Biggest Contrary NFL Pick of the Week: Chiefs vs. Raiders

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, November 20, 2014 6:31 PM GMT

You would be hard-pressed to find a more calculate betting odds analysis for tonight's game between the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders. This NFL handicapper shares his precise pick here. 

Were this game being played on Sunday, it would surely be in the running for the PERCEPTION/REALITY GAME OF THE WEEK!  There are a world of reasons to bet the Kansas City Chiefs in this game, as the NFL odds suggest, and an equal amount to lineup against the Oakland Raiders.  But in the ebb and flow world of the NFL, I have long ago learned that “when it looks this easy, YOU MUST look the other way.”   In what must assuredly be one of your hardest NFL plays to make this season, the Oakland Raiders are the right side in this game.

From a fundamental perspective, this must be considered all Kansas City.  The Chiefs love to run the football doing so 30 times per game (an over 80% ATS positive indicator) for 140/4.7 per game.  The Raiders allow their opponents to run 34 times per game (an 86% ATS play AGAINST indicator) for 130 yards per game.  With Oakland rushing for just 19 times per game (an 85% ATS play AGAINST indicator) for a league low 63/3.4, it seems clear that the Chiefs will control the line of scrimmage, outrushing Oakland for more than 30 yards, a 75% ATS indicator. 

From a technical perspective, the numbers favor Kansas City as well.  The Chiefs enter tonight on a 9-0 ATS run in which they have covered by 98 points.  HC Reed has long been one of the NFL’s best road coaches.  While at KC, Reed has taken this to a whole new level.  His Chiefs are 12-1 ATS away in the regular season.  For Oakland, the misery continues.  The Raiders are 0-16 SU, since this time last season.  This includes 0-10 SU and 3-7 ATS TY.  Playing at home has actually been a negative for the Raiders. On their home turf, Oakland is 1-17 SU and just 1-7 ATS of late.  Clinching the technical case is that Thursday night favorites have logged an 8-3 ATS mark.   

Reviewing the momentum of these teams’ most recent game also points us to the Chiefs.  Last Sunday, Oakland played valiantly in a 13-6 loss to the Chargers.  They were outrushed 120-171.  Earlier in the day, KC performed defensive miracles in holding off Seattle for a 24-20 victory.  On three different occasions, the Chiefs stopped the Seahawks on 4th down deep in KC territory.  A case can be made that this further adds to the KC momentum.    

The situational aspect of this game trumps all those cards!  For, KC is in the worst situational spot of the season.  In that victory over Seattle last week (they were outrushed and out passed by the Seahawks for a combined 372-298 yardage count), they put themselves in the position of a tie with the Broncos for the divisional lead at 7-3 SU.  They also set up this wicked scheduling spot, which finds them favored on the division road just 4 days after that huge victory over the defending champs, with their sights set on playing Denver for the division lead next week.  As poorly as Oakland has played, they are in a positive situation.  In the 2nd half of the season, winless division teams are an over 80% ATS play.  In what must surely be your biggest contrary play of the week, I invite you to pull the trigger with me on the Oakland Raiders. 

In addition to tonight’s play on Oakland, I am recommending the play on the OVER in this contest.  NFL games continue to average 47 PPG, giving us a built-in advantage with this low number.  Perhaps more importantly is the fact that these primetime games continue to go OVER on an almost automatic basis with an 18-6 ATS OVER record for the year.

Free NFL Pick:  Bet Over the total & Raiders ATS at BetOnline