Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Chiefs vs. Raiders (1/7/2023) - Taking Vegas



Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Chiefs vs. Raiders (1/7/2023)

By TakingVegas Staff Writer
January 5, 2023
Photo by: Jay Biggerstaff - USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs vs Las Vegas Raiders (1/7 @ 4:30 PM EST)

Spread: Chiefs -7.5
Money Line: Chiefs -374 / Raiders +309
Total: 52.5

Overview and Betting Info

The Kansas City Chiefs (13-3) will head to Sin City on Saturday to take on the Las Vegas Raiders (6-10). The Chiefs lead the overall series 71-54-2 and have won nine of the last ten meetings. The Chiefs are currently atop the AFC, while the Raiders have been eliminated from the playoffs.

The Chiefs are 5-10-1 against the spread this season and have covered their last five games just once. They have gone over the total eight times and have done so in three of their previous five.

The Raiders are 8-8 versus the spread this year and have covered three of their last five games. They have also gone over the total eight times but have been under in three of their last five.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have won nine of their last ten thanks to an offense that leads the NFL with 428.1 yards and 29.1 points per game. They are led by the likely MVP in Patrick Mahomes, who leads the NFL with 5,048 yards and 40 touchdowns. Mahomes has also had some success running the ball, with 329 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. He is joined by the league’s top tight end, Travis Kelce. The veteran is eighth in the NFL with 1,300 yards and second with 12 touchdowns (though he has not scored in the last five games). Juju Smith-Schuster (898 yards, 3 TD) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (660 yards, 2 TD) round out the receiving corps. Schuster was a crucial part of this offense to begin the season but is averaging just 45 yards per game over their last seven. We’ll also be keeping an eye on Jerick McKinnon as the running back has 274 yards and seven receiving touchdowns over their last five games.

The Chiefs’ run attack is led by Isiah Pacheco, who has gone for 766 yards and four touchdowns. The rookie running back has taken over as the starter since Clyde Edwards-Healaire’s injury and has been fantastic in support of Mahomes and this passing attack. The good news is that the Chiefs may be getting CEH back this weekend, though they may choose to let him rest for a playoff run. When Pacheco isn’t on the field, the Chiefs turn to Jerick McKinnon (285 yards, 1 TD) for most passing downs.

The Chiefs’ defense is allowing 353.1 yards and 22.3 points per game. They’ve been led by a career year from Chris Jones, who is top five in the NFL with 13 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. He’s been incredible all season, with a sack in nine of his last ten games. He joins a red-hot George Karlaftis, who has all five of his sacks in their previous six games. The Chiefs also have a pair of talented linebackers in Nick Bolton (second in the NFL with 165 tackles, 9 TFL, 2 INT) and Willie Gay (83 tackles, 9 TFL). Their secondary is led by L’Jarius Sneed, who has team-highs in interceptions (3) and pass deflections (11). The cornerback had an interception last week but also suffered a hip pointer which has him listed as questionable for this week. The Chiefs have a limited amount of depth in the secondary, so Sneed’s absence would make a big difference Saturday.

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders’ offense is averaging 370.2 yards and 23.9 points per game. They have benched Derek Carr and will have Jarrett Stidham start once again. The third-year quarterback started last week, throwing 365 yards and three touchdowns against an elite Niners defense. Stidham has the benefit of playing with one of the top receivers in the league, Davante Adams. The receiver is third in the NFL with 1,443 yards and first with 14 touchdowns. He formed a great connection with Stidham last week, going for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Adams is joined by Mack Hollins (675 yards, 4 TD) and tight ends Foster Moreau (410 yards, 2 TD) and Darren Waller (353 yards, 3 TD). Waller missed November with an injury but has 173 yards and two touchdowns in his three games since returning.

The Raiders backfield is led by the NFL’s leading rusher, Josh Jacobs. The back has 1,608 yards and 12 touchdowns on the year, though he has just 113 over his last two games. We expect that to change on Saturday, as the Chiefs will need to pay more attention to the pass after Stidham’s performance last week. Veteran Brandon Bolden re-entered the backfield and saw eight of his total 17 carries last week, averaging four yards per carry. While Jacobs has been handling the rushing duties almost exclusively all season, we expect to see Bolden plenty on Saturday.

The Raiders’ defense allows 377.4 yards (26th in NFL) and 24.2 points per game this season. They have benefited from a career year from Maxx Crosby, who leads the team in tackles (84), tackles for loss (20-leads NFL), and sacks (11.5). The Raiders will be without linebacker Denzel Perryman, who is second on the team and 13th in the NFL with 14 tackles for loss. Their secondary has been more of the issue this season, as they rank 29th in the NFL in allowing 246.8 passing yards per game. They are led by Amik Robertson (2 INT, 8 PD) and Duron Harmon (2 INT, 5 PD, 1 TD, 79 tackles). The Raiders have only managed six interceptions this season, the second-fewest total in the NFL.

Free Pick: Over 52.5

The Raiders looked like the team they hoped they would be against the Niners last week. Stidham looked incredible in his first start and could be the missing piece in what should be a high-powered offense. Their 34-point performance against the Niners’ defense was terrific, and there is no reason to think the Chiefs’ defense will be better equipped to stop them. They managed 29 points in their first matchup with the Chiefs, and this offense may be capable of topping that. If Jacobs can return to form after two off weeks, this offense could quickly put up 30 points on Saturday.

On the other side of the ball, Mahomes should be able to move the ball without much resistance. The Raiders’ secondary is among the league’s worst and will be against the league’s top passing offense, which means they should see at least 30 points. The last time these two teams played, Mahomes threw for four touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Given that this game will be played in a dome, we see the over hitting early in the second half. We’re happy to take the over in this one.