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Raiders showed grit and young, improving talent in win over Chargers

LSU-Alabama. Let me cut to the chase. Until LSU proves otherwise, Alabama is THE bet in Tuscaloosa. Yes, the Tigers are improved offensively with Joe Burrows at quarterback, but Nick Saban is a risky go-against when he is home. Lay the 6½.

Anybody out there who still thinks the game of NFL football has passed Jon Gruden by? That was the conventional thinking when Mark Davis backed up the Brinks truck and brought Gruden back to the Raiders. What exactly did the critics think Gruden had been doing at ESPN all those years? The dude eats, drinks and sleeps football 24/7, and now he is a Coach of the Year candidate.

The Raiders showed grit and young, improving talent in rallying to beat the L.A. Chargers on Thursday night. Twice in five days quarterback Derek Carr led the Raiders on a fourth-quarter, winning drive. That’s 18 times in his career, which is an NFL record for a six-year starter.

Let me respectfully disagree with the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Greg Bedard, who wrote after Thursday’s thrilling win that coach should not have burned a time-out before scoring the winning touchdown. The situation was this: Down by four points, third-and-one, 1:06 remaining and the clock moving.

Gruden uses his first time-out. Remember, Jalen Richard – not Josh Jacobs – was the running back, and it was late during the time-out when Jacobs was sent back onto the field. On the play after the timeout, Jacobs bolts for the winning touchdown. If Gruden doesn’t call time out, Jacobs might not have seen the field again. Now, that would have been a blunder.

Can Tennessee upset the Chiefs? Doubt it. Not with Patrick Mahomes back.

Good luck cashing tickets this weekend, because that’s what it’s all about.​

More Betting: Follow at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Brent Musburger’s betting column appears Saturday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He is host of “My Guys in the Desert” weekdays from 2 to 4 p.m. on VSiN.com, SiriusXM 204 and 920 AM The Game.

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