Kansas City Chiefs (5-1 SU, 5-1 ATS, 4-2 O/U) at Oakland Raiders (2-4 SU, 2-4 ATS, 2-4 O/U)
When and Where: Thursday, Oct. 19, Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, Calif, 8:25pmET
Line: Kansas City -2.5
The Kansas City Chiefs could run away with the AFC West if Denver, the Chargers, and Oakland continue to struggle. But the Chiefs exposed some weaknesses last week in their 19-13 home loss against Pittsburgh. The Raiders have now lost four straight games after opening up the season 2-0. They lost at home to the Los Angeles Chargers, 17-16.
Chiefs could miss Hill
Kansas City won their first six games based on a strong running game and the playmaking of wide receiver/returner Tyreek “thrill” Hill. The speedy receiver was injured against Pittsburgh, suffering a possible concussion. However, after the game, head coach Andy Reid said the Chiefs cleared Hill after he and running back Charcandrick West were evaluated for concussions. The good news is that Hill should be fine but the bad news was that Pittsburgh absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage against the Chiefs. Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell rushed for 179 yards on 32 carries yet the Chiefs still had a chance to win. With 3:24 left in the game, the Steelers had the ball, up 12-10. Ben Roethlisberger, on third-and-two, lofted a pass to Antonio Brown he raced down the sidelines to give the Steelers the 19-10 lead. The Chiefs added a Harrison Butker 33-yard field goal with 2:17 left but couldn’t get the ball back.
Kansas City wound up with 223 passing yards but just 28 rushing yards on 15 carries. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt was held to 21 yards on nine carries. They also allowed 439 yards of total offense. Was this a wake-up call for the Chiefs? This was a team that had averaged 387 yards per game (2nd) and 134.8 rushing yards (5th) after the Steelers loss. Hunt has 630 rushing yards and six TDs, while Alex Smith has 1,637 passing yards with 12 TDs and no picks this season. The concern is on the defensive side of the ball, where they rank 29th in yards allowed per game and 26th in rushing yards allowed per game (130.7ypg).
What is going on in Oakland?
In their four-game losing streak, the Raiders have averaged 13.2 points per game. They lost Derek Carr for one game (Baltimore) due to injury but he came back to face the Chargers on Sunday. Carr was not great, completing 21 of 30 for 171 yards with one TD and two picks. He also didn’t get much help from the running game, save for a 47-yard run by wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson for a touchdown with 7:51 left in the game. That score gave the Raiders a 16-14 lead. Unfortunately, Oakland couldn’t hold onto the lead and their longtime tormenter, Phillip Rivers drove them down the field and Nick Novak booted a 32-yard field goal as time expired to give the Chargers the 17-16 win.
Oakland struggled against Rivers, who threw for 268 yards and running back Melvin Gordon, who rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown. Gordon also caught nine passes for 67 yards and a score. The Raiders rank 30th in the NFL in yards per game (278.3) and 26th in passing yards per game (184.7). They allow 349.8 yards per game (23rd) and 117.2 yards on the ground (21st).
Kansas City is:
- 6-0 ATS last 6 against the AFC West.
- 14-3 ATS last 17 road games.
- 2-5 ATS last 7 overall.
The team is 21-7 ATS last 28 in this series and the Chiefs are 11-3 ATS last 14 on the road in this series. The Raiders are a complete mess right now and it starts with Carr, who is obviously not 100 percent. But even before the injury, he had issues with receivers dropping passes and Marshawn Lynch looks like he’s lost a step or two after taking the year off in “retirement”.
Pick: Kansas City
Pittsburgh showed that when you stop the Chiefs’ running game, you can stop the Chiefs. Even with a running game, Kansas City is usually not an explosive team on offense unless Hill goes nuts in the passing and return game. The Raiders just aren’t scoring right now and there are more concerns than just Carr. The Raiders are 18-6 Under their last 26 meetings against Kansas City. The Chiefs are 16-6 Under their last 22 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game.