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The Chiefs take on the Raiders to kick off Week 18 of the season. The Chiefs can clinch the top seed in the AFC with a win. Handicapper Ben Rajavuori is here with his best bet for the Raiders vs. Chiefs.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs Odds, Expert Pick, Prediction

The Raiders close out their underwhelming season with a home meeting against the Chiefs. Derek Carr has been benched for Jarrett Stidham, who looked very impressive in a near win last week against the Forty-Niners. Now, the hungry Chiefs come into town, who can clinch the top seed in the AFC with a win tonight. If the Chiefs were to lose, the Bills could steal the first-round bye with a win. Rest assured, the Chiefs will be looking to win this game, and the Raiders would love the chance to spoil the Chief's chances at the top seed, which is why the spread isn't in double digits. However, it's not the spread that intrigues me in this game.

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Raiders vs. Chiefs Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: January 7, 2023
  • Game Time: 4:30 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: ESPN/ABC

Raiders vs. Chiefs Odds

  • Spread: Chiefs -9 (-110), Raiders +9 (-110)
  • Total: O/U 52.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Chiefs (-425), Raiders (+360)

Click here for Raiders vs. Chiefs odds

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Raiders vs. Chiefs Prediction

If Josh McDaniels is looking to prove one point to keep his job, it's that Derek Carr was the problem. Despite a connection to Davante Adams, Carr has not looked great this season, and Stidham stepped in to fill his spot under center in week 17. In his first start, Stidham threw for 365 yards on the best defense in the NFL. To put that into perspective, Carr did not hit 365 yards once this season. Of course, some of that can be attributed to having no film on him, but his showing was impressive nonetheless, especially considering it was against the Niner's defense.

Stidham showed no fear in his start, throwing with 67.7% accuracy while averaging 10.7 yards. His .33 adjusted EPA per play was the fifth-highest last week among all QBs and was much higher than Carr's season average. The real question is if he can keep it up this week. I think he can. The Chief's defense has not been unbeatable, and the secondary has been less than stellar, coming into today with a 21st ranking by DVOA. Their defense ranks 23rd overall, and this will be a drop off from the defense Stidham played against last week and put up 365 yards and three touchdowns on. Also, although there is now one full start of film on Stidham, it's not like you can have the guy completely figured out from one game. It will take more than one game to start pulling a decent sample of film and preparing for him. McDaniels showed that he fully trusts Stidham, as Stidham had ten play-action passes on 38 dropbacks. Stidham showed he is accurate on the long ball and could have more big plays against the Chiefs tonight.

The team you do not have to worry about scoring in this game is the Chiefs. The Chiefs rank first overall in passing DVOA and have been lighting up defenses all season. Some speculated whether the offense would remain as successful without Tyreek Hill. Still, new additions like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling have been excellent in the passing game this season. In the first game against the Raiders this season, Mahomes threw for 292 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 28. The Chiefs hung 30 on the Raiders in that game. Mahomes has not put up less than 30 points on the Raiders in six straight meetings. In fact, most of the past six meetings have seen the Chiefs drop 40+.

Also, there is the fact that Mahomes can pass Peyton Manning's single-season yardage record if he throws for 430 yards tonight. I'm sure winning is more on the mind of Mahomes with the first seed on the line, but you have to think he's at least aware of this and knows he can do it against the Raiders. The Chiefs can't afford to lose this game, and the Raiders will surely be trying to win with Stidham. The Raiders have the 32nd-ranked secondary and have been abysmal at stopping dynamic quarterbacks this season. The Chiefs should easily drop 30 in this game again.

The lowest score between the Chiefs and Raiders in the last five meetings has been a combined 55 points. Stidham just dropped 34 on the Niners, the best defense in the league. While it may have been a "fluke," it's hard to deny how good Stidham looked. If he can replicate even some of that success against a worse Chiefs defense, they should be able to keep up with the Chiefs offense enough to cover the spread. However, I think the safer bet is the over. The Chiefs have dropped 40 points against the Raiders in three of the last five meetings, and they easily could again tonight. That would mean the Raiders need two touchdowns to hit the over, and that is easily doable on an average Chiefs secondary.

Raiders vs. Chiefs Pick

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Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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