday. FanDuel Sportsbook has Indianapolis slated as a heavy 15.5-point road favorite.

All things considered, the Raiders control their own destiny on Sunday night. That's all they could've asked for after fighting to stay alive all year.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.