Lay the Chalk in Chiefs vs. Raiders NFL Picks

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 3:39 PM GMT

Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 3:39 PM GMT

Kansas City Chiefs descend on the Oakland Raiders in week 12 NFL betting, the first occasion this season in which the Chiefs are matched as the road chalk on the NFL odds board.

What's At Stake
The Kansas City Chiefs are hot on the trot behind a five-game winning streak that has them tied at the top of the AFC West with the Denver Broncos. Indeed, Peyton Manning and the Broncos dropped the ball, literally, in a shocking defeat to the St. Louis Rams last week, which opened the door in a potentially scintillating race down the stretch for the AFC West title.

As things currently stand in futures betting, the Broncos have the market cornered as the -400 favourites. Chiefs, at +375 to win the AFC title, could make things interesting. Certainly, their upcoming clash with the Oakland Raiders looms more straightforward than does the Bronco's date with the Dolphins at Mile High. It goes without saying, it's a must-win game for both the Chiefs and Broncos on week 12's NFL betting board.

 

Chiefs -7.0 over Raiders
No team has showed up to play like the Kansas City Chiefs have this season, save for the Arizona Cardinals; what these two outfits share in common is an 8-2 ATS record through ten games on the season. Where the Chiefs emerge slightly better with the same ATS record is in margin of victory, which stands at 7-points. While the Chiefs won't dazzle NFL bettors on the field or blow opposing teams off the scoreboard on a regular basis, one thing is certain: they show up to play and they beat the teams they should beat. The winless Oakland Raiders (0-10 SU on the season and 5-5 ATS with an 11-3 margin of defeat) are exactly the sort of opponent the Chiefs not only beat, but make mincemeat of on the scoreboard.

Chiefs are 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS on the road, albeit highlighted by a mere 2.8-point margin of victory. Consider the two road losses came to the Broncos and Niners, two of last season's playoff contenders that went deep into the post season, we could overlook those for the sake of argument. If we take those defeats out of the equation, if only to gain a sense of how well they could perform when they are winning on the road, we see the Chiefs have outscored opponents 74-to-48 for a 26-point differential or an 8.7-point margin of victory.

It's interesting to note, this is the first time the Chiefs are matched as the road favourites this season. (In previous outings, they were matched as the road underdogs, including their trip to Buffalo in week 10 NFL betting.) For a first time out on the NFL betting catwalk as the road favourites, to be strutting their stuff on a 7-point spread marks a significant volte-face on the NFL trading floor.

Then again, consider the Raiders are 0-10 SU all while boasting an 11.3-point margin of defeat, it makes perfect sense. In fact, the Raiders are even worse at home in terms of margins of defeat – their 0-4 SU record is punctuated by a 13.5-point margin of defeat. Miami, San Diego, Arizona and Denver all beat the Raiders by double digits.

Granted the Raiders are flush off a commendable 13-6 loss to the Chargers, their second hefty cover in the last three weeks (they covered as the 13-point underdogs at the expense of the Seahawks in a 30-24 loss), but these performances have all come on the road. Actually, the Raiders are a better team against the spread on their travels than they are at home with a 4-1 ATS record and just a 7-point margin of defeat.

 

NFL Betting Verdict 
It's obvious the burden of expectation at home, not least the frustration of home fans through the course of their winless run to date, is all too much for the Raiders. Simply put: they can't rise to the occasion in their own stadium, succumbing instead to double-digit blowouts in each and every home date this season. In spite of that glaring fact sportsbooks have installed the Raiders as the 7-point home pups – most likely down to their big covers at the expense of the Chargers and Seahawks in recent weeks, feats accomplished on the road.

One has to consider, though, the mounting effect losing is sure to have on the Raiders now that the season is fast approaching the business end. They can't seem to buy a win no matter how hard they try, which leaves us wondering how much fight they have left in them.

Whichever way you slice this matchup, this presents an attractive opportunity for NFL bettors looking to back the Chiefs on their NFL picks. As mentioned above, Chiefs are one of the best teams to back against the spread this season with an 8-2 ATS record. What's more the Chiefs have a tendency to show up in games they are supposed to win. Though blowouts mightn't be the norm, they've been known to deliver a few here and there. There's also the playoff implications this game presents. Kansas City aren't going to take anything for granted, not least underestimate the Raiders. If anything, we're predicting the complete opposite. A big win by the Chiefs on their first road trip as the NFL betting favourites.

Free NFL Picks: Chiefs -7.0 at Betonline

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