The Raiders upset the Chiefs 40-32 in Kansas City on October 11th. Can the Chiefs get some payback when the two teams meet in Las Vegas on Sunday Night Football? Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and our NFL pick.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Sunday, November 22, 2020 – 08:20 PM EST at Allegiant Stadium
The Numbers Don't Lie
Time to bring in the quants. Comparing the following projections to the NFL odds will help us make the right choice:
FiveThirtyEight: Chiefs 71 percent
Equivalent Odds (using SBR’s Odds Converter): -245
The Chiefs opened as 6.5-point favorites and over at FiveThirtyEight, they have them as 6.5-point faves as well. This is one of the rare cases in which the projections and the actual NFL odds match.
For support, we turn to USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin’s projections; he has the Chiefs at -4.21 this week using his Rating numbers, and –4.24 using his eigenvector analysis. That leaves plenty of room to grab some potential betting value with the Raiders +7.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are still the team to beat this season and they have a stacked roster with difference-makers like Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu but the player who elevates them to Super Bowl favorites is Patrick Mahomes, who ranks first among all NFL quarterbacks with a 36.5 percent passing DVOA at Football Outsiders.
Mahomes' value, per play, over an average quarterback in the same game situations is very impressive. Aaron Rodgers ranks second behind Mahomes and he has a 29.1 percent passing DVOA. That's a big difference. How special is Mahomes? The reigning Super Bowl MVP is also a former NFL MVP and a frontrunner for that award again this season. He is completing 66.9 percent of his passes with 25 touchdowns and only one interception. Mahomes is averaging 298.6 passing yards per game and is on pace for 4,777 passing yards with 44 touchdowns and two interceptions.
It's not just about the numbers. No lead is safe against Mahomes. The way he inspired the Chiefs to get back from double-digit deficits in their three playoff games last year proves it. He is a special talent and it took the Raiders 40 points to beat the Chiefs in their last meeting.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Las Vegas Raiders are on fire, winning three straight games and they can make a statement on Sunday night. The defense is improving, Derek Carr is playing like an MVP and this is a team that can run the ball. The last time these two teams,
The Raiders look to sweep the Chiefs for the first time since
As effective as Derek Carr (18.5 percent passing DVOA at Football Outsiders) has been, Las Vegas' two-headed monster at running back can help them keep up with Kansas City. Jacobs and Booker have to make sure that Kansas City's high-powered offense is on the sidelines as much as possible.
The offensive line was ravaged by injuries last Sunday but the Raiders were still able to run all over the Broncos. Jacobs and Booker combined for 193 yards and four touchdowns and both averaged more than five yards per carry. The Kansas City defense is better than Denver's but the path to victory is clear. The Raiders have to control the time of possession and minimize their mistakes. Jacobs and Booker can help them do just that and at least keep this game close.