Chiefs vs. Raiders ATS Picks
By Andrew Ryan
If anyone plans on catching the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West, there’s going to have to be a team in the West that steps up and beats them. The Oakland Raiders have a grand chance of doing just that on Thursday Night Football to kick off Week 7 of the season.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
Date and Time: Thursday, October 19, 2017, 8:25 p.m. ET
Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA
Opening NFL Week 7 Odds: Chiefs -3, O/U 47.5
Chiefs vs. Raiders TV Coverage: CBS
The 1972 Miami Dolphins popped their corks last weekend when the Chiefs suffered their first loss of the year. Now, we’ll see whether Kansas City is going to stick around as one of the top contenders in the AFC or not.
The hope for the Chiefs is that their first half last week against the Steelers was an aberration. Alex Smith and company had -21 yards in the first half versus the team that ended their season. For a team that still ranks No. 2 in the NFL in total offense at 387.0 yards per game and is No. 3 in scoring, you have to think that this was a flash in the pan.
Then again, it’s also worth remembering that the Chiefs had an average-at-best offense a year ago, and there isn’t any more talent on this team now than there was last season. The only difference is that Kareem Hunt, a running back who may or may not have more talent than anyone who was on the roster last year, is racking up insane statistics.
The Raiders dropped to just 2-4 on the year. A loss in this game, and the likelihood of getting into the playoffs is slim at best. Oakland won’t be back at home after this game until November 26 after playing at Buffalo and Miami, having a bye week, then playing in Mexico City against New England.
Derek Carr rushed back from his back injury in Week 6 after missing just one game. After watching him throw for just 171 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions in a 17-16 loss to the Chargers last week, we wonder if there’s still a lot wrong with him.
But even before he was hurt, the Raiders were struggling. They scored 71 points in their first two games combined; they’ve scored a total of just 53 since that point.
Heck, E.J. Manuel’s 17-point effort against Baltimore was the best this team has had since Week 2 of the season.
It should be rather obvious that your best players have to make big plays to win games in the NFL. It should also be rather obvious that Oakland’s struggles run parallel to Amari Cooper’s.
In the first two games of the season, Cooper had nine receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown. In his last four, he has nine receptions for 51 yards. He hasn’t found the end zone since Week 1 and hasn’t had a catch that covered more than eight yards since Week 2.
Simply put, the Raiders aren’t moving the ball without No. 89 making some big plays. Cooper’s frustration has to boil over at some point. Maybe the fact that he had five receptions against L.A. last week will help him out. This has to be his breakout game, but it comes against one of the stingier pass defenses in the NFL.
Chiefs vs. Raiders Free Picks
Last year, Cooper had 15 catches in two games against the Chiefs, and we have to think that he’s going to finally snap out of his funk this week.
We’re not sold on this Kansas City outfit. The team has massively overachieved offensively, and for as great as this pass rush is, the raw defensive stats aren’t great. There’s no way this team should be allowing just 21.7 points per game after allowing 378.2 yards per game.
The Oakland defense played a huge game last week against the Chargers, yet it ran out of gas at the end after so many bad offensive possessions left the ‘D’ in bad spots. If Carr and the offense get their acts together, this is a winnable game against an overrated team.
NFL ATS Pick: Raiders +3 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Raiders 27, Chiefs 20