Chiefs vs. Raiders Odds & Picks: How To Bet Sunday Night Football
Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr
Chiefs vs. Raiders Odds
The Raiders upset the Chiefs at Arrowhead in Week 5, handing Kansas City its only loss of the season. Should we expect a repeat the second time around?
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs enter Week 11 seeking revenge against a Las Vegas squad that upset them at home and then took victory laps around the stadium.
Andy Reid was irked by the development and is a good bet to craft a pristine game plan coming off the bye, in spot he is known to excel (per our Bet Labs database):
The Chiefs will be without left tackle Mitchell Schwartz (back) and wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring, calf), so that game plan is likely to include a heavy dose of running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell — especially after the Chiefs ran the ball only 20 times compared to 46 passes in their Week 5 defeat. This game plan can be effective, as the Raiders rank 26th in both Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA (0.3%) and Pro Football Focus run defense grade (49.4).
The Raiders defended well against Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City’s high-volume passing attack in the first matchup. Vegas found success with playing coverage rather than blitzing. Despite sending extra rushers on only five of Mahomes’ 51 dropbacks (9.8%), the Raiders generated 24 pressures while forcing Mahomes into his only interception of the year and a season-high three sacks.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders posted season-highs in points (40) and net passing yards (346) in the first matchup, taking advantage of a Chiefs pass defense that was clearly not at its best.
Derek Carr gashed Steve Spagnuolo’s defense for six explosive pass plays — an 18.8% rate. For context, the Raiders have generated an explosive pass play only 8.3% of the time in their other eight games, while the Chiefs have allowed an explosive passes at just a 6.8% rate in their other eight contests.
The Chiefs defense ended up allowing a pass DVOA of 46.1% in that loss — a far cry from their -5.1% mark over the full season, which ranks seventh-best.
Week 5 also marked the only full game for the Raiders best tackle, Trent Brown, who will miss this game as he continues to reside on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
As such, the Raiders are more likely to have success on the ground than through the air in this matchup, as Kansas City’s vulnerability in the run game has been a constant all season: The Chiefs rank 30th in run defense DVOA. Despite their success in the passing game, the Raiders clearly centered around the run, as they piled up 35 rushing attempts compared to 32 dropbacks.
Reid’s bye week proficiency and the revenge narrative puts the trends in favor of the Chiefs on the spread, but picking a team to win by more than eight points on the road after it lost to the same team by 8 at home is dicey.
I see more value on the total. It closed at 54.5 in the first matchup, but the over/under for the rematch sits 1.5 points higher at most sportsbooks, and I’m not sure that is justified.
The Raiders look to have dodged a bullet on defense, with only defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell and linebacker Cory Littleton remaining in the COVID-19 list after more than a half-dozen members of the defense were placed on the list earlier in the week. After an overly pass-heavy game plan did them in the first time around and with a banged up receiving corps, the Chiefs are likely to employ a more run-heavy game plan this time around. And when they do throw, the Raiders will likely continue to sit back in coverage on defense, which has proven to be more successful than the alternative this season against Mahomes.
On the other side of the ball, the Raiders are a good bet to go run-heavy as well, and they’re unlikely to pop off explosive plays at anywhere near the same rate that they did in the first meeting.
Divisional matchups tend to be tighter the second time around, often resulting in lower-scoring games. According to our Bet Labs data, divisional over/unders of 45 or more from November on have gone under at a 59.3% clip by an average of 2.42 points per game.
Pick: Under 56 (down to 55.5)