What This Game Means
In college football, the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech confrontation is known as “Good Old Fashion Hate” and at the NFL level, this is probably the closest such rivalry. Back in the day, when –Commitment to Excellence – meant something in Oakland, everybody hated Al Davis and the Raiders. This was particularly true of Kansas City with legendary coach Hank Stram. While neither team has been close to Super Bowl contenders of late, the fire still burns.
Kansas City Rebounds and Looks for Opening
The Chiefs ended their three-game losing streak in style, thoroughly dominating all three phases of the game at Washington in the 45-10 drubbing. Kansas City knows the chances of winning the AFC West are remote and they have all but assured themselves of being the top wild card. Thus, the next two weeks in particular are about improvement and becoming a better team for that first playoff game.
Kansas City is improving on offense as Andy Reid has let Alex Smith throw the ball down the field with greater regularity. The improved passing attack has made Jamaal Charles an even more valuable commodity, with more area to move running or catching passes.
Also, NFL football handicappers have been watching rookie running back Knile Davis take a giant leap forward, as he is becoming the power back changeup to spell Charles and he has tremendous burst in the hole.
One Step Forward and One Step Backwards for Oakland
After beating Houston, letting a Tennessee victory slip away and giving Dallas all they handle, the Raiders were given a reasonable chance to upset the offensively deprived New York Jets. Instead, Oakland surrenders 37 points to the Flyboys and is handled by 10 points.
Veteran safety Charles Woodson used imaginary to describe his team’s performance.
"We were like the Bad News Bears out there today," Woodson said. "I do want to give credit to our offense. They kept fighting out there and gave us a chance to be in the game. Defensively, we just peed down our legs."
Coach Dennis Allen is also making curious decisions as a professional coach. Terrelle Pryor was “scheduled” to play the third series against the Jets and at least at that moment, got the Raiders out of their offensive lethargy with five first downs and setting up three points.
But Pryor never played again and though Matt McGloin had a strong second half, isn’t this quarterback switching shenanigans right out of college?
NFL Betting Odds and Matchup Numbers
The Chiefs were sent out as three-point favorites by sportsbooks and were bet up to -3.5. This is well justified seeing the Chiefs are 14-7 and 15-6 ATS vs. the Black and Silver the past 20 years on the road.
The total has dipped a digit to 41 points according to the NFL odds and here we find K.C. 15-4 UNDER after playing their last game on the road and Oakland 10-2 UNDER off four or more consecutive OVER’s.
What to Watch For
Look for Andy Reid to probe the Oakland defense to see what is working and set the wheels into motion once he feels he’s found weaknesses. Charles and Dwayne Bowe could be in for big games.
If Kansas City thwarts the Raiders running game, they have no reason to fear the wide receivers of their opponent.
Oakland will need what they refer to as “explosive” plays in the run and pass game to loosen up the Kansas City defense. This will probably have to start by running effectively.
With this being a division game and at home, the Raiders defensive focus will no doubt be improved, but they are going to have to find ways to stop Charles from hurting them badly.
Kansas City is better in every phase of the game over Oakland and also has a decided coaching edge. Having already beaten the Raiders 24-7 and knowing Oakland is 3-12 ATS at home revenging a loss against opponents by 14 points or more, for one of our NFL picks, also with the SBR Forum videos, I’ll take the Chiefs.
NFL Football Free Pick - Kansas City -3.5