Oakland Raiders (7-8 SU, 7-8 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (10-5 SU, 8-7 ATS)
NFL Week 17
Date/Time: Sunday, January 3, 4:25pm
Where: Arrowhead Stadium - Kansas City, MO
by Bob, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OAK +7 / KC -7
Over/Under Total: 43.5
This Sunday, there is an AFC West match up between an AFC contender and a team that is on the rise and trying to get back to the glory days. At 4:25pm, the Oakland Raiders will invade Arrowhead Stadium to take on the 10-5 Kansas City Chiefs. Much like the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC, the Chiefs are being overlooked as a true contender, and that may not be the smartest things to do. The Chiefs are a playoff team, while the Oakland Raiders, who may not be in Oakland much longer, are finally becoming respectable again after nearly a decade of being just plain bad. These two teams met earlier in the season and the Chiefs got out of Oakland with a 34-20 win.
This game opens with the Kansas City Chiefs as a touchdown favorite over the Raiders. The Chiefs have clinched a playoff spot, but a win would solidify them as the AFCs 5th seed. A win not only would clinch them the 5th seed, but a win and a loss by the Denver Broncos to the Chargers, which is unlikely, would give the Chiefs the AFC West crown. A loss and win by the Jets would have the Jets as the 5th seed and the Chiefs would fall to the 6th. So this game does have some meaning for the Chiefs but a loss would not be devastating. For that reason, I think this spread is a little high in favor of the Chiefs. I would guess this line being a 3.5 or 4 point spread, not a full touchdown, but like I always saywho am I? And what do I know? I will say this though, as of right now, the betting public agrees with me. 57% of the action is on the Raiders to get the road cover in this one. I am not saying that siding with the public is a good thing, it rarely islol. The total points in this one are set at 43.5 combined, which is a solid line, 51% like the over, while 49% are sitting on the under.
The Kansas City Chiefs started this season at 1-5 and it seemed like they were in for a bad, bad year. Well, nine straight wins later, they sit at 10-5 and have clinched a playoff spot. How are they winning? Old school, smash mouth football and solid defense. Kansas City is not that team that will line up and put up 38-40 points a game, they justwin. Now do not get me wrong, when they need to score they can. Averaging right at 25 points a game, the Chiefs have the 9th best scoring offense in the NFL. However, the real reason this team is 10-5 is because their defense is shutting people down. Allowing just 18 points a game, the Kansas City Chiefs are ranked 2nd in the entire NFL in that category. You cannot get much better than that. On offense, the Chiefs run game has been their bread and butter. Putting up 123 yards a game on the ground, the Chiefs are able to shorten games and keep the opponents offense off the field. This in return benefits the defense. The Chiefs are not a feared passing team, but Alex Smith is the ultimate game manager. He has thrown for over 3,000 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2015, but the key stat is the fact that he has only thrown five interceptions and protects the ball rather well. That is the key this weekend and throughout the post season. Play defense, protect the ball, and control the tempo. If Kansas City dictates this game against Oakland, I like them to win big again.
The Oakland Raiders are back. Well, not all the way back, but they are no long penciled in for 10-12 losses a season and are finally being respected. Quarterback, Derek Carr and rookie wide receive Amari Cooper have the offense clicking in the passing game while Latavious Murray has gone over 1,000 yards on the ground and has six scores of his own. This offense is becoming very balanced and very feared around the league. As this core group grows together and if the Raiders can improve on defense, this can be a really good team for years to come. I am sure the Raider Nation is ready for thatits been awhile. If the Raiders have any hopes of getting this win on the road and finishing the season at 8-8, they are going to need to do a few things. First off, get the passing offense going. The only way to score points on this Chiefs defense is to keep them off balance. A one dimensional game plan will not work, it just wont. On defense, the Raiders need to stop the run. They need to force Alex Smith to beat them with his arm. Is he capable of that? Yes. But I would rather take my chances with that, rather than have the Chiefs run the ball down our throats all day. Last but not least, do not turn the ball over. Yes, very clich, but very true. Protect the ball and even if you are not scoring, force the Chiefs to drive the field, do not give them good field position due to fumbles or picks.
This is a tough one. I could see this game going either way but I am going with the public on this one. I think Oakland comes in and plays well enough to keep this game close. I like Kansas City to still get the win and go 11-5 on the season, but I see a 20-14 type game.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I LIKE OAKLAND PLUS THE POINTS. OAKLAND +7
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