Bitter AFC rivals will clash on Sunday Night Football on TSN, as the 8-1 Kansas City Chiefs visit the 6-3 Las Vegas Raiders.
This will mark the second meeting between these two clubs, after the Raiders upset the reigning champs 40-32 as a 10.5-point underdog in Week 5.
Las Vegas enters play riding a three-game winning streak, while Kansas City is fresh off a bye and will be out for revenge.
That’s because the Raiders reportedly took a victory lap around Arrowhead Stadium following their Week 5 victory, something that did not sit well with the Chiefs.
Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders
Line: Chiefs -7
The loss was Patrick Mahomes’ first in five career starts against the Raiders, a team he’s absolutely owned over the last three seasons.
The 2018 MVP has thrown for 1,534 yards and 13 TD against them, while adding 19.6 rushing yards per game and two rushing scores.
Las Vegas ranks 21st on defence by DVOA, and their lack of pass rush should give Mahomes all day to pick them apart. Only three teams have a lower sack rate than the Raiders, and only two squads have generated fewer quarterback hits.
Las Vegas has also struggled versus enemy running backs, and while it’s impossible to predict which Chiefs running back will excel, both Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell are set-up for success.
The Raiders are allowing 4.58 yards per carry, while allowing 11 all-purpose touchdowns to running backs as well as the fourth-most receptions to the position.
Red Hot Raiders
Despite their defensive deficiencies, the Raiders have won three straight and are fresh off dismantling the Denver Broncos by 25 points.
Las Vegas rushed for 203 yards and four touchdowns against the Broncos, and would love to replicate that performance on Sunday night.
The Chiefs’ Achilles heel is their run defence, as was evident in the first meeting between these two rivals. The Raiders rushed for 144 yards and two scores that day, dominating the time of possession by nearly 11 minutes.
Derek Carr threw for a season-high 347 yards and three scores back in Week 5, earning his highest quarterback rating since Week 8 of the 2018 season.
Carr is quietly having a very strong season, throwing for 2,156 yards and boasting a 16-2 TD-to-INT rate.
Death, taxes, and Andy Reid-led teams winning games following a bye. In 22 seasons, Reid’s teams have lost just three times after a week’s rest, and the Chiefs have never been defeated with Mahomes under center in that situation.
Sunday’s game will actually mark the third consecutive season that Kansas City has faced the Raiders following a bye, and the results in the previous two have been extremely one-sided.
The Chiefs won 40-9 in Week 13 in 2019, and 40-33 in Week 13 of 2018. With revenge of their minds, I like Kansas City’s chances at another big win in this spot.
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -7
Upon Further Review
Mahomes has thrown nine touchdown passes in his last two games, yet oddsmakers are betting against him tossing three scores in this contest.
Not only does Las Vegas struggle to rush the passer, they rank 22nd in coverage grade by PFF.
For his career, Mahomes has a higher TD rate on the road than at home, and given that this game will be played in a dome, with no weather concerns, I like him to put up at least three scores through the air.