Take the Chiefs -6 ATS vs. Raiders as NFL Pick

Jason Lake

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 6:15 PM GMT

Everything’s going right for the Chiefs. They’re destroying the NFL odds at 8-2 ATS, and they’ve got a very easy opponent this week in the winless Oakland Raiders. Does that mean this is a trap game?

Jason’s record after Week 11: 29-43 ATS, 13-17-1 Totals

Profit: minus-45.95 units

Say hello to the 2014 Kansas City Chiefs: Super Bowl Contenders. The Chiefs (7-3 SU, 8-2 ATS) ride into Week 12 on a five-game winning streak SU and ATS, capped off with a big 24-20 victory over the current champions, the Seattle Seahawks (–1 away). With the win, Kansas City pulls even with the Denver Broncos for the AFC West lead. That’s some elite company right there.


Still not impressed? What if we told you Kansas City had yet to face the Oakland Raiders (0-10 SU, 5-5 ATS) this year? They’ll meet Thursday night at the Coliseum, where the opening NFL odds had the Chiefs laying six points – that spread has reached the magic number seven at most of our featured online sportsbooks, although you can get a valuable half-point in either direction as we go to press. So is it still a “trap” game if you’ve been presented the opportunity to grab Oakland at +7.5 instead of falling for the bait?

 

Blowout Comb
We’ll pound that cheese all day long. It’s not that we’re ignorant of the potential value that Oakland brings to the table this Thursday (8:25 p.m. ET, NFLN). Earlier this year, the Raiders played the starring role in our Week 6 NFL betting trend, where divisional underdogs of seven points or more were 144-130 ATS (52.6 percent) since 2002. Oakland followed through with a narrow 31-28 loss to the San Diego Chargers (–7.5 away).

The Raiders did it to the Chargers once more on Sunday, losing 13-6 as 10.5-point road dogs. It could certainly happen again this week against Kansas City. But beating the football odds against San Diego is no big deal these days. The Chiefs are made of stronger stuff: Pro Football Reference has them tied with Denver at plus-9.3 SRS, and the latest DVOA rankings at Football Outsiders have them ranked No. 6 overall (No. 7 offense, No. 14 defense, No. 7 special teams).

Conveniently enough, we can use Denver as a comparison point for Thursday’s game. In Week 10, the Raiders were 12.5-point home dogs against the Broncos, and while Oakland kept the game close in the first half, it ended in a 41-17 blowout. On top of that, the Raiders were 0-3-1 ATS last year as 7-point dogs or more versus the AFC West, including a 24-7 loss to the Chiefs (–7.5 at home) in Week 6. We’re not scared of chalk this week. Besides, Oakland’s minus-7.3 SRS suggests that the Chiefs should be double-digit favorites, market considerations aside.

 

Carr Trouble
It doesn’t help Oakland’s cause that rookie QB Derek Carr (76.8 passer rating) was limited during practice on Monday and Tuesday. Carr injured a quad during the first quarter of the Chargers game and played through it; he’s expected to suit up on Thursday as well. It’s something of a miracle that Carr has been able to stay somewhat healthy this year – Oakland’s offensive line is paper-thin, but it’s only given up 11 sacks all season.

We’ll see if that holds up against a Chiefs defensive line that ranks No. 7 in adjusted sack rate (7.8 percent) after collecting 30 sacks thus far. If there’s one glaring weakness with Kansas City, it’s in stuffing the run, but the Raiders are also very poor at run blocking, so we’ll call it a wash. Give us that bargain price on the Chiefs for our NFL pick, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

 

The Five Stars
Depth/Travel/Rest: KC
Defense/Special Teams: KC
Coaching: KC
Market Bias: OAK
Betting Line Value: KC

Verdict: 3-star pick on KC

Free NFL Pick: Bet 5.5 units on the Chiefs –6.5 (–114) at SBOBET

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