NFL Expert Picks Against the Spread: Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
We had a very entertaining Thursday night game last week between good teams with Philadelphia winning at Carolina. I would enjoy this Thursday's AFC West showdown between the Chiefs and Raiders in Oakland because the TNF schedule is rather lame the next three weeks: Dolphins-Ravens, Bills-Jets and Seahawks-Cardinals (maybe Adrian Peterson makes Arizona interesting, but that's a wait-and-see).
Kansas City and Oakland finished last season with identical 12-4 records, but the Chiefs won the AFC West title tiebreaker thanks to a season sweep and have taken the past five against the Raiders after losing to Derek Carr the first time they saw him. It was 26-10 in Oakland last year as the Chiefs had 406 yards of offense (Spencer Ware with a big game on the ground) and held possession for nearly 37 minutes. And it was 21-13 in Week 14 at Arrowhead on a Thursday night. Oakland had only 244 yards of offense as Carr was an ugly 17 of 41 for 117 yards. Tyreek Hill ran back a punt for 78 yards and caught a 36-yard TD from Alex Smith.
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At BetOnline , Kansas City (5-1) is a -175 favorite to repeat in the division. It leads the Broncos by 1.5 games - those two play in K.C. next Monday night and close the season against one another in the Mile High City. The Giants' shocking win in Denver on Sunday night really did the Chiefs a favor.
Oakland (2-4) is on a four-game skid and probably can start making plans for 2018 with a loss here as 2-5 teams simply don't rally to make the playoffs. Plus, I could see the Raiders losing perhaps eight in a row if they fall here as they visit Buffalo and Miami the next two weeks before "hosting" the Patriots in Mexico in Week 11 (after a Raiders bye week). Oakland still must go to Kansas City and play Dallas and Denver and at Philly as well. I hope you took the "under" on the Raiders' 2017 win total.
Chiefs at Raiders Betting Story Lines
Do guys from the 1972 Miami Dolphins still get together to down some champagne when the final unbeaten loses each year in the NFL? I'm honestly not sure how many of those guys are still alive (or in good faculties) 45 years later. The formerly unbeaten Chiefs were surprised at home on Sunday, 19-13, by Pittsburgh. Maybe that wasn't a shock considering Ben Roethlisberger is unbeaten in his career against the Chiefs and won at Arrowhead in last year's Divisional Round.
Big Ben was solid in this win, throwing for 252 yards with a TD and a pick, but Le'Veon Bell and the defense won that. Bell rushed 32 times for 179 yards and a touchdown as Pittsburgh held the ball for almost 37 minutes. Defensively, the Steelers held the Chiefs to by far a season low in points and just 251 yards. Kareem Hunt was kept in check on the ground with nine carries for 21 yards. The Chiefs ran the ball only 15 times, which is unusual for an Andy Reid team, but they weren't going anywhere that way. Hill, incidentally, left with a possible concussion. The team says he has cleared that test, but it doesn't mean he won't have delayed symptoms and perhaps miss this game. He was a full participant in a walkthrough on Monday, so that bodes well for him.
I don't know how a team with Carr, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, a good tight end in Jared Cook and a solid group of running backs can be held to 17 points or fewer in four straight games, but that's the deal with Oakland during its losing streak. It lost 17-16 at home to the Chargers on Sunday as Nick Novak made a 32-year field goal as time expired; Giorgio Tavecchio had earlier missed a PAT. Carr returned from his one-game injury absence (back) but didn't look quite right in throwing for only 171 yards with two picks.
Cooper has been one of the biggest busts of the season with 18 catches for 146 yards, one TD and several drops. He had 62 yards and a TD in a Week 1 win over the Titans but not more than 33 since and no scores. Remember, this offseason the Raiders promoted QBs coach Todd Downing to offensive coordinator after the team for some reason let the contract of OC Bill Musgrave expire. Coach Jack Del Rio might have to do something here or his job could be in jeopardy too. Oakland added a potentially good defensive piece on Monday in signing former 49ers Pro Bowl linebacker NaVorro Bowman. He fills a need for the Raiders at middle linebacker with rookie fifth-round draft pick Marquel Lee out with an ankle injury. Del Rio said Bowman might play Thursday.
Chiefs at Raiders Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes , Kansas City is a 2.5-point favorite (-120) with a total of 47. On the moneyline, the Chiefs are -145 and Raiders +125. On the alternate lines, K.C. is -2 (-125) and -3 (+105). Kansas City is 5-1 against the spread (3-0 on road) and 4-2 "over/under" (2-1 on road). Oakland is 2-4 ATS (1-2 at home) and 2-4 O/U (2-1 at home).
The Chiefs are 5-0 ATS in their past five after a loss. They are 9-0 ATS in their past nine after scoring 15 points or fewer in their previous game. The Raiders are 5-2 ATS in their past seven at home vs. teams with a winning record. But Oakland is 3-7 ATS in its previous 10 on Thursday. The under is 8-1 in Kansas City's previous nine vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 5-0 in Oakland's past five vs. the AFC West. The Chiefs are 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 18-6 in the previous 24.
Chiefs at Raiders Betting Prediction
Most of those trends above favor Kansas City. Were this game in Arrowhead or at a neutral site, I'd expect the Chiefs to win by at least a touchdown. However, this has to be desperation time for the Raiders. The division already is practically out of reach with the two losses to AFC West teams. I don't want to say that Kansas City "can" lose this game, but it somewhat can. I'm going to wait until a 3.5-point alternate line is posted but I'm taking those points. Go under the total.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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