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Chiefs vs. Raiders picks: Predictions from the AP staff

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The KC Chiefs and Oakland Raiders meet on Thursday night football on CBS and NFL Network this evening. The Chiefs are 5-1 and lead the AFC West while the Raiders are desperately trying to stay in at 2-4. A loss could doom the Raiders but a win could reenergize their season.

The Arrowhead Pride staff made their picks and predictions for the game below.

Chiefs 30 Raiders 26

I have no idea what to expect. -Joel Thorman

Chiefs 21 Raiders 14

I'll be honest. I was very tempted to pick the Oakland Raiders here— the Chiefs are so ridden with injuries right now that their center is snapping safeties, their No. 2 and No. 3 receivers are some combination of DAT and Demarcus Robinson, and yes, CJ Spiller is back for a fourth ride. All the while, the Raiders are home for a short week, they desperately need a win at 2-4 and they feel that they finally have Marshawn Lynch going.

But just as I was about to cave and give it to Oakland, I remembered something. The Chiefs are better than the Raiders. They have a better head coach and they own Derek Carr, who has already shown he’s just not himself this season. I understand the injuries and I understand the short week and I understand the Le’Veon Bell debacle, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I just can’t see the Raiders winning this game. -Pete Sweeney

Chiefs 27 Raiders 20

I don't believe in the Raiders. I never have. They were able to win games in astoundingly lucky fashion last season, and that kind of thing never lasts. Division games are always tricky, but the Chiefs get back on track. -Seth Keysor

Chiefs 21 Raiders 24

I picked the Steelers last week due to attrition. I'm getting similar vibes this week.

Charcandrick West is out and no reinforcements on the offensive line are coming this week. The Chiefs aren't well equipped to handle third down on short rest without them. Early down execution is critical this week. If they're going to win, they have to stay out of third and 6-plus. I'll repeat the same thing I said in last week's prediction: The Chiefs are in their toughest stretch of the season, and I think they will lose at least one more game before the Week 11 bye. I don't think this is an indictment on the team. They're still well positioned to finish with 12-14 wins and be in line to be the one seed.

Reinforcements are coming. Their schedule and returning talent put them in a great position to finish strong. Hobbled, on short rest, on the road, against a desperate rival is as tough a scenario to overcome. I don't think they do. -Kent Swanson

Chiefs 27 Raiders 17

Hopefully Albert Wilson will be healthy for this game because Alex Smith missed Wilson and Chris Conley last week on third down. Aside from Wilson and Conley, I expect Demarcus Robinson to have a good game. Alex Smith has traditionally played great in Oakland and as long as the Chiefs patchwork offensive line can hold it's ground I see a big game on the horizon for Alex Smith. The Raiders are 26th in sacks, which really helps the Chiefs chances. We'll see if the pattern of Chiefs dominance over the Raiders can continue, and we'll also see if the Chiefs have the fortitude to bounce back against a difficult opponent after a tough loss. Long story short, I have faith in this Chiefs team's family jewels. -Gary McKenzie

Chiefs 35 Raiders 21

Good teams have bad games, great teams bounce back. The Chiefs have a real opportunity to get back on track on a short week against an overrated division rival. Injuries have been tough on Kansas City’s team, but they are battling through. I think Hunt has a monster game this week, along with Kelce and the Chiefs defense takes the ball away from Carr on multiple occasions. - Matt Stagner