When the Chiefs (5-4) travel to play the Raiders (5-3) in the penultimate game of Week 10 on “Sunday Night Football” (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC), there will be midseason AFC West race positioning on the line. Kansas City is trying to dig itself out of third place after Week 9 toward another division title, while Las Vegas is trying to get back on track before another second-half fade.
Patrick Mahomes is coming off another shaky performance against the Packers, but made the key throws without key mistakes to push the Chiefs back above .500. Derek Carr and the Raiders turned in a post-bye clunker in losing to the NFC East also-ran Giants.
Mahomes and Carr need to be sharp in prime time against two exploitable defenses. Expect offense to be clean, balanced and explosive from both sides. Here’s how Sporting News seems the QB duel playing out:
WEEK 10 NFL PICKS: Against the spread | Straight up
Chiefs vs. Raiders odds for Sunday Night Football
- Spread: Chiefs by 2.5
- Over/under: 52.5
- Moneyine: Chiefs -146, Raiders +124
(betting odds per FanDuel Sportsbook)
The Chiefs have been less than field-goal favorites all week for what should feel more like a neutral-site game as an extended version of Arrowhead Stadium. The Raiders would have been near touchdown underdogs had the game been in Kansas City.
Chiefs vs. Raiders all-time series
The Chiefs lead the long-time arch-rivalry 68-54-2. The Chiefs have won six of the past seven games, losing only at home 40-32 last season. The Chiefs have also have won 11 of 13 to surge ahead in what used to be a more even series. Las Vegas will try to buck a KC trend for the second consecutive season.
Three trends to know
—54 percent of spread bettors are siding with the Raiders as slight home underdogs at night to build on their cushion in the division vs. the Chiefs.
—73 percent of over/under bettors are thinking shootout between Mahomes and Carr, too, and think the low 50s total is still not enough.
—The Chiefs are only 2-8 against the spread and 5-5 straight up in their past 10 games including playoffs with the total going over in only 4 of the games. The Raiders are 5-5 ATS and 6-4 SU in their past 10 games. The total has gone over six times in those games.
Three things to watch
The Mahomes “get-well” game.
In six games against the Raiders, Mahomes is 5.-1, averaging is 314 yards and 2.5 TDs with a passer rating of 105.6. They have had few answers for him so should he protect the ball again he should move it short-to-intermediate-to-deep. This is a great matchup for wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce to have big games together.
More dents for Carr?
The Raiders are trying to restore the downfield element to their passing game with veteran speedster DeSean Jackson. But Carr is still most comfortable throwing to tight end Darren Waller, wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and running back Kenyan Drake. If the Chiefs can squeeze the field defensively in pass coverage and run stopping, they would get a huge break much like last week.
Andy Reid’s adjustments
Will the Chiefs long-time offensive-minded head coach figure out how to get his team rolling per usual like the back-to-back AFC champions they are? This seems also seems the ideal time with no Jon Gruden on the other sideline.
Stat that matters
133.5. That’s how many average rushing yards per game the Raiders are allowing this season, No. 28 in the league. The Chiefs need to commit more to Darrel Williams and Derrick Gore to keep helping Mahomes, set up a more comfortable downfield passing game and also limit the time the Raiders’ offense is on the field, too.
Chiefs vs. Raiders prediction
The Chiefs are still the better overall team and definitely the more experienced one in terms of playoff profile. The Raiders’ hard fade from 2020 might happen again this season and Mahomes is a good bet to be the one who sets it in motion. The Chiefs will adjust better than the Raiders with more versatility and big plays while they force Carr into mistakes that Mahomes won’t commit.
Chiefs 30, Raiders 24