Raiders vs Chiefs Odds, Pick, Prediction | NFL Saturday Preview
- The Chiefs are 9.5-point favorites on Saturday against the Raiders.
- Kansas City can clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC by winning in Sin City.
- Cody Goggin breaks down the matchup and makes his Raiders vs Chiefs pick below.
This AFC West game ends up being directly correlated to that event, because with Bills vs. Bengals being declared a no-contest, the Chiefs are now in the driver’s seat for the AFC’s No. 1 seed. Week 18 motives always come into question, especially when handicapping games, but there’s no doubt that Kansas City will bring its all on Saturday.
On the other side, the Raiders have nothing to lose. They've already been eliminated from playoff contention, so Jarrett Stidham will be making his second start after an impressive showing against the 49ers.
Unfortunately, Stidham could not come through late as his interception in overtime ended up deciding the outcome of that game, but the positive signs that the offense showed against a strong 49ers defense provide hope that they can possibly replicate that against Kansas City.
Head coach Josh McDaniels is on a mission to prove the Raiders' offensive woes were related to Derek Carr and not him. A win over the Chiefs, something they haven’t accomplished in recent years, would be a great way to end McDaniels' up-and-down first season.
Raiders vs Chiefs Odds
Raiders vs. Chiefs Matchup Analysis
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Raiders vs. Chiefs DVOA Breakdown
Stidham played much better than most expected in his first start of the season. He threw for 365 yards — a total Carr failed to hit even once this — and three touchdowns. His undoing was two interceptions, including the one in overtime.
Stidham’s 0.33 adjusted EPA per play was the fifth highest in Week 17 and is higher than what any quarterback in the league is averaging this season.
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The offense Stidham operated last week was largely similar to the one that Carr has been running all season. You would think that with an inexperienced quarterback coming in, the Raiders would smash some of the “easy buttons” for him, but that was not the case.
Only 10 of Stidham’s 38 dropbacks (26.3%) were off play-action. This was the 13th-highest rate among quarterbacks who played last weekend and just 5.1% over what Carr averaged. On the season, Carr has a 21.5% rate of play-action dropbacks; Stidham is at 21.2%.
Stidham made these dropbacks count, as he had the fourth-highest PFF passing grade on play-action dropbacks last week at 79.7. On play-action, he went 7-for-10 for 132 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.
Davante Adams, of course, was a major factor. He had 11 targets that resulted in seven catches and 153 yards. In the first game against K.C., Adams went for 124 yards and two touchdowns. With Darren Waller fully healthy, that gives Stidham another weapon to utilize.
It will be important to keep an eye on the health of Josh Jacobs. He left the 49ers game with an injury and did not practice on Thursday. He is listed as questionable with a hip/oblique injury as of the final injury report. Jacobs leads the league in rushing yards and gashed Kansas City for 154 yards on 7.3 yards per carry his last time out against them.
We know how good Kansas City’s offense is at this point, so it doesn’t bear much mentioning. Patrick Mahomes is on his way to his second MVP award and the Chiefs are the most prolific offense in the league yet again.
With 430 passing yards, Mahomes can break Peyton Manning’s single-season yardage record. He also needs 186 total yards to break Drew Brees’ record for most total yards in a single season. (I know, extra game.)
While it may seem lofty for Mahomes to get to that passing yardage total, this is a poor Raiders defense. If the Raiders are able to score, then the Chiefs will have to remain in attack mode, putting these records at risk.
I know I’m putting a lot of faith in Stidham after seeing him start just one game. However, after watching that game back, I think that a lot of the things that Las Vegas did against the 49ers can carry over against a Kansas City defense that isn’t as great.
If McDaniels can put pressure on the Chiefs to score, then their offense will be forced to respond. This is exactly what they would want as the Raiders defense ranks 30th in PFF coverage grade, 28th in dropback success rate, and 31st in EPA per dropback.
Mahomes hit his 50th TD pass of the season against the Raiders to lock up the MVP in 2018 and he could have a similar moment in this one.
I know that a game total of 51.5 is high, but I still like the over. As said before, I think that the Raiders will be able to put points on the board and force the Chiefs to stay aggressive on offense.
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