The Chiefs got off to a 9-0 start last season before losing three straight games and five of seven down the stretch, bowing out in the wild-card round. This year, Kansas City lost its first two games before winning seven of eight, including five straight heading into this week's Thursday Night Football matchup with the Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs are seven-point road favorites against their AFC West rivals, who are the NFL's only remaining winless team.
The Raiders may be without a victory, but they have made life difficult for some heavily-favored teams this season, with a 5-5 mark against the spread. In fact, Oakland covered twice against another AFC West foe -- the San Diego Chargers -- including last week's 13-6 loss as a 10-point road underdog. The Raiders have played surprisingly well in covering four of five games as road underdogs, but they have not performed nearly as well at O.co Coliseum, with a 3-10 record against the spread in their past 13 games as home dogs and a 1-6 mark in their previous seven games.
Meanwhile, Kansas City is hoping to avoid a letdown at Oakland in between games against last year’s Super Bowl participants, with a huge matchup against the defending AFC champion Denver Broncos on deck next week. The Chiefs are coming off a 24-20 victory against the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks last Sunday, with the closing lines showing them as one-point home favorites. They turned in another strong defensive effort in beating the Seahawks and ran the ball well, with running back Jamaal Charles totaling 159 rushing yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.
The Kansas City-Oakland series has been historically low-scoring over the past nine years, although each team’s recent trends point bettors in a different direction. While the under is an impressive 14-3-1 in the last 18 meetings between the teams, the over has prevailed in 10 of the Chiefs' last 13 games as road favorites. In addition, the over is 3-1 in the Raiders' past four home games against AFC West opponents and 4-2-1 in their previous seven games as home underdogs, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.