NFL Week 5 Picks: Raiders vs. Chiefs odds and predictions
If the Las Vegas Raiders aspire to make the playoffs, their Week 5 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs will be a critical matchup.
Yes, it’s early to be talking playoffs in the NFL, but after a 2-0 start to the season, the Raiders have dropped two in a row, losing to New England in Week 3 and Buffalo last weekend. The schedule gets even more difficult with a road game against the reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs on Sunday.
The Raiders certainly don’t want to hit the skids with three losses in a row, while the Chiefs are aiming for a fifth consecutive win to start the season.
Sun, October 11 2020, 5:00 PM
Kansas City Chiefs
Las Vegas Raiders
Don’t count Patrick Mahomes out of the MVP conversation
Patrick Mahomes isn’t on pace to duplicate the same lofty totals he posted in 2018, when he threw for 50 touchdowns, but he can work his way to the front of the NFL MVP conversation with a few big games, including one on Sunday.
Mahomes has thrown 11 touchdown passes this season and has rushed for one more. The number that sticks out so far is zero interceptions. The modus operandi of the Chiefs offense with Mahomes under center is to basically let it fly, which has led to 87 touchdown tosses since the start of the 2018 season.
But he also had 12 interceptions in 2018, and five last year. Mahomes hasn’t turned the ball over once this season, which is something Allen and Wilson cannot claim. If the Raiders can’t force at least one turnover from Mahomes, they could be in for a long afternoon against one of the league’s most potent offenses.
Chiefs defense needs recognition
The Chiefs offense will hog the spotlight. Even when they struggle in games, such as their Week 2 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City’s offense is just so loaded with talent that it can suddenly takeover a game.
Do not overlook the Chiefs defense, though. They have allowed no more than 20 points in a game this season, and that includes a 34-20 victory on Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens.
Their defense has allowed the fifth fewest passing yards through four weeks. They’ve allowed only four touchdowns, while recording five interceptions.
Would a healthy Cam Newton have made a difference for New England’s offense last week? Possibly. But he was out of the lineup due to a positive COVID-19 test, and the Chiefs defense forced three interceptions at the hands of Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham, while holding the Patriots to 10 points.
Where the Chiefs may be vulnerable is against the run. They give up about 5.3 yards per carry, and have allowed three rushing touchdowns.
However, if the Raiders fall behind by two or more scores in the first half, they may be forced to abandon the run, anyway, and given the Chiefs’ early-season success, that plays right into the hands of Kansas City's defense.
For the Chiefs, the big news is defensive tackle Chris Jones went from being a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice to a full participant in Thursday’s session, as he deals with a groin injury.
For the Raiders, there was also good news on the injury front Thursday. Running back Josh Jacobs (hip) was a full participant in practice, as was rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III, who has been dealing with knee and hamstring issues.
A healthy Jacobs in the backfield would be key for the Raiders. Not only do the Chiefs give up some yards on the ground, but Jacobs is emerging as a dual threat in Las Vegas’ pass game as well.
Ruggs would also be a nice addition back into the Raiders offense. Taken in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Ruggs could bring much-needed breakaway speed in the receiving corps.
Las Vegas is a sizable underdog coming into this matchup, but they have been able to go 2-2 against the spread so far this season. The Chiefs, meanwhile, are 3-1 against the spread.
Being a double-digit favorite comes with its own challenges, but consider the Chiefs have won by 14 or more points in three of four games. They could very well go to 4-1 ATS, despite being a double-digit favorite against Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, the Over is a surprising 1-3 in Chiefs games this season, while it is 3-0-1 when the Raiders play. The Total for this matchup was set at 55.5 as of Thursday.