After putting together a historic performance against a divisional rival, the Las Vegas Raiders will travel within the division once more to take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday (12/25/23) for a special Christmas Monday Night Football matchup. Get Raiders vs. Chiefs odds, picks and predictions below as our best bet is Raiders +10.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs Prediction
If you saw the Raiders scoring 63 points against the Chargers in essentially three quarters, you’re honestly probably lying. Vegas has had one of the worst offenses in the league by every metric this season, and they were coming off a pathetic 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. They exploded for an unprecedented win over one of their biggest rivals on Thursday Night Football. Yes, there was some turnover luck, and yes, the Chargers’ defense is one of the league’s worst. But it was still an undeniable step in the right direction after putting up quite literally nothing a week earlier.
Even by yardage, Vegas stepped up from 202 against the Vikings to 378 against the Chargers. So the positive strides are undeniable. It was a special day for rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell, a day-three pick who has been thrust into the spotlight this season due to various injuries and poor performances from players ahead of him on the depth chart. The Purdue passer tossed four touchdowns and no picks, including some eye-catching throws, in what was a big game for a fringe player looking to establish his position on the team and in the NFL going forward.
The Chiefs also picked up a much-needed win this weekend, putting an end to a skid in which they had lost three of four games. They briefly trailed the New England Patriots, but straightened things out to the tune of a 10-point road win in a challenging setting. There were still some serious miscues as Patrick Mahomes threw a pair of picks, which were varying degrees of his fault. Even though it was an important win, few Chiefs fans left with increased confidence that this team could achieve anything similar to what last year’s squad accomplished.
Amid all of the struggles and mishaps, it could be argued that Kansas City is in pole position for the AFC’s top seed. After this home game against the Raiders, they’ll host the Bengals without Joe Burrow, and finally visit the same Chargers team that just surrendered 63 points against Vegas. KC is a couple of games behind the Ravens, but Baltimore has no more free wins, with challenging matchups against the 49ers and Dolphins, and a final-week rivalry clash with the Steelers. Anything is possible.
With Patrick Mahomes, anything is possible, so this could be the start of a magnificent run for Kansas City, but another trend in the Mahomes era is cutting it way too close against inferior competition. Just last year, the Chiefs won by just a point at Arrowhead when these teams met, and given recent form, it’s hard to justify a 10-point spread in this game.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs Prediction: Raiders +10
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs Best Odds
With the Raiders coming off of a historic win, they’re still 10-point underdogs going into Arrowhead. You can also get them at +375 on the moneyline, or an even -500 for the Chiefs. The total is set at 41.5, with -110 odds for both sides.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs Key Injuries
The Raiders are dealing with injuries to some offensive players, highlighted by workhorse running back Josh Jacobs and team captain Kolton Miller at tackle. Running back health is also an issue for the Chiefs as Isiah Pacheco missed the team’s last game.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs Key Matchups
The Raiders will need to take advantage of a very weak Chiefs run defense, while the Chiefs will be forced to throw against a surprisingly solid Raiders pass defense as Isaiah Pacheco’s health continues to be in question.
Las Vegas Raiders Rushing Offense vs. Kansas City Chiefs Run Defense
A year after leading the NFL in rushing yardage, Josh Jacobs is not inside the top 10 this season. His average carry is down from a stellar 4.9 yards a year ago to an anemic 3.5 this season, despite the Vegas offensive line essentially sitting in the same spot in the PFF run blocking grade. Jacobs himself ranks 27th among 35 qualifying rushers in the website’s rushing grade, after topping the list a year ago, so he really has nobody to blame but himself. Unfortunately, Vegas doesn’t have much of a second option, so he’s the guy until further notice.
Luckily for Jacobs and his unit, the KC run defense has been shockingly poor given the talent in their front seven. They rank in the bottom five by both EPA and DVOA against the run, but the return of key linebacker Nick Bolton should give them a much-needed boost.
Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense vs. Las Vegas Raiders Air Defense
As always, this Chiefs offense is going to be pass-first with Patrick Mahomes at the helm. The line is near the top of the league in adjusted sack rate and inside the top-10 in the PFF pass blocking grade, a huge help as Mahomes’s receivers have struggled to find separation. Even Travis Kelce is not immune to this season’s team-wide slump. He’s visibly slowed down a bit as age and injuries take their toll. The biggest recent positive for KC has been the breakout of rookie wideout Rashee Rice, as the second-round pick is averaging 83.5 yards per game over his last four outings.
The Vegas pass defense ranks at or above league average by many metrics. Easton Stick was a bit too productive last week, but much of his outing was in garbage time, with the secondary relatively backed off. The coverage unit still leaves much to be desired, but Maxx Crosby and Robert Spillane have created some serious pressure on opposing passers.