TNF - Chiefs at Raiders
October 19, 2017
By Tony Mejia
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Kansas City (-3, 46.5) at Oakland, 8:25 pm ET, CBS/NFLN
A missed extra point took the air out of the Oakland Coliseum last week, leaving the door open for the Chargers to steal a win with a late field goal. The snap was bad, kicker Giorgio Tevecchio couldn't salvage it and the defense fell short too. Philip Rivers methodically guided L.A. down the field, converting on first downs and ultimately killing the clock to leave only enough time for Nick Novak's last-second chip shot.
The Raiders certainly didn't dominate the game, but were in position to win in Derek Carr's return to the lineup throughout most of the afternoon. They only trailed for less than two-and-a-half minutes prior to Novak's kick at the gun, but the buzz following Cordarelle Patterson's electrifying 47-yard run died down immensely after the Tevecchio miss, as if everyone in attendance knew what was coming.
A lot has changed since Marshawn Lynch was celebrating his debut as a football player repping his home city by dancing during a blowout of the Jets. For one, New York has won three times since then, while the Raiders have come up empty. Carr missed a home loss to Baltimore after getting banged up in Denver, which followed up a complete no-show in Washington on a Sunday night where they suffered their first loss. An offense that scored 45 points in a Sept. 17 win hasn't broken 17 in four straight outings. Although the playoffs are still well within reach and it's not time to hit the panic button just yet, there's no question that falling to 0-3 within the division would be tough to overcome. Conversely, defeating a Chiefs team that was the last remaining unbeaten in the NFL entering last weekend would go a long way in helping turn things around.
The Chiefs have owned this series of late as you can see in the chart listing the recent meetings in this divisional rivalry available below. Carr picked up his first victory as a pro starter in a 24-20 win as a rookie back in '14, but has lost five straight. Jack Del Rio has been unable to beat Andy Reid's team since taking over as head coach the next season.
Count Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree among the Raiders that have come up empty against Kansas City, which spells trouble considering how much trouble they've had getting the passing game going. Cooper has been a shell of himself since opening the season with five catches for 62 yards and a score against the Titans. Since that game, he's caught 13 balls over the last five contests for a grand total of 84 yards. The longest gain in that stretch has gone for 16 yards, which calls into question whether he's dealing with something physical or whether he's simply lost it mentally.
Crabtree has bounced back from an injury and has been Oakland's best weapon again, but the feared passing attack that was supposed to help this team compete with Tom Brady's Patriots for a Super Bowl bid hasn't materialized. Poor offensive line play has been a major culprit, especially since the Lynch-led running game has also struggled to get going despite the fact he's returned from retirement in shape and running hard.
While the Raiders' offensive issues have been an issue for more than a month, Kansas City comes off its first game failing to score 20 points since January's 18-16 home loss to Pittsburgh. Remove the Steelers from the equation, and the Chiefs are a perfect 16-0 when scoring at least 19 points over the last year-plus. They lost identical 19-17 results at home against Tampa Bay and Tennessee and have actually been more formidable outside of Arrowhead of late, winning eight straight. That streak began last season in Oakland.
Smith failed to lead a touchdown drive until DeAnthony Thomas escaped late against the Pittsburgh secondary, eluding defenders to turn a big pass play into a huge score. He's 9-1 all-time against the Raiders, winning seven of eight with Kansas City, and has thrown 19 touchdowns against just four interceptions in lighting up Oakland's secondary. The Raiders have had major issues in the back this season and have yet to force a pick, currently sitting as the only team in the league without one.
Looking for a spark on a defense that did look improved last week, Oakland signed NaVorro Bowman, who was recently let go by the 49ers. He's expected to play immediately, which tells you how badly the Raiders are hurting for quality bodies.
The Steelers were able to control the game by running the ball down Kansas City's throats, so don't be surprised to see the Raiders take a similar approach to try and keep an explosive offense off the field. In playmakers like Travis Kelce, rookie Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, Albert Wilson and Thomas, the Chiefs have the personnel to take advantage of a Raiders defense that has been plagued by the passing game. Conditions should be clear for most of this game, though showers could be a factor late. If the weather holds up, Smith should be able to add to his gaudy career numbers against the Raiders if he gets protection. That's a bigger if than usual, as you'll read in tonight's injury report.
Kansas City Chiefs
Season win total: 9 (Over -120, Under +100)
Odds to win AFC West: 2/5 to 5/13
Odds to win AFC: 13/5 to 3/1
Odds to win Super Bowl: 6/1 to 6/1
Season win total: 9.5 (Over +100, Under -120)
Odds to win AFC West: 8/1 to 10/1
Odds to win AFC: 15/1 to 20/1
Odds to win Super Bowl: 30/1 to 40/1
If you're a huge believer in the Raiders, as I was earlier this season when I had them as my projected AFC runner-up, now is the time to get in on a Raiders rebirth. Odds have never been more lucrative since the bandwagon has understandably grown lighter during their losing streak. If Oakland beats the Chiefs, backing an AFC title or Super Bowl berth won't yield the same return. The numbers above illustrate the changes made by Westgate from Week 6 to Week 7 after the most recent loss to L.A.
Kansas City's odds changed only slightly despite its first loss, and it remains at 6/1 to win the Super Bowl, which is solely behind New England (4/1) and Pittsburgh (5/1) among all NFL teams.
As far as this matchup is concerned, the Chiefs were installed as a 2.5-point favorite when the Westgate's early numbers were announced, opening the week there at a few shops but quickly moving to 3, which is where at resides pretty much everywhere as of gameday morning. The total opened at 47-47.5, but is now most widely available at 46.5 with a few 46s in the mix.
Kansas City is in the -160 range on the money line if you don't want to lay the possession on the road just to flirt with a push, while backing Oakland outright will get you +150.
Scott Cooley of Bookmaker.eu dropped knowledge on what his shop is seeing as of Wednesday afternoon.
"The wiseguys haven’t gotten involved with the TNF spread at this point, and it feels like a pretty good number considering the matchup," Cooley said. "The public is siding with K.C. as we have 70 percent of that action on the visitor. We’ve taken some sharp money on the under and have 65 percent of the handle on that side of the total."
Both teams come in hobbled up front, each missing key figures along the offensive line. For the Raiders, right tackle Marshall Newhouse couldn't practice due to a foot injury and has been ruled out. Second-year pro Vadal Alaexander, a seventh-round pick from LSU who has had major protection issues over his brief career. Guard Gabe Jackson was limited by a foot injury but will play for Oakland.
Kansas City will again be without key o-lineman Mitch Morse and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, which makes it more likely that Smith will be in check-down mode on the road. RB Charcandrick West has also been ruled out due to a concussion, while Raiders rookie CB Gareon Conley, the No. 24 pick in the draft, is out due to a shin injury.
The Raiders list FB Jamize Olawale and LBs Marquel Lee, Cory James and Nicholas Morrow as questionable. The Chiefs have done the same for WR Wilson due to a knee problem.
RECENT MEETINGS (Kansas City 7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS last eight; OVER 4-4)
12/8/16 Kansas City 21-13 vs. Oakland (KC -3.5, 45.5)
10/16/16 Kansas City 26-10 at Oakland (KC -2, 47)
1/3/16 Kansas City 23-17 vs. Oakland (KC -6.5, 44)
12/6/15 Kansas City 34-20 at Oakland (KC -3, 45.5)
12/14/14 Kansas City 31-13 vs. Oakland (KC -11, 41.5)
11/20/14 Oakland 24-20 vs. Kansas City (OAK +7, 42.5)
12/15/13 Kansas City 56-31 at Oakland (KC -6, 44.5)
10/13/13 Kansas City 24-7 vs. Oakland (KC -8, 41.5)
Of the props available below at BetOnline.ag, I'd ride the OVER on field goals and do think we'll see a touchdown of 43 yards or more.
Team to reach 10 points first: (Chiefs -130, Raiders +110)
Team to reach 20 points first: (Chiefs -145, Raiders +125)
Team to score first: (Chiefs -120, Raiders +100)
Team to score last: (Chiefs -120, Raiders -110)
First score: (Touchdown -170, FG/Safety +150)
Total FGs made by both teams: (3.5, Over +125, Under -145)
Longest FG made: (46, Over -110/Under -110)
Total sacks by both teams combined: (5 Over -135, Under +115)
Will there be a score in final 2 minutes of 1st half: (Yes -260, No +220)
Will there be a defensive or special teams TD?: (Yes +220, No -260)
Will there be a TD of 43 yards or more?: (Yes -125, No +105)
Will there be a 1-yard TD?: (Yes -125, No +105)
Will there be overtime: (Yes +800, No -1250)
Will there be 3 straight scores by either team: (Yes -200, No +170)
CHIEFS AS A ROAD FAVORITE
Dating back to a season-opening win at Houston in 2015, Kansas City has been tremendous in the role, coming in 10-0 SU and ATS, which includes victimizing the Raiders twice in that span. They're 2-0 as the away chalk this season.
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RAIDERS AS A HOME UNDERDOG
Oakland is playing its first game of the season as a home 'dog and is 1-2 SU and ATS, losing to the Ravens and Chargers. The Raiders were only in this role once last season, losing to the Chiefs, and were 2-4 SU and ATS catching points at the Coliseum in '15.
Wentz won his only Thursday night game last season, beating the Giants at home in Week 16 a few days after Philadelphia was officially eliminated. That win started a run that has seen the Eagles win six of their last seven straight up.
NEXT WEEK'S NUMBERS POSTED
The Westgate opens its advance lines for the following week on Tuesdays and Week 8 currently has the Raiders as a 2.5-point road underdog at Buffalo. The Chiefs will be back on a national stage, hosting Denver in a huge AFC West clash on Monday night football. Kansas City is listed as a 6.5-point favorite.
Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA
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