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Chiefs vs. Raiders prediction: Can Kansas City avoid trouble as touchdown favorite?

The Chiefs are dealing as 7-point favorites Monday night against the Raiders, who have historically struggled to keep pace with their AFC West rivals.

Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes throws the ball for a completion while under pressure from Quinton Jefferson of the Las Vegas Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium on December 12, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes throws the ball for a completion while under pressure from Quinton Jefferson of the Las Vegas Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium on December 12, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)Read moreJS / Getty Images

After stumbling to a surprising loss as favorites in Week 3, the Chiefs roared back a week ago with a big win over the Buccaneers in prime time. Oddsmakers are expecting a similar result on Monday.

Kansas City is priced as a 7-point favorite at FanDuel over their division rival Raiders, who picked up their first win of the season last week after three one-possession losses. Can they keep it close in this one, too?

Here’s how we’re betting Monday night’s contest, which kicks off at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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Chiefs vs. Raiders Prediction

  1. Chiefs -7 (-114 FanDuel)

Chiefs vs. Raiders Prediction: The Analysis

We’ve seen big favorites struggle in a big way this season, which is already looking like one of the crazier campaigns in recent memory. Favorites of at least seven points are a shocking 4-10 against the spread with four outright losses to this point, including two in Week 5 alone.

So, what does that mean for the Chiefs heading into Monday’s tilt? Absolutely nothing.

Since Patrick Mahomes took over as the team’s starting quarterback in 2019, Kansas City is 12-10 ATS as a home favorite of seven-plus points, including 4-1 ATS in its last five tries. The Chiefs have also been stout in prime time, boasting a 14-9 ATS record in that four-year span with an average scoring margin of 9.2 points.

Likewise, they’ve thoroughly dominated their division rivals since Andy Reid took over as head coach in 2013. In that stretch, Kansas City is 34-21 ATS (61.8%) against AFC West opponents, which includes a 12-6 ATS mark against Las Vegas and a 7-2 ATS record when those games are at Arrowhead Stadium.

It’s not like those matchups have been very competitive, either. Kansas City has won three of the last four meetings at home by 31 or more points, and its offense has averaged 38.8 points in those four contests. If you think this offense can’t reach those heights, just take a look at last week’s output, when Mahomes and co. dropped 41 points on a Buccaneers team that previously owned the league’s top scoring defense (9.0 PPG).

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This Raiders defense is allowing the ninth-most points per game (25) and been particularly vulnerable through the air, surrendering 253.8 passing yards per game with seven touchdowns and just two interceptions. Even Broncos passer Russell Wilson – whose futility on Thursday night was stuff of legend – gashed this group for 237 yards and a season-high two touchdowns in his best performance of the season just four days before that Week 5 clunker.

Good luck trying to contain Mahomes and this high-flying aerial assault, which has seemingly finally found its legs after a lackluster start to the season. Even without departed wideout Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs rank fourth in passing yards per game (267.8), third in passing TDs (11), and second in passer rating (107.7) – a key reason why the team sits in third place in offensive DVOA and net yards per drive (6.59).

The best way to beat Kansas City has historically been a strong rushing game, which the Raiders can threaten behind lead back Josh Jacobs (336 yards). Can they rely on that without falling too far behind, though? The Buccaneers ran the ball just six times in last week’s loss to the Chiefs, tied for the second-fewest in NFL history, while Kansas City’s defense is allowing the NFL’s fewest rushing yards per game (65.8).

The script is set up perfectly for another dominant Chiefs win in this matchup, even with the struggles of big favorites to this point. There’s a chance the Raiders come alive after last week’s win, but given their futility to that point, I wouldn’t bet on it.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

Chiefs vs. Raiders Odds (via FanDuel)

  1. Chiefs -7 (-114), moneyline -350

  2. Raiders +7 (-106), moneyline +280

  3. O/U 51.5 (-110)

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.