Raiders ready for Thursday night rebound?

Kansas City Chiefs, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Odds

This has been a difficult stretch for the Oakland Raiders. But as Jason Lake reports, the wiseguys are embracing Oakland as a small home dog on the Week 7 NFL odds board.

The Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders each went 12-4 last year. Now they’re about to meet on Thursday Night Football (8:25 p.m. ET, CBS). Isn’t Thursday supposed to be the worst football game on the NFL schedule, London games notwithstanding? Well, the Raiders are doing their part; they’ve lost four in a row SU and ATS after starting the year at 2-0. And the Chiefs fell last week, too, although they still lead the AFC at 5-1 SU and ATS.

This could be where Oakland gets back on the good foot. The Raiders are 3-point home dogs on the Week 7 NFL odds board, and with most people betting on Kansas City, the vigorish is piling up on the Chiefs; at this rate, they could easily be –3.5 before kick-off. But the expanded consensus reports at Sportsbook Review show most of the money for Thursday’s game landing on Da Raiders as we go to press. They could be the sharp pick in this AFC West showdown.

The Oakland Mausoleum

We like to say that big money is sharp money, and for now, Oakland has the biggest average bet on the board at $169, nearly four times as big as the Chiefs at $45. While 68 percent of bettors are on Kansas City, it’s the Raiders pulling in 64 percent of the amount wagered. That’s a classic recreational/sharp split if these reports are accurate.

However, the math doesn’t necessarily work out for Oakland. FiveThirtyEight projects K.C. to win 67 percent of the time, or –5 for an Elo-based point spread. ESPN’s Football Power Index disagrees, putting the Chiefs at 57.5 percent, or something like –2 judging by the NFL numbers at Wizard of Odds. And the Simple Rating System at Pro Football Reference blows both these projections out of the water, with Kansas City at +12.6 SRS and Oakland at –1.5 SRS; call it Chiefs –11.5 at the Coliseum. So much for math.

We also have to watch out for those pesky NFL betting trends. The Raiders have done very well on the road at 13-6 ATS under head coach Jack Del Rio, but at home, they’re just 7-12 ATS. The Coliseum isn’t much of a home, to be honest. And the locals aren’t too pleased about their team moving to Las Vegas. Stakes up, O-Town down.

Carr go

Then again, the Raiders did get QB Derek Carr back in the lineup last week. He only missed one game after suffering a transverse process fracture in his back during the third quarter of their Week 4 game in Denver, which the Broncos went on to win 16-10 as 3.5-point home faves. The Raiders got thumped by the Baltimore Ravens (+3 away) in their next game with EJ Manuel at the controls.

Carr wasn’t quite himself last week, though. He was clearly limited against the Los Angeles Chargers (+3 away), throwing a pick on his first pass attempt and a second pick later on as the Chargers won 17-16 on a last-second field goal. We’d expect Carr to be a little less rusty this Thursday despite the short week.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, may have peaked a few weeks ago. Their offensive line is in trouble without center Mitch Morse and RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, the pride of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec. Last week’s 19-13 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (+3.5 away) saw Kansas City held to 251 yards on offense. Both linemen are confirmed out for Thursday, along with RB Charcandrick West (concussion).

Free Pick: Oakland +3 (+100)
Best Line: at Bovada

Let’s throw a small sum on Oakland and see what happens.

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