The Kansas City Chiefs are scheduled to face the Raiders in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon to kick off the final week of play in the NFL’s 2022 regular season.
The Chiefs, who have clinched the AFC West title for the seventh straight season under head coach Andy Reid, still have hopes of earning the top seed in the conference. The Raiders, meanwhile, were eliminated from playoff contention with Sunday’s 37-34 overtime loss to NFL West champion San Francisco 49ers.
The line opened in May for this game with the Chiefs listed as a 2.5-point choice. KC is now a favorite of 7.5 to 8.5 points at DraftKings, FanDuel, DraftKings, and PointsBet. Both teams will be operating on short rest.
Chiefs vs. Raiders Betting Lines: Point Spread, Totals, Moneyline
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NFL · Sat (1/7) @ 4:29pm ET
|Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, Nevada|
Where the Chiefs and Raiders Stand Heading Into Week 18
If the Chiefs win and if Buffalo loses or ties in one of its remaining two games (at Cincinnati if that suspended game resumes at some point OR at home vs. New England on Sunday), KC would earn the top seed for the conference playoffs for the third time in the past five seasons.
However, the NFL announced on Tuesday afternoon that the Bengals-Bills game will not resume this week and didn’t make a decision on when (or if) it would continue. Thus, the seeding process is very much in the air. In the meantime, games on Sunday are to go on as scheduled.
The Chiefs and QB Patrick Mahomes are 13-3 but have treated their betting backers poorly by going 5-10-1 against the spread, tied for the second-worst mark in the league. During their Super Bowl season three years ago, their ATS mark was 13-6.
Las Vegas is 6-10 SU/8-8 ATS and head coach Josh McDaniels has benched longtime starting QB Derek Carr in favor of Jarrett Stidham. They worked together in New England in the previous three seasons.
Last week versus the 49ers’ No. 1-ranked defense, Stidham made his first career start and threw for 365 yards and three TDs, with two interceptions. WR Davante Adams had 153 yards and two TDs.
This season, only Mahomes threw for more yards against San Francisco (417).
In the teams’ previous meeting this season in Kansas City, Mahomes had four TD throws as the Chiefs won 30-29 in Week 5 as a 7-point choice, dodging an upset when the Raiders failed on a 2-point conversion in the closing minutes. Also, the point total flew Over the posted Over/Under number of 51.5. But in KC’s seven other games with an O/U total of 50-plus, the Under has paid off five times.
Making that loss even more maddening for LV was that it blew a 17-0 second-quarter lead, one of five outings this year the Raiders squandered a double-digit advantage, which is a league-high. It was KC’s biggest comeback win of the season.
Vegas’ Josh Jacobs, the NFL rushing leader (1,608 yards), had 154 yards against the Chiefs, his second-best total of the season. But over the past two weeks, he has averaged only 66.5 a game with a norm of 3.5 a carry. Before that, his average was 5.1.
Somewhat ironically, Carr had his second-best passing game of the season in that meeting, with a 110.6 rating, which included two TD passes. But now, he isn’t even allowed on the sidelines.
Of late, Kansas City has been getting strong production from its running backs, with rookie Isiah Pacheco leading the team in rushing and fellow RB Jerick McKinnon flourishing as a pass catcher. He’s had seven receiving TDs in the past five games while defenses focus on attempting to stop All-Pro TE Travis Kelce.
A concern for KC this year, though, has been its minus-5 turnover differential, which includes 23 giveaways, tied for the fifth highest in the league. Among them were three INTs thrown by Mahomes from the enemy 10 or closer, which is tied for most in the NFL.
Chiefs vs. Raiders Injuries
WR Davante Adams (illness) and QB Jarrett Stidham (elbow) were full participants at Wednesday and Thursday’s practices.
RB Josh Jacobs (hip/oblique/NIR-personal) did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday and is listed as questionable.
This will be Kansas City’s third game against a QB with very little or no starting experience. And in the previous two versus rookies (Tennessee’s Malik Willis making his second start and the LA Rams’ Bryce Perkins making his first), the Chiefs failed to cover big spreads, going 0-1-1 ATS. But they did win.
In Stidham’s starting debut, he more than impressed last week against the league’s No. 1-ranked defense.
Although the Raiders rank last in defensive passer rating, Mahomes didn’t exactly exploit a Tennessee pass defense earlier this season that allows more air yards than anyone at 279.3. His norm of 6.6 a throw in that game was his worst in an outing this season.
It’s not like KC’s pass defense should give Stidham the willies. The Chiefs have the league’s fourth-worst defensive passer rating.
KC should win, but like usual, not in a runaway fashion.
Forecast: Chiefs 35, Raiders 33