Chiefs vs Raiders Preview & Free Pick [November 14th 2021]

Kansas City (5-4) at Las Vegas (5-3)
When: Sunday, November 14th 2021
Where: Allegiant Stadium,
Las Vegas, NV
Time: 8:20 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: Kansas City -3/53.5

There are some close division races in the NFL as we head into the second half of the season, but none closer than the AFC West. Just a half-game separates all four teams and two of them will battle this Sunday night in the desert of Nevada. The Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders will meet for the first of two meetings this season at Allegiant Stadium. The Raiders have been in the news lately for off-the-field issues. Former coach Jon Gruden resigned in disgrace last month, 2020 first-round receiver Henry Ruggs was involved in a DUI fatality and released, and then this week, 2020 first-round cornerback Damon Arnette was released after video surfaced over the weekend of him making death threats while brandishing firearms. The 2020 draft was supposed to be the foundation for the Raiders to build on with those two first-round choices, but it has become a disaster. Las Vegas is looking to rebound from a 23-16 road loss at the New York Giants last week after they came into that contest as 3-point favorites.


The Chiefs are still trying to find their game and a lot of blame is being put on superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Super Bowl-winning QB is having his worst season with 10 interceptions through nine games, although he does have 20 touchdown tosses. The Chiefs have relied on screens and short slants, while almost abandoning the run game, which ranks 15th in the NFL at 4.6 yards per attempt. Kansas has won two in a row, but they have been far from dominant. Two weeks ago, they held off a game New York Giants team 20-17 on a Monday night, then looked sluggish again in a 13-7 win over Green Bay, who were playing without Aaron Rodgers. The defense has picked up their game the last two weeks, but the offense needs to turn it around. Last season, the teams split with each winning on the road.

Kansas City was fortunate last week that Rodgers was out, or they more than likely would have lost after their offensive performance. Mahomes passed for just 166 yards and a touchdown with zero interceptions on 20-of-37 completions against the Packers, while the backfield recorded just 77 rushing yards on 25 carries. Things could get a little easier this week with the Raiders just allowing 149 yards on the ground to the Giants in Week 9. On the season, the Raiders are just 28th in the NFL with 4.6 rushing yards allowed per carry. The defense is playing well and recent trade acquisition Melvin Ingram had four QB pressures last Sunday. Three injured Chiefs missed practice to begin the week: cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (ankle) as well as right tackles Mike Remmers (knee) and Lucas Niang (ribs). The Chiefs cleared offensive lineman Kyle Long (leg) to practice, who has been out since missing the entire preseason camp.

The Raiders lost their first game since Gruden resigned and losing Ruggs was also a factor for a team that is already weak at wide receiver. Las Vegas went out and signed free agent speedster DeSean Jackson after he was cut by the Rams and should be ready to go Sunday night. Derek Carr was picked twice by the Giants, including one returned for a TD. He also was strip-sacked while driving for a potential game-tying touchdown late in the game. The Raiders are sixth in the NFL with 394.5 total yards per game and 16th with 24.5 points per contest. Carr is third overall in the NFL with 2,565 passing yards this season and the team is second with 305.1 passing yards per game. The Raiders need to establish the run with Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake. Three players missed practice this week including cornerback Keisean Nixon. The Raiders are fifth against the pass, but 28th versus the run.

Kansas City has not covered many spreads since the middle of last year, but I like them in this spot. The Raiders defense is not very good and I expect a solid game out of Mahomes. Also, the Chiefs defense has been getting better and should be able to create a turnover or two.

Pick: Chiefs -2.5
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