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Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs Point Spread - Pick

Oakland Raiders (6-6 SU, 4-7-1 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS)
Week 14 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Betting Odds: OAK +3.5/KC -3.5
Over/Under Total: 47

The Oakland Raiders come to Arrowhead Stadium for an AFC West battle with the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are officially in a state of free-fall, following a 38-31 loss to the Jets on Sunday, their fourth straight loss and 6 in 7 games. The shine from their 5-0 start is officially off and they have lost control of the division, giving these games more meaning. The Chiefs are now knotted in a three-way tie atop the division with the Chargers and the team they play this week. The Raiders have climbed back into it with two straight wins, including a 24-17 win over the Giants on Sunday. On October 19, the Raiders used a TD from Derek Carr to Michael Crabtree is a frantic final sequence to squeak out a 31-30 win over the Chiefs in Oakland.

The Chiefs are really up against it now. A lot of teams would like to be in their position as far as the division standings go, but unless they can orchestrate an about-face, it might be a lost cause in what has been one of the more-bizarre collapses in recent memory. A growing number of key guys started getting hurt, with a battered offensive line and defense. It's just not to the extent that would precipitate such a complete fall-from-grace. The Chiefs have gone from a conference contender to a team that is lost at sea.

The Chiefs offense may have scored 31 against the Jets, but mistakes and a lack of red-zone effectiveness was costly. At first glance, Alex Smith was awesome and it was the best game he has had in a while with four TD throws, no picks, and 366 yards. But it's not awesome to lose to the Jets. He connected on some big plays with two long TD throws apiece to Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. He even broke off a 70-yard run, though fast-starting back Kareem Hunt has seen his production fall off badly. Still, Sunday wasn't a bad showing by an offense that had only scored 21 combined points in their last two games.

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It's bad enough that the Chiefs defense allowed almost 500 yards to the Jets' offense, but they undermined the team effort the entire game. Penalties came at the most inopportune moments. Late in the game, penalties on this side of the ball kept a late Jets' drive alive, otherwise the Chiefs could have maybe salvaged something. Even with guys like Marcus Peters, Ron Parker, and others, the secondary has become increasingly vulnerable. The pass-rush didn't get to Josh McCown the entire game, nor did they get any turnovers. Last season and when they were getting off to a 5-0 start, they might not have been great, but this unit has become a definite liability in recent weeks. Even when they're stout, they haven't been particularly clutch or adept at making big plays lately.

The Raiders are coming off one-score wins over Denver and the Giants—two of the more-hurting teams in the league. But even if those wins painted them in a better light than what is really the case, they should still be enlivened. With all their difficulty this season and all the letdowns, to be in this position is astounding in many ways. They are facing a nose-diving team they have already beaten and can really find something to get fired-up about now.

In a faraway road trip at East Rutherford on Sunday, the Raiders broke open a 10-7 game in the fourth quarter with two touchdowns. Derek Carr threw for 287 yards and a touchdown to Johnny Holton. Michael Crabtree was sitting out a suspension for his fight a few weeks ago, while Amari Cooper was nursing a concussion. Cordarrelle Patterson had 97 yards with Clive Walford and Seth Roberts adding some production. On the ground, they got a turning back of the clock performance, with Marshawn Lynch running for 101 yards, including a big 51-yard touchdown. DeAndre Washington also added a score on the ground.

On Sunday, the Oakland defense played pretty well, albeit against a Giants' offense that is in a state of some dysfunction. They got some solid play in the middle with NaVorro Bowman having his best game as a Raider, with Bruce Irvin stepping up with some big plays on the day. Both he and Khalil Mack had sacks and the pass-rush in general was a little better. Last season when the Raiders were 12-4, the defense wasn't a lot different from this one. They just made more timely plays and made the occasional big play to contribute to the team. Maybe the final quarter of the season will see some of that manifest. They have yet to score this season and have picked off only one pass.

The Raiders seem to have a big nugget right at their feet, but Arrowhead is still a hard place to play. In addition, one has to think the Chiefs have the wherewithal to snap out of this at some point, though waiting for that to happen has been costly. And despite two straight wins, there is something about the Raiders that is far from bankable. But to get behind the Chiefs right now is almost harder to do. This game could be argued plausibly any number of different ways. We feel the majority of those ways favor Oakland and this looks like a spot where having the points will be helpful.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Oakland Raiders plus 3.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Raiders vs. Chiefs game from home by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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