Kansas City Chiefs (5-1 SU, 5-1 ATS) vs. Oakland Raiders (2-4 SU, 2-4 ATS)
NFL Week 7
Date/Time: Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 8:25PM ET
Where: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California
TV: NFL Network
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: KC -3/OAK +3
Over/Under Total: 47
The Kansas City Chiefs come to the Coliseum to face the Oakland Raiders on Thursday Night Football. This AFC West matchup is important for both teams. The Chiefs were upset at home on Sunday, losing their first game of the season to the Steelers, 19-13. It was also the first time they didnt cover the spread this season. They look to stop the bleeding against a team they beat twice last season in the Oakland Raiders. The Silver and Black came up short on Sunday, falling at home to the Chargers on a last-second field goal. The 17-16 loss dropped them to 2-4. Derek Carr is now back behind center and they need to start winning before this season gets away from them.
The Chiefs are still in a pretty good spot. They lost to a desperate Steelers bunch on Sunday and hope to avoid the same fate this week. They really struggled to get an offensive foothold against a good Steelers defense that played really well. And their defense was exploited to some extent, especially on the ground. They look for better play on both sides of the ball this week. Last season, they seemed to match up well with the Raiders and in Oakland, they posted a 26-10 win over the Raiders.
The Chiefs offense labored on Sunday, but this season has seen them transform into a far-more potent group, bolstered by better playmaking and more tools with which to work. Alex Smith had 246 yards and a TD, while Kareem Hunt had 89 receiving yards. But the big plays didnt really come down, with Hunt quiet out of the backfield and a calm game from Tyreek Hill (questionable) and Travis Kelce. An offensive line that has dealt with personnel issues this season was dominated in spots. But dont expect that every week and Oaklands defense will struggle in keeping all of the Chiefs tools in check. With Alex Smith very accurate and not prone to mistakes, with the explosive potential of Hill, Hunt, and Kelce, along with DeAnthony Thomas, there is a lot of speed and variety to contain for opposing defenses.
A vital Kansas City offense has taken some heat off the defense. When making plays left and right and putting up a bunch of points, liabilities on the D are less-visible. But they arent all that stout for the most part. At their best, they depend on the offense to take the lead, while providing enough timely stops and big plays to tip the scales in the Chiefs favor. At their worst, they are readily exploitable. They arent that great against the run, as LeVeon Bell illustrated on Sunday with 179 yards. Antonio Brown also had a big day and we see Marcus Peters struggling with the better receivers he faces this season, though he did have another pick on Sunday. This defense did really well last season against the Raiders, yielding a total of 23 points in their two divisional games. They look for that pattern to continue this week. And its not like its a high-crime to give up 19 points to the Steelers.
Having already equaled their total losses from last season, the Raiders already find themselves in a bit of trouble. They seem to have lost whatever edge they had last season, as the formula for success has fallen flat. The health issues to Derek Carr havent helped and maybe he needed a game on Sunday to shake off the rust. They had recently been really good against the Chargers, but a late FG was a tough pill to swallow, especially as Oakland missed a late extra-point that could have prevented the loss. Last season, it seemed like the Raiders always came up with the right answers late in games and that hasnt been the case this season.
The Oakland offense should get better with more continuity and Carr finding his stride. But the 1-2 receiver punch with Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper has really fallen flat. Cooper has strangely disappeared. Cordarrelle Patterson was big on Sunday with a long rushing TD on an end-around. But with the success they had last season and the additions made, a lot more was expected. Marshawn Lynch has made some nice runs, but his addition hasnt been a real difference-maker. They look to get things on the right track and a big part of that would be if they discovered the knack they developed last season in how they thrived late in games.
The lack of offense so far this year for the Raiders has been a big part of why the defense looks to be depreciated. In all but two games, theyve allowed 20 or less points, so its not like theyve been that horrible. They havent gotten an interception this season yet and the secondary is not one of the best in the league, which is a kind way to put it. Khalil Mack often struggles in finding a running-mate who can also deliver in the big-play department. They simply need to create more positivity, whether it comes via the pass-rush, turnovers, scores, or whatever. Theyre just sort of there through 6 games. And even though they werent great last season, they were more-resolute and effective late in games or in other key moments throughout the game. In those key moments this season, this side of the ball has more or less disappeared.
The urgency angle can sometimes be overplayed when betting on NFL football. A lot of people will bet on Oakland because they need it more. But Kansas City losing last week was probably bad for Oakland, as Kansas City will be less-compliant in light of Oaklands heightened sense of urgency. Still, I picture a tough divisional game, with some Oakland desperation resonating to a certain degree. Ill take the home dog in this one.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Oakland Raiders plus 3 points. - Bet your prediction for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% bonus at MyBookie.