Raiders vs Chiefs: How We Live Bet Monday Night Football in Week 5
The Raiders took on the Chiefs on Monday Night Football in an AFC West showdown between first place Kansas City and last place Las Vegas.
Betting markets reflected those standings, with the Chiefs coming in as consensus seven point favorites in a game with a total north of 50.
It was also perhaps our toughest live betting situation so far this NFL season. Outside of one specific scenario, there weren't likely to be many edges to be found based on our pace models. Yet that scenario created huge value, which we'll get to in a bit.
Take a long look around various books before placing live bets. There tends to be more variation between shops in live markets than there is pregame.
So with that in mind, here is how we live bet Raiders vs. Chiefs on Monday Night Football.
The Live Betting Scenario We Were Watching For on Monday Night Football in Week 5 — And the Bet We Made
These teams combine for a fairly neutral pace of play under most conditions. They don't speed things up or slow things down much in the second half, for example. Close games and games when the Raiders are playing catch up also balance out from a pace standpoint.
That left us with a single, somewhat unlikely situation that would lead to live bets — and what do you know? We got there!
The Raiders Take the Lead
With the Raiders up, this game is expected to play considerably faster than an average game with one team leading. While the data is based on leads of seven or more, the same logic can apply to smaller leads, especially late in games.
If the Raiders got out to a lead, I was looking to jump on any overs I could find. In a dream scenario, there would be a few stalled drives ahead of a Raiders touchdown, leading to a total that drops into the 40s.
That's not quite what we got here, but close enough: The total dropped to 50.5 at most books following the missed FG from Chiefs kicker Matthew Wright, making it a perfect time to pull the trigger on the live over. The Raiders have the ball in good field position with a 7-0 lead, and another score by them only furthers the case for them holding onto the lead.
Essentially, the Chiefs will score as many points as they need to until they have a comfortable lead — with "comfortable" changing definitions based on how much time is left in the game.
The Raiders scoring some quick points means the Chiefs will need to stay aggressive longer — and score more points — before the lead feels safe.
Or, as things played out, the lead perhaps wouldn't be safe until the final whistle. Either way, with a 30-29 Chiefs win, we cashed our live bet with room to spare.
By the way: While there was some logic to the inverse of this bet (unders once the Chefs establish a lead), it wasn't as comfortable of a situation. The Chiefs are historically very tough defensively at home, but the Raiders certainly have enough offensive firepower that they could push Kansas city.
And remember — we're not alone in live betting the NFL's biggest games! Every week, my predictive analytics colleague Nick Giffen will be live at halftime of Thursday and Monday Night Football on "Bet What Happens Live With Dr Nick!"
Live Player Props to Consider
In addition to the game over, there were some player props I was set to keep an eye on if the Raiders got out in front. While Dr. Nick is looking at Carr overs, we were showing value on Derek Carr passing attempts and completions unders pregame; that value increases if the Raiders get up by more than a few points.
Ideally, the Raiders get to a lead by some aggressive passing. Once they get there — and Carr's line's go up — taking live unders makes sense. Even if the Chiefs come back, Las Vegas will likely be trying to play keep away as much as possible until that point.
On the Chiefs side, Clyde Edwards-Helaire's receiving line has caught my eye. He's ceding rushing work to Isiah Pacheco but is still seeing the bulk of the running back targets.
As the preferred third down/hurry up back, he's likelier to go over his receiving yardage prop if playing from behind. It doesn't hurt that we're showing a pregame edge as well.
There's one specific market I'll be watching if the Chiefs get the lead: Derek Carr interceptions. Live turnover markets are a specialty of my colleague Gilles Gallant, and we've done some research on the situations that increase interceptions.
Quarterbacks who enter the second half down by seven or more are nearly as likely to throw an interception as they were heading into the game — even with only half of the game left.
Carr is -110 pregame to throw a pick, a line that Gilles likes due to the high rate of road team picks in primetime games. If Carr manages to avoid one in the first half, that line will likely move solidly into plus-money territory.
If it does, look for live Carr interception lines at halftime. Typically, a player that was -110 pregame will be +120 or so heading into the second half if they've yet to throw one.