The Kansas City Chiefs locked up the AFC West last week with a 34-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans while the 7-8 Oakland Raiders are coming off a 31-26 setback to the Indianapolis Colts, though in the eyes of oddsmakers this week’s matchup between the two teams is expected to be close.
The Chiefs are currently favored over the Raiders by 3.5 points.
Last week Kansas City found themselves as five point favorites over the Tennessee Titans, a number the clearly wasn’t large enough.
These two teams met back in Week 9, when a pair of Sebastian Janikowski field goals sent the Raiders and Chiefs into overtime and then won the game in extra time 23-20. In that game Pro Bowl RB Jamaal Charles averaged 5.3 yards per carry, but only received 10 carries. For Oakland, return specialist Jacoby Ford turned the tide early with a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
The Chiefs are 7-0 at Arrowhead Stadium this season while the Raiders are just 2-5 on the road though they have won three straight regular season matchups with Kansas City. More important than any recent history is just how much Todd Haley plans on playing his starters Sunday. As we have all seen over the years, a coach may say one thing during the week just to quickly go the opposite direction once kickoff arrives.
If it appears that the Oakland Raiders will see much more of Jackie Battle than Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones, there’s a good chance the line could dip closer to a PK. At that point, you would have to weigh the power of Arrowhead against the Raiders playing more of their starters.
It may be hard to put your money behind the Raiders, but if you believe the Chiefs will pull up to prepare for the playoffs and the line holds near 3.5 it would be a solid play.