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Chiefs Open as Heavy 11.5-Point Favorites vs Raiders in Week 5

Blair Johnson

by Blair Johnson in NFL Football

Updated Mar 9, 2021 · 2:04 PM PST

Derek Carr throws pass
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
  • The Kansas City Chiefs are heavy 11.5-point favorites against the Las Vegas Raiders for their Week 5 match-up at Arrowhead Stadium
  • The Raiders are coming off a 30-23 home loss against the Bills in Week 4, while the Chiefs knocked off the Patriots 26-10 on a rescheduled Monday Night Football matchup
  • See opening odds and analysis on their prime time match-up

The Kansas City Chiefs have opened as 11.5-point against the Las Vegas Raiders in their Week 5 match-up at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Raiders suffered a 30-23 loss to the Bills, the team’s second straight defeat after starting 2-0.  Derek Carr passed Hall of Famer Ken Stabler as the franchise’s all-time leader in touchdown passes (151), but voiced his frustration after the loss.

Meantime, the Chiefs won their second straight MNF affair by beating a Cam Newton-less New England outfit 26-10. The Chiefs turned a 13-10 fourth quarter advantage into what appeared to be a relatively comfortable win. KC scored two touchdowns in nine seconds to the put the game away — with the first coming on a Patrick Mahomes to Mecole Hardman hookup, followed by a pick-six by the Honey Badger.

Raiders vs Chiefs Opening Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Las Vegas Raiders +11.5 (-110) +460 OTB
Kansas City Chiefs -11.5 (-110) -620 OTB

Odds taken Oct. 5  at FanDuel

Carr set a season-high with 311 passing yards in the Week 4, but was uncharacteristically downtrodden following the team’s latest loss to the Bills.

YouTube video

As for the home team, Mahomes moved to 4-0 for the third straight year as a starter (and the franchise moved to 4-0 for a fourth straight season), but the Half-Billion Dollar Man looked almost human. He was solid Monday, going 19-of-29 for 236 yards and two touchdowns. But it was the Chiefs’ defense that won this game.

The Chiefs are better than the Raiders as we head past the quarter-pole of the season. But are they 11.5-points better? That’s an awfully big line, especially in a divisional game against a frustrated Las Vegas unit.

Let’s further investigate the opening spread and consider possible movement.

Reeling Group

Thanks to that Week 4 defeat against Buffalo, Las Vegas is trending in the wrong direction. Jon Gruden’s team started with back-to-back 34-point efforts against a pair of NFC South opponents in Carolina and New Orleans. The Raiders fell to the Patriots in Week 3. And then Sunday happened.

Those are telling stats. Now, the Raiders head to Arrowhead — a place where they have struggled recently — and play a team clicking on all cylinders offensively. The last time the franchise won in Kansas City was 2012. In fact, the Raiders have lost 10 of their last 11 to the Chiefs. And most of the games have been blowouts. The average score over that stretch (that dates back to 2014) is 30-16. Perhaps the low double-digit line is a bargain.

Tired Bunch?

Short weeks don’t seem to bother Mahomes. The only thing that seems to bother anyone about the reigning Super Bowl MVP is his mother making sure announcers don’t cut off the last four letters of his name.

Since becoming the franchises’s starting QB in 2018, PATRICK is 2-1 with less than a week to prepare. And that one loss was a 2018 nail-biting 29-28 defeat to the Chargers on Thursday Night Football.

As noted above, Mahomes was less than his spectacular self Monday.

The 2018 NFL MVP is 31-8 (including the playoffs) as the Chiefs starting QB — but only 2-2 (including the Week 4 win) against New England. Of course, Bill Belichick is arguably the greatest coach in NFL history and knows how to scheme against each team’s most talented offensive player better than anyone. With all due respect to Gruden, he’s no Belichick.

Here’s one interesting note to consider about the Week 5 matchup. This is the sandwich game between a pair of prime time outings against well-coached AFC teams. And while KC surgically dismissed Baltimore on MNF in Week 3 and handled New England in Week 4, it has Buffalo coming up on TNF to kick off Week 6 after the divisional game against Vegas. That’s three games in ten days. Will the Chiefs overlook the Raiders? Or be sluggish in between a pair of matchups against AFC East teams that will go a long way toward tiebreakers and playoff seeding? It’s possible, but unlikely.

Bottom line: with Mahomes and Co. playing the way they are, there’s no reason they shouldn’t dominate Vegas.

The Line

So, that brings us back to the opening line of 11.5 points.

Based on their respective Week 4 performances, I don’t see this line moving much. Kansas City came out of the New England game healthy and has historically dominated the Raiders at Arrowhead. I expect that trend to continue in Week 5.

 

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