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Chiefs Can Lock Up AFC West and Home-Field Advantage With Win Over Raiders

Andy Reid

The Chiefs are heading into the final week of the regular season with an 11-4 SU record, but they won’t be able to rest their players and start to prepare for the playoffs just quite yet.

The AFC West, a first-round bye, and home-field advantage are all still up for grabs in Week 17. The Chiefs can claim all those for themselves with a win over the Raiders, but the AFC playoff picture will look quite different if Kansas City allows this game to slip away.

The Raiders are playing for pride at this point, but they showed last week that they still want to win. They upset the Broncos during Monday Night Football in what may have been their last game at Oakland Coliseum.

The Chiefs opened as 13.5-point favorites, with the total set at 53.5.

Shark Bites
  • The Chiefs are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Raiders are 1-7 SU in their last eight games vs the Chiefs.
  • The Raiders are 1-9 SU and 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games on the road vs teams with winning records.

Raiders vs Chiefs Game Center

My Pick: Chiefs to Cover

Two touchdowns is a lot to give a team in a divisional game, but I think it’s warranted in this situation. The Chiefs are fully aware of how much is on the line in this game, so I’m sure that the mantra in the locker room all week is to play hard and not take the Raiders lightly.

With a loss, the Chiefs can drop all the way from the first seed in the AFC to the fifth seed and their road to the Super Bowl will be a much more difficult one. They’d go from playing two games, both at home, to playing three games, with at least two of them on the road in the playoffs.

That fact alone makes this game a near must-win for Kansas City, so there is no reason why the Chiefs wouldn’t come out firing on all cylinders.

Patrick Mahomes will cap off MVP-worthy season

Patrick Mahomes is currently the betting favorite to be named the NFL’s MVP. His odds sit at -230 while New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees is the only one within reach at +145.

Mahomes can erase all doubt with a dominant performance over the Raiders to secure the first seed in the AFC. He has the most passing touchdowns in the league (48) and he has the second-highest quarterback rating at 114.

All signs point to him having a field day against the Raiders, who have given up the most passing touchdowns in the league at 34. They also present no threat in the pass rush department, ranking dead last in the league by a mile in sacks. They’ve only managed 13 all season, less than a sack per game.

I’ll back the team with the best offense in the league, led by the NFL MVP who doesn’t need to worry about a pass rush, all damn day.

If you bet on the total, take the OVER

Oakland quarterback Derek Carr has gone on record saying that he wants to ruin everyone’s plans for having a top pick by winning out. Despite this game being a tall order to win, you can bet that he’s going to play hard and lead his offense with passion.

He should be able to put up some points in this game, considering the Chiefs defense ranks second-last in the league in yards allowed per game, and fourth-last in points allowed per game.

The Chiefs can gain a lot by winning this game, but the Raiders have shown that they haven’t started their offseason just yet. With the total being set at 10 points lower than the Chiefs’ average combined score in games this year (63.2), I can feel comfortable betting on the OVER 53.5.