Raiders +11.5 (-108), +455 ML, Over 55 Points (-115)
Chiefs -11.5 (-112), -600 ML, Under 55 Points (-105)
Earlier this week, BetOnline officially paid out bettors that had wagered on the Kansas City Chiefs to win the AFC West. The reigning Super Bowl champions are off to a perfect 4-0 start. With the division’s other three teams looking fairly ragged, BetOnline decided to call the race just a quarter of the way into the season.
While the Chiefs may well be home-free in the division, nothing is certain yet. Kansas City is sitting pretty, but the Las Vegas Raiders are still very much alive in the race. The Raiders suffered a setback at home last week against the Buffalo Bills to fall to 2-2, but a victory this Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium would probably make the folks at BetOnline reconsider their aforementioned decision.
Of course, those very same oddsmakers aren’t too keen on Vegas’ chances. The Raiders are 11.5-point favorites heading into Week 5 in Kansas City. Only the Cincinnati Bengals, who head to Baltimore to take on the Ravens as 13-point underdogs, are bigger ‘dogs this week. The Raiders haven’t beaten the Chiefs since a 31-30 win in Oakland back in October of 2017, back when Patrick Mahomes was a rookie riding the bench behind Alex Smith.
Chiefs’ Short Week
One potential disadvantage for the Kansas City Chiefs in this one is the fact that they’ll have had one less day of rest than the Raiders coming into this game. That’s because Cam Newton’s positive test result last weekend forced their originally-scheduled Sunday game against the Patriots to be pushed back to Monday night. Kansas City still easily beat the shorthanded Patriots that night, but the Raiders will surely take any advantage they can possibly find.
While the Packers’ offense has been the talk of the NFL early this season, the Chiefs actually lead the league in offensive DVOA once again. That ranking is thanks in large part to the team’s prolific passing attack. KC is first in the league in passing DVOA, but just 22nd in the run game.
Mahomes is challenging to win his second league MVP award in three years. Through four games, the Texas Tech product has completed better than 67 percent of his attempts for over 1,100 yards with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. It should come as no surprise that Mahomes went 2-0 against the Raiders last season, winning the games by a cumulative score of 68-19. Yikes.
So far this season, the Chiefs have put a total of 117 points on the board. That’s the fourth-highest mark in the AFC, trailing only the Browns (!!!), Ravens, and Bills.
Raiders’ High-Scoring Games
The Las Vegas Raiders (111 points) aren’t far behind the Chiefs in the scoring department, but the defense has allowed its fair share of points, too. Las Vegas has already allowed 120 points, which is fourth-most in the AFC and the highest mark in the AFC West by a huge margin. No other team in the division has even allowed 100 points yet. The Chiefs have only coughed up 70.
Las Vegas got off to a 2-0 start with back-to-back wins over the Panthers and Saints before dropping their last two games to the Patriots and Bills. Their most impressive showing of the season came with that 10-point win over New Orleans in their Allegiant Stadium home opener, but they have been somewhat competitive in every game.
The defense has allowed at least 30 points in three of those four contests, though, which is obviously a concern. Vegas is just 28th in the league in defensive DVOA. Only the Panthers, Dolphins, Jaguars, and Packers have been more underwhelming in that regard.
Games involving the Raiders have hit the over in three of the first four weeks, with the lone other result being a push. Thanks to their solid defensive showings, the over has hit in just one of the Chiefs’ first four games.
Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Pick
Derek Carr hasn’t thrown an interception in any game since December of last year, a streak lasting eight games and counting. That streak will be challenged this week against a Chiefs defense that has already picked off five passes so far this season. The Raiders, meanwhile, have forced just two takeaways through four games.
Scoring has been up in general this season. The Raiders haven’t shown much defensive resistance against anybody, so I have no idea how they plan to stop the NFL’s most prolific offense on the road this week.
The Chiefs have been far stingier, but the Raiders will be one of their most difficult matchups to date. KC has an impressive win over the Ravens, but their other three opponents have been the winless Texans, a Chargers team featuring a rookie QB making his first NFL start, and a Patriots team starting Brian Hoyer.
I like the over here. 55 points is a high mark, but both of these teams know what they’re doing offensively. I’m not sold on the Chiefs actually being one of the better defenses in the league, so I’d be surprised if they completely stifled Las Vegas’ attack in this one. The juice (-115) slightly favors the over on 55, and with good reason.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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