2020 has been weird, but the Kansas City Chiefs have provided a refreshing sense of normalcy by opening the season 4-0 for the fourth consecutive year. Led by Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, the reigning champions will spend Sunday playing host to the Las Vegas Raiders, who opened the year with two wins before losing back-to-back contests and falling to 2-2.
These two teams have met 119 times, with Kansas City currently holding a 65-52-2 series lead. The Chiefs have also won 10 of the last 11 matchups. Jon Gruden is 7-7 all-time against Kansas City while Andy Reid is 13-4 against the Raiders.
The Raiders are coming off of a 30-23 loss against the red-hot Buffalo Bills. Quarterback Derek Carr has been an underrated part of the offense with 1,095 yards, eight touchdowns, and no interceptions. Josh Jacobs has impressed out of the backfield, too, as he already has 83 carries for 300 yards and three scores. However, not everything has been smooth sailing for the Raiders as they have struggled with turnovers on both sides of the field. So far, the Vegas offense has coughed up the football six times while the defense has forced just two turnovers.
For Kansas City, Patrick Mahomes is off to another impressive start. He’s thrown for 1,134 yards, 11 touchdowns, and no interceptions. The running game has also gained some newfound consistency, which is certainly refreshing. Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire already has 71 carries for 304 yards and one touchdown through four games. He also has 129 receiving yards. However, perhaps the most surprising facet of Kansas City’s game has been their defense. Unlike Las Vegas’ unit, the Chiefs’ defense has forced seven turnovers while the offense has turned over the football just twice.
As for these teams’ receiving cores, a unique outlier can be found. Interestingly, both teams’ receiving leaders are tight ends. In fact, this Raiders-Chiefs game will be the only Week 5 contest in which both teams’ receiving leaders are tight ends (Darren Waller and Travis Kelce).
Outside of tight end, there has been a noticeable amount of inconsistency for the Raiders’ receivers as Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards have been banged up for Las Vegas. Kansas City has seen some more consistency with a reliable start to the year from Tyreek Hill. With that said, while Sammy Watkins has impressed, he’s less consistent, and Mecole Hardman has fetched just 11 catches so far.
All in all, it’s fair to say that this weekend’s game could be a close one, especially if Ruggs (knee, hamstring; questionable) is active. Tackle Trent Brown (calf), defensive lineman Maliek Collins (shoulder, illness), and WR Rico Gafford (hamstring) are all also questionable while Edwards (ankle, foot) has been ruled out. Hunter Renfrow, Nelson Agholor, and Zay Jones are set to see a respectable amount of targets again this week while Alec Ingold and Foster Moreau could also be more involved in the passing game.
Kansas City, meanwhile, has been quite healthy. Other than Chris Jones (groin), who missed Wednesday’s practice, Mike Danna was the only other player who battled an injury this week. Danna (hamstring) did not practice all week and has been ruled out for Sunday’s game.
Date: Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020
Start Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
Location: Kansas City, Mo.
Stadium: Arrowhead Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Betting Odds | Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Point Spread: LVR +11.5 (-110) | KC -11.5 (-110)
Moneyline: LVR +455 | KC -705
Over/Under: O 55.5 (-110) | U 55.5 (-110)
The spread here is generous in favor of the Raiders. It seems likely that the Chiefs win by more than 12 points, making them at -11.5 the right pick. As for total points, while the over might seem attractive whenever the Chiefs play, this is the same team that was held to 26 points against a Patriots team that lost practice time due to COVID-19, saw several defensive stars opt-out, and could not stay on the field due to the struggles of Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham. With that in mind, it seems unlikely that this game exceeds 50 points, making the under a safe pick here.
There is not much to say here. The Raiders upset the Saints, but that was a national TV game in which Michael Thomas was inactive. The Raiders have a weakened secondary and, while their offense looks solid, won’t give the Chiefs a legitimate run for their money on Sunday. Expect Kansas City to remain undefeated while Las Vegas falls below .500.
Final Score: Chiefs 31, Raiders 17
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images