Chiefs vs. Raiders Betting Odds & Picks: Should KC Be This Big a Road Favorite?

Chiefs vs. Raiders Betting Odds & Picks: Should KC Be This Big a Road Favorite? article feature image

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr

Chiefs at Raiders Betting Odds

  • Odds: Chiefs -7
  • Total: 53.5
  • Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

Odds above as of Thursday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can exclusively bet every Week 2 NFL spread at reduced juice (-105).

As expected, the public is all over Kansas City. The Chiefs are getting 71% of the spread bets as of Thursday, but the line has still moved toward the Raiders, moving to Chiefs -7 after opening at -8 and briefly touching -9.

Is now the time to pounce on KC as a road favorite?

Our analysts break down the most important angles of this matchup, featuring Sean Koerner’s projected odds and a pick.

Chiefs-Raiders Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes (ankle) gave us all a scare last week when he got rolled up on, but he practiced in full on Wednesday, so it doesn’t appear to be an issue.

Tyreek Hill (collarbone) is expected to be out four to six weeks, but this offense has shown it still function at a high level without their speedy receiver. After Hill went out in Week 1, Mecole Hardman was in on 53 of the Chiefs’ 59 snaps.

Meanwhile, Oakland placed S Johnathan Abram (shoulder) on injured reserve and OL Gabe Jackson still isn’t practicing. The loss of Abram is perhaps the biggest loss with a high-octane offense up next. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Chiefs -7
  • Projected Total: 53

The Chiefs picked up right where they left off, dropping 40 points on a very good Jacksonville defense. Unfortunately, they lost their top playmaker for multiple weeks.

If Hill were healthy, this line would likely stay at -7.5 or even -8. But he warrants a 0.5-point drop toward a key number like -7, and that’s where the line will correctly park. Sean Koerner

Biggest Mismatch

Chiefs’ Pass Offense vs. Raiders’ Pass Defense

No Tyreek Hill. No problem.

The Chiefs will be without their playmaking All-Pro wide receiver, but they still have all they need to have a big aerial performance against the Raiders.

The high-scoring capabilities of the Chiefs passing game hardly need to be covered. The Chiefs were No. 1 in the league last year with 35.3 points per game and 6,810 offensive yards for the season, and much of that production came through the air.

Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce are the best in the NFL at their positions, and they had success against the Raiders last year. Across their two divisional games, Mahomes had an outstanding mark of 10.5 adjusted yards per attempt, and Kelce averaged 8.5 receptions, 115 yards receiving and a touchdown on 11 targets.

Simply put, the Chiefs are good at pass offense, and the Raiders are not good at pass defense.

In 2018, the Raiders defense ranked dead last in the league with a 28.3% pass DVOA (per Football Outsiders), and it hasn’t been significantly improved this offseason.

No. 1 cornerback Gareon Conley (neck) suffered an injury in Week 1 and is likely to sit, so on the outside the Raiders will go with Daryl Worley and Trayvon Mullen. Last year, Worley had below-average coverage grade of 51.1 (per Pro Football Focus), and Mullen is a rookie making his first NFL start: It will be almost impossible for Mahomes to be too aggressive in targeting their coverage.

Wide receivers Sammy Watkins, Hardman and Demarcus Robinson should collectively win their matchups when split out wide.

Sammy Watkins
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Sammy Watkins

And last year the Raiders were specifically No. 32 in pass DVOA against tight ends with a 39.7% mark. Mahomes could seriously get 150 yards and two touchdowns through Kelce alone.

And Vontaze Burfict and Tamir Whitehead respectively had 42.5 and 51.6 PFF coverage grades last year. They might be the league’s worst pass-defense linebacking tandem. Running backs Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy should easily exploit them as receivers.

Regardless of whom Mahomes throws the ball to, he should have success as long as the Raiders are on the other side of the field. — Matthew Freedman

Expert Pick

Freedman: Chiefs -7

Last week, the sharps were on the Jaguars at +3 or +3.5 — and maybe they were right — but I was on the Chiefs then, and I’m happy with the process. Even though the sharps are probably going to be on the Raiders at +7, I’m backing the Chiefs once again.

Am I a square? Probably. But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

Since head coach Andy Reid joined the franchise in 2013, no team has had larger offensive reverse home/away splits than the Chiefs. Most teams score more points at home than on the road. But not the Chiefs. Under Reid, they have averaged 2.95 more points on the road than at Arrowhead Stadium.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Andy Reid

In other words, the home-field advantage that most teams have when they play pretty much any other team: That’s drastically diminished when they host the Chiefs. It might even be nonexistent.

As a result, we might expect the Chiefs to be a great team against the spread on the road — and that’s exactly what we see in the historical data. Reid’s Chiefs are 32-16-1 ATS away from home, good for a 30.7% ROI (per Bet Labs). Since joining the Chiefs, Reid has been the most profitable coach to back on the road.

And from a football perspective, I like this line regardless of Reid’s ATS history. This is a game with two bad defenses. In 2018, the Raiders were last in pass defense DVOA, and the Chiefs were last in rush-defense DVOA. But in today’s NFL, the passing game matters much more than the running game. Even with a poor stop unit, the Chiefs have the defensive edge. Their weakness is not nearly as large of a liability.

And although the Raiders offense is probably better than it was last year, the Chiefs still have the best offense in the league.

Let’s say that the Chiefs’ ability to travel well and the modest defensive edge they have counterbalances the Raiders’ home-field advantage. In that case, is the Chiefs offense at least seven points better than the Raiders offense? I think so.

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