Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Pick and Predictions
The AFC West rivalry between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Las Vegas Raiders is one that goes back to the days of the old AFL. These two teams each faced the Packers in the first two Super Bowls and are steeped in tradition. They’ve combined for five Super Bowl titles, including the Chiefs’ win over San Francisco in February.
The fortunes of the Raiders now rest on the shoulders of head coach Jon Gruden. It took a 10-year, $100 million contract to lure Gruden out of the broadcast booth. After two years in Oakland, he now leads the Raiders in their first season in Las Vegas.
After a 2-0 start, the Raiders have come back to earth with consecutive losses. Last week they were in a dogfight with visiting Buffalo, trailing 17-16 to start the fourth quarter. Leading 23-16, Buffalo forced a fumble and scored on the subsequent drive, eventually winning 30-23.
Kansas City hosted the New England Patriots with the Chiefs looking to stay undefeated on the season. It took almost three quarters of play for Kansas City to get the ball in the end zone. The Chiefs held on to win 26-10, moving to 4-0 for a two-game division lead over the Raiders.
A lot is made of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the offense he leads. Kansas City’s defense is also a force, second behind the Colts in points per game at 17.5. This is possibly the reason they are featured in so many free sports picks. Conversely, the Raiders are giving up 30 points a game, slightly more than the Chiefs are scoring.
The Chiefs are averaging 413 yards a game on offense and giving up 356 to their opponents. The Raiders have been amazingly consistent on offense this season, averaging 377 yards a game. They’ve gained between 372 and 383 yards so far while giving up an average of 388 yards.
The surprise of the season for the Chiefs has been the emergence of rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He’s rushed for 304 yards on 71 carries for a touchdown and an average of 4.3 yards per carry. Josh Jacobs is the workhorse for the Raiders, gaining 300 yards on 83 carries and three touchdowns.
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The early spread has Kansas City as an 11.5-point favorite, with both teams paying out at -110. The Raiders are huge underdogs on the moneyline at +460 with the Chiefs at -620.
At this writing, there is not yet an over/under set. With the way these teams score, though, it might be among the highest we’ve seen this season.
The Chiefs are 3-1 against the spread while the Raiders are 2-2 after covering the first two weeks. The only game in which Kansas City failed to cover was on the road against the Chargers in Week 2. Double-digit spreads are rare, with one favorite covering in three games this season.
Against the over/under, three of the Chiefs’ four games have totaled below the betting line. The Raiders’ games have gone over three times with one push.
For the Raiders to have a chance, they’ll need their defense to slow down the Chiefs like the Patriots did. Unlike New England, they’ll also need to find a way to score some points against Kansas City. Las Vegas hasn’t really shown the ability to play consistently on defense, so some kind of high-scoring loss is more likely.
The big spread in this one should be a concern, but the Raiders lost by 16 at New England. It could look a lot like that Sunday in Kansas City with the total score getting into the 50s. Where that over/under gets set will make a big difference on which way to go with the bet.