When the Chiefs (5-4) travel to play the Raiders (5-3) in the penultimate game of Week 10 on “Sunday Night Football” (8:20 pm ET, NBC), there will be a career positioning from the AFC West midseason on the line. Kansas City is trying to break out of third place after Week 9 toward another division title, while Las Vegas is trying to get back on track before another second half fades away.
Patrick Mahomes is coming off another shaky performance against the Packers, but he made the key pitches without key errors to push the Chiefs back above .500. Derek Carr and the Raiders turned upside down after goodbye by losing to the NFC East Giants.
Mahomes and Carr must be ready in prime time against two exploitable defenses. Expect the offense to be clean, balanced, and explosive on both sides. This is how Sporting News looks like the QB duel unfolds:
NFL WEEK 10 SELECTIONS: Against the Spread | Straight up
Chiefs vs Raiders odds for Sunday Night Football
- Spread: Heads by 2.5
- Below: 52.5
- Moneyine: Bosses -146, Raiders +124
(betting odds for FanDuel sports betting)
The Chiefs have been less than field goal favorites all week for what should feel more like a game in a neutral venue like an extended version of Arrowhead Stadium. The Raiders would have been close to touchdown underdogs if the game had been in Kansas City.
Chiefs vs. Raiders all-time series
The Chiefs lead the long-standing arch rivalry 68-54-2. The Chiefs have won six of the last seven games, losing just 40-32 at home last season. The Chiefs have also won 11 of 13 to advance in what used to be a more even series. Las Vegas will try to counter a Kansas City trend for the second consecutive season.
Three trends to know
—54 percent of spread bettors side with the Raiders as little losers at home at night to build their cushion in the division against the Chiefs.
—73 percent of over / under bettors are also thinking about a Mahomes-Carr shootout, and believe the low total of 50 still isn’t enough.
—The Chiefs are just 2-8 against the spread and 5-5 straight in their last 10 games, including the playoffs, with the total exceeded in just 4 of the games. The Raiders are 5-5 ATS and 6-4 SU in their last 10 games. The total has exceeded six times in those games.
Three things to look at
Mahomes’s “recover” game.
In six games against the Raiders, Mahomes is 5.-1, averaging 314 yards and 2.5 TDs with a passer rating of 105.6. They have had few responses for him, so if he does protect the ball again, he has to move it from short to medium to deep. This is a great showdown for wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce to have great games together.
More dents for Carr?
The Raiders are trying to restore the field element to their passing game with veteran sprinter DeSean Jackson. But Carr is still more comfortable pitching tight end Darren Waller, wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and running back Kenyan Drake. If the Chiefs can squeeze the field defensively in pass coverage and run to a stop, they’d get a great rest like last week.
Andy Reid’s settings
Will the Chiefs, the longtime offensive-minded head coach, figure out how to make their team perform as usual, like the back-to-back AFC champions that they are? This also seems like the ideal moment without Jon Gruden on the other end of the line.
Statistics that matter
133.5. That’s the average number of rushing yards per game the Raiders are allowing this season, the 28th in the league. The Chiefs need to engage more with Darrel Williams and Derrick Gore to continue helping Mahomes, establish a more comfortable passing game on the field and also limit the amount of time the Raiders’ offense is on the field.
Chiefs vs Raiders Prediction
The Chiefs are still the best team overall and definitely the most experienced in terms of playoff profile. The hard fading of the Raiders from 2020 could happen again this season and Mahomes is a good bet to be the one to start it. The Chiefs will adjust better than the Raiders with more versatility and big plays while forcing Carr to make mistakes that Mahomes won’t make.
Chiefs 30, Raiders 24
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.