The Kansas City Chiefs are coming into Week 11 off a bye and should be hungry for some revenge here. So far their only loss of the season came at the hands of the Raiders in Week 5 when they allowed 40-points against and dropped a 40-32 decision. They’ve bounced back with four straight wins since that game but only squeaked by the Panthers in their last outing 33-31. The addition of Le’Veon Bell has mostly been a non-event thus far as he’s rushed for just 7 and 8 yards in his last two games. They haven’t needed him much though as Patrick Mahomes has torn apart every weak secondary he’s faced and has now thrown for 9-TDs in his last two games entering this week.
The Raiders have quietly compiled a 6-3 record so far which puts them squarely in the wild card race and only two games back of the Chiefs for the division. A win here would give them the tiebreaker and move them to within a game for the lead so there is a lot on the line here for both teams.
Las Vegas is coming off a dominant 37-12 win over the Broncos in which they picked off Drew Lock four times. Despite that they still rank just 20th in turnovers created on defense this year and also have the fourth-worst sack-rate in the entire league. Derek Carr has played well though and enters this game with a 107.4 passer rating, which is the highest mark of his career by far. The Raiders have turned into a rush first team and Josh Jacobs enters this game second in the league in carries, he’s coming off his best game of the season against Denver, where he rushed for 112-yards on 21 carries and scored twice:
Neither of these teams have huge injury concerns to worry about but they do have some players with Covid-19 availability issues. The Raiders placed 11-players on the Covid-19 list this week, including their entire starting defense. They could all be cleared to play with negative tests on Sunday morning but if even a few miss, it will be a massive disadvantage for Las Vegas.
The Chiefs have their own concerns as Mecole Hardman is still on the Covid IR and may not be activated in time for Sunday night. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has also missed two practices this week with an “illness”. It doesn’t appear to be Covid related but the fact he isn’t practicing means his status is still up in the air (*note: Edwards-Helaire has been cleared to play). Kansas City has good depth at both those positions but the losses would still hurt in such an important game.
With so many injury/Covid situations in play here the line could shift dramatically late, especially if the Raiders have to sit multiple players. It’s something to keep an eye on this weekend. From an Against the Spread perspective, both teams have been great this year with 6-3 records ATS. The Raiders are just 2-2 ATS at home, while the Chiefs are 3-1 ATS on the road. The over has hit in 6 of Oakland’s 9 games this year while KC is just 4-5 at hitting overs on the season.
- Darrel Williams (illness-questionable)
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire (illness-questionable)
- Mecole Hardman (Covid-19-doubtful)
- Maurice Hurst (questionable)
- Jalen Richard (questionable)
Chiefs offense vs Raiders defense
The Chiefs come into this week’s game having rushed for less than 60-yards in each of their last two games. It’s been all Patrick Mahomes of late for KC, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you consider his efficiency. Mahomes has 9-TDs over his last two games and last threw an INT in the Chiefs Week 5 loss to the Raiders. Las Vegas has been better against the pass in their last couple of games but it’s hard to tell how much of that is smoke and mirrors. Drew Lock was objectively terrible in last week’s game–where the Raiders picked him off four times–and the weather is mostly responsible for them holding Baker Mayfield to under 150-yards in Week 8.
Las Vegas ranks in the bottom five in sacks per game as a unit, which doesn’t bode well for their chances here. The Chiefs O-Line is likely to get Eric Fisher (Covid) back for this game and have allowed the seventh-fewest sacks on the season thus far. The Raiders rush defense has improved a ton since the beginning of the year, as they’re now 14th in rush yards per game, after being ranked near the bottom of the league after the first few games. The Chiefs could go pass heavy here and attack mis-matches like Tyreek Hill (4.29-40m) vs. Nevin Lawson (4.48-40m) and Travis Kelce vs. whichever Vegas Linebacker gets the pleasure of covering him.
Vegas has improved on the defensive side of the ball to the point where they’re now playing above weaker competition on a consistent basis, but asking them to slow down a rested/angry Chiefs offense here is likely asking too much. Even if they’re without a couple of their depth players KC will score points here, it’s just a matter of if Vegas can keep up on the other side and keep this close.
Raiders offense vs Chiefs defense
2020 has been a career season for Derek Carr this far. The Raiders QB has a TD to INT rate of 16-2 entering this week’s game and has led his team to three straight wins now. It is easy to question the significance of Carr’s numbers up to this point though as the Raiders really haven’t needed him to do much to secure wins of late. He’s thrown for under 170-yards in the last three games (again, all wins) as the Raiders are now up to fourth in the league in rush attempts per game at 31.3.
The Raiders have also been providing solid protection for Carr as they rank 10th in the league in terms of QB-sacks allowed at just 1.6 per game. Carr has done well in games where the Raiders have needed him to do more, throwing for over 300+ yards in games against the Bills and Chiefs in Week 4 and 5, the latter of which resulted in a win. While the Chiefs are clearly the better team their defense has gotten soft at times in 2020. They gave up 40 to the Raiders, Kansas City also allowed the Panthers to put up 31-points–and needed their offense to bail them out with TDs late in that game. Their pass-rush has been better than the Raiders, but not by a ton. KC ranks just 17th in sacks per game coming in and have given up 4.8 YPC on the ground, the sixth-worst mark in the league.
Josh Jacobs hasn’t been that efficient this year, averaging just 3.8 ypc so the battle here will most likely boil down to whether KC can shut down Jacobs and force Carr to beat them. Jacobs was able to punch the ball in twice in Week 5, although he only rushed for 77 yards in that game. KC got burned by a RB in their last game, but that was mostly through the air by a dynamic Christian McCaffrey. Expect them to put up a better fight here and force Carr to air things out to his skilled, but lightly-used receivers.
Game and prop bets
Kansas City probably wins this game but I’m not as confident as others that this is a complete route. Las Vegas has shown to be a solid team and Derek Carr is playing efficient enough football that he could easily keep this game close with some late-game heroics/garbage time to kill the -8.5 cover. I do like attacking the over though. Nearly the entire Raiders defense skipped practice this week due to the Covid-19 situation. While it looks like they’ll get cleared, the lack of prep for taking on a team like the Chiefs is not ideal. With Carr playing so well and the Chiefs defense coming off a poor performance against Carolina, I think both teams find their way to big totals here and this one goes over an admittedly big line.
This game also feels like a good spot to break out my favorite field goal prop. The Raiders have been a solid team to target for this bet, as they rank third in the league in FGs per game. Both kickers have good range as well. Even if the Raiders get down a couple of scores, Jon Gruden isn’t against making a non-optimal play and settling for three-points. A KC route could also see Harrison Butker hit this over on his own.
Player prop bets
As mentioned above, Carr has played extremely well this year, posting a 70% completion rate and a career high in passer rating. He hasn’t had to throw much in the Raiders last three games so we’re getting a lower number here against the Chiefs. KC allowed Carr 347 passing yards in their first meeting and also gave up 310-yards in the air last week to Carolina. With the Raiders defense in a tough spot here Carr should have to drop-back more in this game and in the Raiders three losses this year he’s averaging 284 passing yards per game. With the Raiders big under dogs here this over feels like a good over to attack.
Mecole Hardman looks like he’ll be out for this game which should mean more targets for Hill. The Cheetah is starting to pick up the pace a bit with efforts of 113 yards and 98 yards in his last two games. As outlined above, the CB matchup here for Hill is a good one and the Raiders lack of a pass rush should mean more downfield shots. This one feels too low in what is a great spot for an explosion game from Hill.