NFL Betting Preview: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs

NFL Betting Preview:  Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs have responded well to the change of regime and are 5-0 in the first year under head coach Andy Reid. KC hasn’t started a season 5-0 since 2003 under Dick Vermeil and they’ve got a great opportunity to extend that margin as they host the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders were expected to be one of the worst team in the NFL but so far have been marginally better than expected. Oakland is 2-3 SU but their 3-1-1 ATS record underscores a better than expected effort on the season.

In Oakland Terrelle Pryor has added some spark to the long suffering Raiders’ offense but there are serious questions about his ability to pass the ball accurately and to make good decisions with the football. In all fairness, he is the best of several bad options and his ability to run the football at least makes the Raiders a tough defensive matchup. The once proud ‘silver and black’ have now endured a decade of under .500 finishes and haven’t had a sniff of the playoffs during that stretch. They were 4-12 last year but they’ve got a good opportunity to improve upon that record this season. The franchise is in the process of trying to right the wrongs of previous regimes but it’ll be at least another season or two before that monumental task is complete. Their defense is one huge question mark with a rag tag combination of over the hill veterans and unproven youngsters. The offense isn’t quite as bad, if only for the presence of talented running back Darren McFadden. The problem with McFadden is that he’s been injury prone and has never made it through a full season. He missed last week’s game but has been upgraded to ‘probable’ for this week’s contest.

Kansas City is clearly the better team but we’re very hesitant to bet them as favorites. Andy Reid’s methodical play calling and Alex Smith’s tactical work at quarterback is effective at minimizing mistakes but not so effective at hanging a margin on opponents. Note that this has been an evenly matched series from a pointspread standpoint. Raiders have covered 7 straight and 9 of their last 10 at Arrowhead Stadium. Chiefs win in a closer than expected game.