Kansas City is very fortunate that they got off to such a fast start. Had they not begun the season 5-0 they would surely be out of the picture especially after dropping 6 of their last 7 games both SU and ATS. Just how bad have they been? Well, losses to the Jets, Bills, and Giants over the past 3 weeks should give you an idea. One bright spot might be the fact that Alex Smith answered the bell with a pretty decent performance last week after being in the spotlight for his lack of productivity. He completed 19 of 33 passes for 366 yards and 4 touchdown passes. He was also able to scramble for a sweet 70-yard gain. Unfortunately, they allowed Josh McCown to throw for 331 yards while allowing the Jets’ running game to beat them at key times.
The Chiefs went into a pass-heavy mode which served them well. Kareem Hunt was held to 70 yards on 9 carries. In all, the Chiefs went to the air at a 3:1 ratio. They also mustered just 17 first downs and were 0-2 in the red zone while allowing the Jets to go 4 for 5 in the red zone including 4-4 in goal to go opportunities. The defense was useless in the crunch.
The Raiders have managed to get themselves back into contention for the AFC West title after winning 3 of their last 4. They haven’t been getting too many ATS covers having gone 4-7-1 ATS this year. Of course, they’re more interested in getting the wins and they are really interested in winning this one. The Raiders have the momentum but the bookies still favor the Chiefs. This will be a huge win for either team.
Raiders at Chiefs
Spread: Oakland Raiders +4 (-110), Kansas City Chiefs -4 (-110) at 5Dimes Sportsbook Moneyline: Oakland Raiders +170, Kansas City Chiefs -200 Total: Over 47 (-110), Under 47 (-110)
Derek Carr spread the ball around nicely targeting 9 different receivers against the New York Giants. He finished the day completing 22 of 36 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown. Keep in mind that his two top receivers were out of action. Michael Crabtree will be back after his suspension was reduced from 2 games to one. If Amari Cooper can play then the K.C. pass defense will have their hands full. Cordarelle Paterson was the leading receiver in the yardage department with 97 yards including a big 59-yard gain.
Marshawn Lynch racked up 101 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries while reeling in a pair of catches for an additional 20 yards. DeAndre Washington added 16 yards and a score on 6 carries. Kansas City yields the third-most rushing yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry. Oakland should be able to find some holes. They should also be able to make a few big plays through the air against a pass defense that allows the 5th-most yards and 7.4 yards per completion. Kansas City also gives up the 3rd-most penalty yards which could factor into this one. In the end, the Raiders should be able to find success both on the ground and through the air.
A. Cooper (Concussion), C. James (Knee), J. Feliciano (Lower Body) are day-to-day while D. Amerson (Foot) and A. Smith (Suspended) are out. A. Hamilton (Knee) is questionable.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs absolutely need Alex Smith to turn in another great performance in front of the home crowd this week. In their last meeting, Smith threw for 342 yards and 3 scores although Kansas City fell a point short and lost 31-30. Oakland has a sub-par pass defense that allows 7.7 yards per completion which gives Smith and his receiving corp a great opportunity to gain a bunch of yards through the air. The Raiders’ defense isn’t as porous on the ground. They allow 104.9 rushing yards per game and a respectable 4 yards per carry. Kareem Hunt got 18 carries previously against Oakland and he netted 87 yards. He has been a far cry from what he was in the first half dozen games but he obviously has the potential to break out at any time.
Look for big games out of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. This game has the potential to be a bit of a shootout as both offenses can score and both defenses can be beaten. It’s setting up to be one of those games that will be decided on the last possession.
D. Ford (Back), E. Murray (Ankle), T. Hali (Knee), A. Bailey (Knee) and M. Morse (Foot) are day-to-day while D. Nicolas (Knee) is questionable and P. Ehinger (Knee) is out.
Raiders at Chiefs Betting Lines
Kansas City was a -200 moneyline favorite when the line opened. That has budged up and down by a few cents at some books but still stands at Kansas City -200 at most books. That line will likely come down by a few cents or so if Amari Cooper is cleared to play. Kansas City also opened as a 4-point favorite and that’s exactly where it sits at most books as of this writing. There has been slight movement on the total which opened at 47.5. It has gone down to 47 at more bookmakers.
As indicated, I expect this one to see a lot of scoring. I am also very wary of backing a Chiefs team that is stumbling badly. Even if they are at home for this pivotal game.
My Pick: Oakland Raiders Moneyline (+170) Total: Over 47 (-110)