Oct 11, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) is hit by Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell (96) while throwing during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs Raiders Pick, SNF Preview

In the last calendar year, the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs have played 18 football games. They’ve won all except one. That loss came last month in K.C. at the hands of the division rival Las Vegas Raiders.

Can lightning strike for a second time this fall Sunday night in Vegas? Oddsmakers don’t expect that to happen, as they’ve installed the Chiefs as a 7.5-point favorite for a potential statement game in prime time.

[ Read also our Raiders Chiefs prop bets article with five top Sunday Night Football predictions ]

But the Chiefs were favored by 11 when Las Vegas put up 40 points on a Kansas City defense that is vulnerable against the run back in Week 5. You can’t rule anything out in the rematch.

Chiefs Raiders Pick, Odds: KC -7.5 Total 56.5 at BetRivers | Matchup Report 

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WHY THE CHIEFS can COVER the spread

Since that Week 5 wakeup call, the Chiefs have gone 5-0 with an average scoring margin of 16 points. In those games, quarterback Patrick Mahomes has posted a 128.1 passer rating to become a clear-cut MVP frontrunner.

You know he and the Chiefs will want to send a message with a decisive victory in front of a national audience, and the inconsistent, unreliable Las Vegas defense is dealing with yet another COVID-19 scare at the moment. That could have a huge impact on this game, and it’s a big reason why this line has grown.

Regardless, it’s well-publicized that Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is 18-3 in his career coming off bye weeks. That’s the case here, which puts the Raiders in a tough spot.


Las Vegas (and those who bet on the Raiders) could benefit from line movement associated with the team’s widening reserve/COVID-19 list. Because while either Clelin Ferrell or Lamarcus Joyner certainly won’t play if they tested positive, there’s still a chance the rest of the defensive players on the list will be able to suit up on Sunday.

By then, this spread could fall back to 7 or lower. In other words, there’s some value there.

And it’s always possible the Raiders simply have Kansas City’s number. The Chiefs rank 30th against the run in terms of DVOA and they’ve got the third-highest missed-tackle rate in the NFL. They were gashed by Josh Jacobs and Devontae Booker in the last meeting, and history could certainly repeat itself Sunday night.


I know the Raiders are at home this time, too, and that line value is tempting. Still, Reid and Mahomes are just too scary right now, especially post-bye. They’ll pull out all the stops, and I still don’t trust a Raiders team that is conservative on offense and exploitable on defense.

Kansas City wins this by a double-digit margin.

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. He was a lead contributor to an earlier incarnation of NationalFootballPost.com and was happy to return when new management revived the brand in 2020. Based in Toronto, he's covered the NFL since 2008 and has been a national NFL writer at Bleacher Report since 2012. He despises all 32 NFL teams equally but remains a fan of the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors. He can be reached at Brad@NationalFootballPost.com