The Oakland Raiders are about to play their most important game in three years.
And they are stumbling into it.
The Raiders visit the Kansas City Chiefs with a share of first place in the AFC West, heading to the final quarter of the season, is on the line. However, the Raiders are going to have to quickly forget their biggest flub of the season. The Raiders were riding a three-game winning streak into Week 12 and a chance to be tied with the Chiefs heading into their showdown this week.
But the Jets had other ideas. New York pummeled the Raiders, 34-3. Defeats happen, but this one was alarming for Oakland.
Getting humiliated by a three-win team is not a good look for a playoff contender. The 2019 Raiders had shown they beat bad teams, compete against average teams and lose to good teams. The Raiders are 1-4 against teams with winning records and 5-1 against teams with losing records. This is their first game against a winning team in five weeks.
Now, Oakland needs to shed the stink of the Jets’ loss and beat the Chiefs – who won in Oakland, 28-10, in Week 2.
It is going to be cold and windy with a chance of snow in Kansas City on Sunday. The Raiders wilted in rain in New York last week. Oakland quarterback Derek Carr has been ineffective in poor record. He is 0-4 in his career in games played in under 40 degrees.
The season will not be lost if Oakland loses in Kansas City. But any hopes of winning the AFC West will likely be over. If Kansas City wins, it will have a two-game lead over Oakland with four games to go and hold the tiebreaker. So, basically it would be a three-game lead. However, if Oakland wins, it will be tied with the Chiefs with an easier remaining record. Kansas City visits New England in Week 14.
Let’s look at some key betting elements to the game. Lines are based on a sampling of several sportsbooks:
The line: Kansas City by 9.5 points.
Why: It’s unusual that a game that will decide a share of a division has a point spread of more than a touchdown. But this is what we have here. It’s because the Chiefs hammered Oakland earlier in the season, the Raiders are coming off a bad loss and the Raiders’ don’t match up well to the Chiefs in most areas other than the run game on offense. This is also a factor in the point spread: The Raiders’ five losses are by an average of 18 points and four of them of the losses have been by double digits.
My lean: I don’t have a strong feel for this point spread but I guess, I lean toward Kansas City. I think the Chiefs will win by 7-10 points. I don’t necessarily think the Raiders will flop just because of what happened against the Jets. But I do see Kansas City controlling this game.
The line: 51.5 points
Why: This is a high total, but Chiefs’ games usually are high totals as are Raiders games. Chiefs’ games are averaging a total of 51.2 points a game. Raiders’ games average 46.5 points a game. So, this total seems to be perfectly set,
My lean: This is just a feeling, but I like the under, barely. My prediction is Chiefs, 30, Raiders 20. So, I’m right there on the point spread and the total.
The lines: Kansas City is -400. Oakland is +295
Why: This might be a little drastic, but thats the way it goes with games with big point spreads,
My lean: I expect the Chiefs to win, but that price is simply not worth it. For backers of an Oakland upset, the +295 price is a great value if you’re looking for a lottery-ticket bet.
Prop bets to consider
Chiefs -9.5 and under +275
Why: When I feel good about these combo parlays, I always suggest them. This is a very nice price for this parlay.
Over 6.5 touchdowns +160
Why: I think this game is going to total about 50. So, I can like the under, but like the over 6.5 touchdowns as a hedge bet. Betting on these two offenses – against two vulnerable defenses – is worth this bet at a solid price.
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