Pick Raiders To Cover With A Straight Win vs. Chiefs in Week 17

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 5:00 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015 5:00 PM GMT

The Raiders are fresh off the heels of a win yet their playoff hopes are extinguished as they take on the high flying Chiefs at Arrowhead. Let’s take a look at what the NFL odds makers are offering.

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NFL Pick: Play Oakland +7 (-115) 
Best Line Offered: at GTBets


Oakland Raiders (7-8 SU, 7-8 ATS)
There will be no postseason for the Raiders and its fans this season but that doesn’t mean the team is in distress. They have been improving since drafting rookie signal caller Derek Carr last year and went from a cellar dwelling 3-13 record in 2014 to a shot at .500 this season. Carr is on pace to throw for over 4000 yards and upped his TD total from 21 last season to 31with one game left in this year’s campaign. The Oakland brass gave him a shiny new toy in Amari Cooper, selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft, that has paid big dividends and the pair should be an elite pass-and-catch combination for years to come.

Unfortunately future Hall-of-Famer Charles Woodson has already declared he will bid adieu to Oakland after the game on Sunday and walk into retirement as one of the greatest defensive backs to ever grace the gridiron. Woodson has been decorated more than a Christmas tree since Oakland selected him fourth-overall in 1998 after becoming the first defensive player ever to win the Heisman back in 1997. He has earned eight Pro Bowl trips, named Defensive Player of the Year twice and the only player to ever register more than 50 interceptions with at least 20 sacks. He has also notched 16 fumble recoveries and 13 touchdowns as well as helped the Packers to a Super Bowl victory in 2010 during his 18-year career. Woodson’s leadership on and off the field will be missed in next season’s edition of the Silver & Black.

Must Read: Examining False Favorites & Top Dogs For Our Week 17 NFL Picks

Kansas City Chiefs (10-5 SU, 8-7 ATS)
The Chiefs were installed as 11 ½ point home favorites over the Cleveland Browns last week and though they came away with a much needed victory it was not nearly as easy as the NFL odds makers anticipated. Kansas City broke out to a 17-3 lead at the half, giving all those who backed the Chiefs in their NFL picks last week a reason to cheer. But the frivolity was short-lived as the Browns staged a comeback and shut out the Chiefs in the second half. When the dust settled Kansas City held onto a 17-13 victory and a shot at the AFC West title if they defeat the Raiders, and the Broncos lose to the Chargers, this week.

Alex Smith continues his legacy as a game manager as opposed to a game changer with two touchdown passes in last week’s victory over the Browns but had only 125 passing yards with one interception. However, Smith is able to run away from trouble and he did so with a 29-yard long gainer for a total of 56 yards rushing in last week’s crucial win. The Browns held the Chiefs to only 258 yards of total offense.


Betting Analysis
The Chiefs’ offense scares me and it should scare you too if you have any inkling towards betting them in Week 17. To illustrate just how listless they have become consider that they have averaged only 274 net yards over the past month while their opponents have averaged 344 during that span. Yes, they are winning but have been outgained by 70 yards per contest by the likes of the Raiders, Chargers, Ravens and Browns. Not exactly the elite of the league.

Though KC did come away with a 34-20 victory four weeks ago in Oakland we should note that the Raiders kept this one tight until a few critical Derek Carr miscues turned the game around in favor of the visitors. By no means did that score reflect how close that game truly was but the squares will look at that result and figure that if the Chiefs defeated the Raiders by two touchdowns in Oakland then this relatively short number should be ice cream in terms of a Kansas City cover. Don’t buy that logic because Kansas City will have a tough time moving the ball and that will lead to another defensive struggle. If Carr can keep his wits about him and hold a lead instead of throwing it away then you could see not only an Oakland cover but a straight up win.

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