AFC front-runner Chiefs visit suddenly fading Raiders
October 19, 2017 8:15 AM
by Bob Christ
AFC front-runner Kansas City visits the suddenly fading Oakland Raiders on Thursday night to open Week 7 play.
The Raiders, originally one of the conference favorites to reach the Super Bowl, have lost four in a row, including last week at home to the Chargers 17-16 on a field goal as time expired.
In a twist, Thursday home teams are only 1-5 this season after going 13-6 last year. In fact, overall visiting teams this season have a 46-45 (.505) mark. Since the 1970 merger, the best that road teams have done in a season was 87-90 (.492) in 1972.
Now for a closer look at Thursday's game. The odds are courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas.
Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) at Oakland Raiders (2-4)
Time: 5:25 p.m. PDT
Line: Chiefs by 3 (46.5)
Facts: The Chiefs are playing their fourth game in 18 days, an occurrence a league team will endure only two other times this year. It's a role reversal from 2016, when the Raiders were in this scheduling pickle and playing in KC, with the Chiefs winning 21-13 as a 3-point pick. But go figure: From 2013-15, teams in this short-rest slot went 6-0 SU/ATS winning five of the games as an underdog... KC won its first five games this season by at least seven points before falling at home last week to Pittsburgh 19-13, totaling 6 yards of offense in the first half – the lowest total at intermission by any team since Oakland had -12 at Denver in 2015, but still won, 15-12... In their 2014 meeting in Oakland, the Chiefs entered on a nine-game ATS winning streak and faced a 0-10 Raiders team. Rookie QB Derek Carr led Oakland to a 24-20 victory. KC has since won five in a row in the series.
Analysis: Although the Chiefs gave up only 19 points to Pittsburgh, they were gouged for 179 rushing yards by Le'Veon Bell and 155 through the air by WR Antonio Brown, who took advantage of a secondary that's allowing a league-high 14.5 yards per reception. Kansas City's Alex Smith, the only full-time starter in the league who hasn't thrown an INT, will go against a team that hasn't intercepted any. But in addition to having a strong home-field edge, Raiders QB Carr is feeling a little better after returning maybe too early from his back injury last week and throwing two INTs. Oakland RB Marshawn Lynch, whose long run is 15 yards, should be in top form while the prime-time lights are on.
Forecast: Raiders 27, Chiefs 24.