After finishing with the worst record in the NFL last season, the Kansas City Chiefs are now one win away from a playoff berth.
Should the Chiefs make the playoffs (can also clinch with a Miami or Baltimore loss) it will be the first time Kansas City earns a postseason berth since 2010. Of course, it would be hard to find a sweeter way to dance into the playoffs than beating the Oakland Raiders in their own building.
Do our guys think the Chiefs will be popping champagne? Let's take a look:
Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5) at Oakland Raiders
Matt Verderame: Chiefs 34, Raiders 16
Kansas City has really turned a corner offensively. I really like the way Alex Smith is throwing the ball downfield with authority. Even more important, the offensive line is beginning to truly dominate. The Chiefs have shown they can move the ball effectively, both on the ground and through the air.
Last week, Kansas City demolished the Redskins. Now, prove to me that was not just a fluke. Crush the Raiders, who are frankly a bad team going nowhere. Sure, the Chiefs are virtually locked into the No.5 seed, but this is a time to build serious momentum and confidence.
Chris Thorman: Chiefs 31, Raiders 13
I don't see how this is a close game. Oakland is their typical mess and hopefully the Chiefs' offense is trending up.
MNChiefsFan: Chiefs 38, Raiders 10
The Chiefs offense continues to roll, and the defense is uplifted by finally having gotten its groove (and Mike DeVito, a very underrated contributor) back. The Chiefs continue to heat up in all 3 phases of the game and people start to wonder if that slump was more of a hiccup than a major obstacle.
Matt Conner: Chiefs 28, Raiders 3
The Chiefs dominate the Raiders in much the same way they started the season against the Jags.
NJChiefsFan: Chiefs 30, Raiders 13
Raiders? Redskins? Same thing. A bad team that gets stepped on while walking into the playoffs.
Joel Thorman: Chiefs 23, Raiders 10
The Chiefs defense gets back to backups and beats up on Matt McGloin (who is the Raiders starting QB if you didn't know).
Now back to Matt Verderame for the rest of the picks... Lines courtesy of Oddsshark.com.
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (-10.5)
Denver (11-2) is simply too powerful for San Diego (6-7) to stop, especially at Mile High. Peyton Manning is a great quarterback on a serious roll, and the Chargers have perhaps the worst defensive backfield in the NFL. Philip Rivers will need the best game of his career to win this game.
Pick: Denver 42, San Diego 31
Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons (-7.5)
Both of these teams should change their helmet logos to this. Both of these teams are rancid. Atlanta (3-10) and Washington (3-10) are two of the most disappointing teams in the league. It's incredible to think the Chiefs beat the Redskins so badly they decided to cut the season three game short and bench RG3.
Pick: Atlanta 23, Washington 10
Chicago (7-6) is tied for the lead in the NFC North. Meanwhile, the Browns (4-9) are waiting for May so they can draft a quarterback to replace Brandon Weeden/Jason Campbell. Give Cleveland credit, it's playing hard, but it has not been good enough.
Pick: Chicago 20, Cleveland 17
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-5.5)
Indianapolis (8-5) has been brutal over the past six weeks. Going into the bye, the Colts were 5-2, but has since gone 3-3 including blowout losses against the Cardinals, Rams and Bengals. Even the wins have been ugly, beating the Titans twice and Houston (2-11). The skid doesn't end here.
Pick: Houston 27, Indianapolis 24 *PICK OF THE WEEK*
Buffalo Bills (-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars
How is Jacksonville (4-9) not favored in this game? Did anybody notice the Bills (4-9) have lost to the Falcons and Buccaneers the last two weeks? E.J. Manuel threw four interceptions last week. Meanwhile, Jacksonville have won four of five and benched the reason behind this video.
Pick: Jacksonville 24, Buffalo 20
The Patriots (9-4) are very banged up and probably mourning the loss of Rob Gronkowski. Miami (7-6) has to win this game to keep its playoff train rolling and is at home in front of 1,547 fans. The Dolphins should have won in Foxboro, and will pull out a big one here.
Pick: Miami 27, New England 23
Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) at Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota (3-9-1) is a terrible team. Philadelphia (8-5) is really starting to look like a true playoff team that could do a little damage in January. Without Adrian Peterson, the Vikings are going to be very hard pressed to score points. Look for a blowout.
Pick: Philadelphia 30, Minnesota 13
Seattle Seahawks (-7.5) at New York Giants
New York (5-8) is officially eliminated from playoff contention, while Seattle (11-2) is trying to lock up home-field advantage throughout the postseason. Factor in that the Seahawks are probably really pissed after losing last week, and this should be a notch in Pete Carroll's belt.
Pick: Seattle 24, New York 20
Tampa Bay (5-9) is really playing much better football, but it is no match for a motivated San Francisco (9-4) squad that needs the win. Colin Kaepernick is not playing great, but the defense is really starting to round into form, while the receiving core is finally healthy. Tougher than expected, but the Niners win.
Pick: San Francisco 21, Tampa Bay 17
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers (-12.5)
Have you seen this play? That guy is going to beat Carolina (9-4) on the road in a big spot for both teams? Yeah right. New York (6-7) is atrocious outside of its defensive line, which is one of the best units in the league. Otherwise, yikes.
Pick: Carolina 24, New York 3
New Orleans Saints (-7) at St. Louis Rams
The Saints (10-3) are a bad road team, but lucky for them they get to play in a dome this time around. Drew Brees and the boys need to keep winning in order to secure a bye week and home field for at a week. St. Louis (5-8) will fight, but not enough.
Pick: New Orleans 31, St. Louis 20
Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) at Tennessee Titans
Player to watch
Arizona (8-5) has to have this game if it wants any chance of being one of the NFC wild card teams. Carson Palmer is horrifying for a Cardinals fan to watch, but sometimes he gets it done. Ryan Fitzpatrick is horrifying for a Titans fan to watch, and he never gets it done. Case closed.
Pick: Arizona 24, Tennessee 21
Without Aaron Rodgers, how is Green Bay (6-6-1) supposed to win this game? Nobody enjoys making fun of Dallas (7-6) more than me, but the Cowboys are going to crush the Packers. Who is guarding Dez Bryant and Jason Witten? Doesn't look good for Green Bay.
Pick: Dallas 34, Green Bay 24
Cincinnati (9-4) is the better team, but can they get the job done on the road against a weird but tough team. Pittsburgh (5-8) is not going to lay down in this one considering its a division rival. The Bengals have a reputation as being a flaky team, a win would go a long way toward shedding that label.
Pick: Cincinnati 24, Pittsburgh 19
Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions (-7)
This is a really good game. Baltimore (7-6) is desperately trying to hold onto the last playoff spot in the AFC playoffs and Detroit (7-6) is clinging to the NFC North lead. The real question is whether the Ravens will score enough to keep up.
Pick: Detroit 27, Baltimore 21
Last Week: 11-5 (7-8 ATS)
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