Pick Raiders to Cover as 11.5 Underdogs vs. Chiefs

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 2:15 PM GMT

The Kansas City Chiefs look for redemption against the Oakland Raiders in week 15 NFL betting. Here's a preview of this AFC West showdown complete with the latest NFL betting odds and our choice NFL picks.

Oakland Raiders (2-11 SU, 0-6 away)
The Oakland Raiders sent seismic shockwaves through NFL betting markets when they beat the Kansas City Chiefs 24-20 in week 12 NFL betting all while installed as the 7-point home underdogs against the spread. It marked the Raiders first win of the season, first in 16 games stretching over two miserable seasons.

Any euphoria, bonhomie the Raiders may have been feeling was mercilessly sparked out by the Rams the following week in a 52-0 evisceration that left NFL betting circles agog. Not because the Raiders reverted back to their losing ways but rather the manner in which they lost. Utterly outmuscled, outplayed and outscored by the Rams to suffer their worst loss in 50 years. Who knew the Rams had that kind of game up their sleeves, never mind.

Predictably, week 14 NFL betting opened with the Raiders absolutely at the disadvantage against the San Francisco 49ers. Fickle is NFL betting  – one week the darling of the catwalk, the next an out-of-favour model of inconsistency and unreliability.

Confidence back to its usual low, so too their stock value – opening NFL betting odds lines had the Raiders matched as the 7-point home underdogs and by closing doors they were bet as high as 9-points at some cyber shops – nobody expected the Raiders to overcome the Niners quite the way they did. Tale told, they dominated the Niners en route to a convincing 24-13 win, cashing not only against the spread but also in straight up betting markets. The seismic shockwaves are still reverberating on the Richter scale across the nation.

While the Raiders winning straight up might have been a curveball few would have predicted – FACT: you'd have been laughed off the NFL trading floor had you been so bold – against the spread the Oakland Raiders have been for bookies the equivalent of the goose that lays golden eggs. They are 7-6 ATS overall this season, lining bookies' pockets while burning quite a few NFL bettors in the process, who've put more stock in their overall losing ways rather than their ability to compete regardless of the matchup.

This week's odds board has the Raiders installed as the whopping 10-point road underdogs. Even as high as 11.5-point road underdogs at some cyber shops. If the Raiders have taught us one thing, it's to tread carefully where they are concerned. This has the feeling of a trap in every sense. Problem is it's not quite certain which side of the fence the trap is.

As it stands, early money coming down the wire is almost exclusively on the Raiders. At least 67% of the public money is behind the Raiders, which is largely down to the reaction to their big win and cover last week?  Does the public have it right? Do we shade the Raiders on our NFL picks or fade the public and take the Chiefs as the sharp NFL pick?
 

Kansas City Chiefs (7-6 SU, 4-2 home)
Chiefs failed to come through for their backers in the one game they were unquestionably supposed to win and since then their season and, in turn, playoff hopes have taken a nosedive.

Week 12 NFL betting had the Chiefs installed as the 7-point road favourites for their Thursday Night Primetime Football clash with the Raiders. It was the first time of all their away games up to that point they were matched as the favourites, prohibitively so no less. They botched it royally. They allowed a last minute Raiders drive to score the game-winning touchdown that lifted the Raiders to the 24-20 win. And since then they haven't recovered.

In hindsight, that was a significant turnaround for the Chiefs. They've lost three on the trot – 29-16 at home to Denver and 17-14 at Arizona. Their defense is taxed and struggling to hold off opposing offenses and their offense has gone MIA. Granted the matchup with the Broncos was always going to be a tough one for them to win but last week's clash against the Cardinals had them close as the 2.5-point road chalk before kickoff, only for the Chiefs to burn NFL bettors for the second time this season as road favourites. Hardly a ringing endorsement of their whopping NFL odds in week 15 now is it.
 

NFL Betting Verdict:
All of a sudden, the Chiefs look like a team that has flattered to deceive us all along. Once in a while, every team has a bad day. A bad loss. But they are supposed to bounce back from those in their next game. That's what true champions do; those legitimate contenders. The Chiefs' failure to bounce back from that unfortunate road loss to the Raiders has taken the shine off their NFL odds. They may yet be a winning team with a 7-6 SU record and an 8-5 overall ATS record with a 3.8 average margin of victory (4-2 ATS at home with a 7.2-margin of victory), but current form belies those trends built up over the course of the season.

As it stands, the Chiefs are winless in their last three games, outscored 70-to-50 for a 20-point differential or a 6.7-point margin of defeat. This might be the game they bounce back in with a win, but to be giving them as many as 11.5-points during their current disarray seems a little overly generous. Heck, even 10-points seems a lot. Raiders may be nothing to write home about but they've held opponents close. Set aside the 52-0 drumming by the Rams, their previous two outings saw them lose to the Chargers 13-6 and the Seahawks 30-24. Chiefs may win this game but the Raiders as the 11.5-point underdogs should cover.

Free NFL Picks: Raiders to cover at + 11.5

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