Raiders Preview: Chiefs Vulnerable For A Vegas Upset?
Josh Jacobs, Raiders, Chiefs
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

“There are no moral victories in football,” they say, “only wins and losses”.

And, well, yeah, but…I disagree.

Last Sunday, the Las Vegas Raiders were two-touchdown underdogs to the Miami Dolphins — one of the best offenses in the league who were coming off a bye, playing at home and at 10 a.m. West Coast time. The circumstances were stacked against Raiders Interim Head Coach Antonio Pierce and his crew, to say the least, and while they were coming off back-to-back wins, we all knew that Miami was going to be the first real test.

And I have to say: I think they passed.

In fact, I actually don’t think it’s crazy to say that Sunday’s performance was actually more encouraging and more promising than either of the Raiders’ two wins simply given who they were playing against. This was a game that the Josh McDaniels Raiders would have gotten stomped in, but Pierce’s crew didn’t. In fact, they held the league’s highest-scoring offense to just six points in the second half (all in the third quarter, by the way) and gave their offense a chance to tie the ballgame from inside Miami territory twice in the last seven minutes.

Now, of course, the obvious thing needs to be said: both of those opportunities ended in interceptions, BUT STILL, I’m choosing to look at things positively here. If I were Mark Davis, this was the type of game that was going to show me what I had in Pierce — as one college coach famously said, was he rooted in flash or rooted in substance? Positivity and vibes can only get someone so far, but what was this team going to do when they got smacked in the mouth?

On Sunday, the Raiders got their answer — and that answer was that this team is going to get back up and keep swinging.

Which, it turns out, is a good thing to find out one week before facing what is no longer the most explosive offense in the league — but that features the most explosive player in the league in quarterback Patrick Mahomes (and likely without Maxx Crosby).

One piece of good news for the Raiders is that while everything seemed stacked against them this Sunday, many of the ancillary details about this game actually are working in their favor this week. For starters, the Chiefs are coming off a short week after losing to the Eagles on Monday night, and on top of that, they’ve got to travel to Las Vegas for the 1:25 p.m. kick on Sunday.

Can the Raiders parlay all of these positive bits of news and encouragement into a stunning win on Sunday? Let’s get to our picks and props to find out… (Odds courtesy of BetOnline.AG)

Last Week: 3-2, +1.07u; Season: 28-28-1, +1.52u

We’ve hit eight of our last 10 picks on here (including nice little plus-money field goals OVER last week), so let’s see if we can keep things rolling…

Davante Adams, Raiders
Nov 12, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) celebrates the victory against the New York Jets at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Davante Adams UNDER 62.5 receiving yards (-110)

The Chiefs’ top corner is L’Jarius Sneed and he’s probably the best cornerback that nobody talks about. How’s this for a run of play…

So as much as I love Adams, I don’t necessarily have faith in offensive coordinator Bo Hardegree to get creative enough to allow for a big game.

Jakobi Meyers, Raiders
Nov 5, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (16) celebrates with Las Vegas Raiders guard Dylan Parham (66) after scoring a touchdown against the New York Giants during the first quarter at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Jakobi Meyers OVER 37.5 receiving yards (-110)

With all that was said about Adams, someone has to catch passes for the Raiders — so give me Meyers to have a decent day. He has gone over this number in five of his last seven games, and I think the Raiders are going to be throwing a lot.

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
Nov 20, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) calls the play in the huddle during the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes UNDER 260.5 passing yards (-120)

I know, I know — betting under on Mahomes? But here’s my thinking…

For starters, he hasn’t gone over this number in three straight games. Second, I’m not convinced this game stays close with Maxx Crosby listed as doubtful, so we could see a throttle-down of the Chiefs offense, and finally? The Chiefs’ receivers stink.

Isiah Pacheco, Chiefs
Nov 20, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) runs the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Isiah Pacheco OVER 66.5 rushing yards (-115)

My biggest takeaway coming out of Kansas City’s last game against the Eagles was how good Pacheco looked — and how he needed to be a bigger part of the offense moving forward. With 35 carries in his last two games, I think that starts on Sunday.

Andy Reid, Chiefs
Nov 20, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid watches a replay against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs -10 (-105)

If you want to bet the Chiefs, there are some single-digit numbers out there, but we’ve got -10 at our book, and we’ll still lay the points. With no Crosby, the Raiders have no chance, and so while the week began with me liking the Raiders to keep things close the Maxx injury changes that. Chiefs — BIG.