The Kansas City Chiefs travel out west to Oakland for a showdown with the Raiders. There are a lot of important games this week and the Chiefs and Raiders are no exception. The Chiefs have revived themselves after a rather abysmal start to the season. KC lost five straight games and now have won five straight. Some of those weren’t even close games, note the Lions, Broncos, and Chargers game. The Chiefs were just out west a couple weeks ago against the Chargers, a 33-3 beat down. Kansas City has reinvented themselves and are suddenly in the middle of a playoff hunt. Fans were calling for Andy Reid’s head, but he has calmed the Chief faithful down by delivering five straight victories. They are 6-5 heading into a critical portion of the season. I noted how the Texans can’t stop winning, well the Chiefs have to keep winning as well. They are the cusp of being a postseason team or not. The way they have been playing as of the last several weeks, they definitely look like playoff contenders. They look like the Chiefs we have seen with Alex Smith at the helm the last couple seasons.
Now that they’re on the upswing, everyone is singing their praises. Conversely, the Oakland Raiders have made huge strides from last season and the year before. Since they have drafted Derek Carr at quarterback, the offense and team as a whole have gotten better steadily. It isn’t like it was an overnight transformation, but the Raiders are noticeably a better team. Finally, their long search for a good quarterback is over. Carr has really asserted himself in the Raiders’ offense not only as a great player but a leader as well. He has passed for 24 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Carr also holds a superb quarterback rating of 101.5. The JeMarcus Russel era is most certainly over in Oakland.
The Raiders are 5-6 and with a strong final push would be able to make the playoffs as well. There are so many teams in the NFL right now who are on the cusp of making the playoffs. It’s going to make for an interesting race to clinch a spot. Keeping an eye on the Chiefs and Raiders could be interesting as well. The Raiders in particular, who are looking for their first playoff appearance in a decade. Derek Carr may be the guy to end the drought in Oakland.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders Betting Odds:
vs. Raiders +3(-115)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Chiefs vs. Raiders Pick
The Chiefs and Raiders split last season. The Raiders beating the Chiefs at home 24-20 and then the Chiefs returning the favor for a 31-10 blowout in Kansas City. The Raiders were able to snap a three game skid last week by beating the Titans 24-21 at home. They needed that win in a big way. Losing four in a row would have killed this team and their playoff hopes. There isn’t much room for error for the Raiders now. The offense has improved drastically this season. They are unrecognizable in a lot of ways. The Raiders have a top 10 offense for the first time as I can remember, averaging 24 points per game and 369 yards per game. The defense though has had problems, as they are sixth worst in the NFL in yards allowed. They are also allowing 26 points per game on average.
The offense has been purring for the Chiefs of late, as they have scored 33 points per game in their past five games. When Jamaal Charles went down it was like their world ended. But the Chiefs have been able to manage and even excel without Charles. They have accepted the fact their offense is running around him, so they have compensated and come up with another game plan. It has worked. Running back Spencer Ware has come on in the last two weeks, rushing for 96 yards against the Chargers and 114 against the Bills with two touchdowns. Two underrated offenses going at it this afternoon, which I see being more high scoring than expected.
PICK: OVER 44.5 POINTS (-110)