These aren’t the same Kansas City Chiefs that we’ve all become accustomed to in recent years, but bookmakers and NFL betting fans are loathe to jump off their bandwagon. Knowing only too well that an innocuous spark is all that would be needed to light up the highly potent Chiefs offense and bring about its renaissance in 2021.
The Chiefs are faced with a must-win game against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 10’s installment of Sunday Night Football. The Chiefs are tied with the Denver Broncos at the bottom of the AFC West with a 5-4 record while the Las Vegas Raiders are tied with the Los Angeles Chargers at the top of the table with a 5-3 record.
The premium on the win couldn’t be any greater for its potential to reshuffle the division’s hierarchy. Importantly, a win could see the Chiefs take a significant step forward in their division title-defense campaign and, in turn, in the AFC playoff race.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Sunday, November 14, 2021 – 08:20 PM EST at Allegiant Stadium
Raiders Lose To Giants
After the month the Raiders endured off the field, things were bound to catch up with them on the field eventually. It’s been a whirlwind of media attention and distraction for Derek Carr and Co, and very little of it had anything to do with playing football.
First Jon Gruden’s departure under a cloud of disgrace caused quite a stir, and then, the devasting and fatal car accident involving Henry Ruggs III rocked the organization senseless.
Going into the Giants game last Sunday, the Raiders were coming off a bye week. However, all the good the week off did was quickly dispelled as the Silver and Black were hit with news of the tragic events involving a much-loved teammate. Carr was visibly distraught in his first press conference with the media earlier in the week.
Whether those emotions carried over, only Carr knows. However, he was off his game, and the offense was wholly off-form and off-color as a result of the 23-16 loss to the Giants.
The Raiders closed as the field goal favorites on the NFL odds board, but they didn’t even come close to playing the kind of competitive football that would have warranted their favor at the sports betting exchange.
Where the Raiders go from here is the million-dollar question. The AFC West is wide open, so too is the AFC field. The Chiefs aren’t up to snuff, the Bills have wobbled a few times, the Ravens keep falling behind before rallying late in games, the Browns are barely managing to stay afloat, the Steelers look to be fading while the Titans aren’t convincing their doubters.
There’s talent on the Raiders team, but it’s not coming together quite in the manner that would make them legitimate contenders. Perhaps, a win over the Chiefs would go some way towards elevating their status in the AFC, but it’s hard to see that happening, even though the Chiefs aren’t playing their best football right now.
Chiefs Find Ways to Win
The Chiefs are coming off a rather underwhelming 13-7 win over the Green Bay Packers in Week 9. Although the Chiefs had the fortune of facing backup quarterback Jordan Love instead of the reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers, they didn’t cover themselves in glory. Well, the offense didn’t These were the kind of matchups that Patrick Mahomes feasted on in previous years.
Mahomes and the offense couldn’t find any traction and in the fourth quarter, things did get a bit dicey. However, the Chiefs’ defense, which has been the subject of a lot of criticism, stepped up.
The defense deserves a lot of credit as they made Love’s long-awaited NFL debut an exceedingly unmemorable one. (So much so, Aaron Rodgers might be sending them a thank you present for keeping his job in Green Bay intact.) They also were instrumental in snuffing out any attempts at a late-surge by the Packers.
NFL Picks and Predictions
In theory, both these offenses are potent and have the potential to light up in the blink of an eye. However, right now, neither side is playing with any kind of consistency or confidence that would make it a clear top NFL pick in this game.
Suppose, the Raiders with home advantage could make a fist of it and give the Chiefs a run for their money. Others have done it, so why not them. Right? But that presupposes all their problems have gone away when they haven’t. Things aren’t right within the Las Vegas organization, and they’re in real danger of descending into a full-blown existential crisis in the next few weeks if something doesn’t change.
The Chiefs might not be the same Chiefs of 2018, 2019, or 2020. But they still have Patrick Mahomes, and betting against that kind of X-factor player is risky.
NFL Pick: Chiefs -2.5 (-110) with DraftKings