The Kansas City Chiefs (8-1) are touchdown favorites over the Las Vegas Raiders (6-3) in Week 11.
BetMGM’s opening betting lines for Week 11 have posted, once again favoring the Chiefs in a division rivalry game. Earlier in the season, when these two teams first met, Kansas City was favored by 12 points. Las Vegas ended up winning that game by eight points.
At BetMGM, the Chiefs are currently listed as 7-point favorites over the Raiders. The current money line is at -334 for Kansas City and +270 for Las Vegas. The over/under point total is set at 54.5 points. The Chiefs have an implied win probability of 77% in this matchup.
This would hardly be considered a race if not for the fact the Raiders have already handed the Chiefs their only loss in the last calendar year, especially because that came at Arrowhead. If it happens again in Vegas in Week 11, and the margin between the two shrinks to one game with no room for error for Kansas City, everything will be on the table.
The Chiefs are in Tampa the following week and have to travel to Miami and New Orleans in December, while the Raiders’ only two games beyond Week 11 against teams with winning records are at home against the beatable Colts and Dolphins.
The Chiefs, however, have a head coach who is king of the post-bye victory, and they’re seven-point favorites for next Sunday’s critical tilt.
1. Chiefs (13-3): The red-hot Chiefs might slip up once or twice still, but they should take care of business Sunday evening and coast from there.
2. Raiders (11-5): They really might be favored in every game they play beyond Week 11, so this Sunday night matchup is huge.
The continued excellence of Murray, sublime consistency of Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger’s perfect team and recent skid by Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has rendered the MVP race wide open. I gave my midseason vote to Mahomes.
Bashaud Breeland, Cornerback
Just in pass coverage, Breeland has the best completion percentage allowed on Kansas City’s defense (47.6%). Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus has him ranked second among cornerbacks in passer rating allowed (24.3). He can be an asset in man coverage, because of his physical style and length. Even against the run, Breeland is one of the Chiefs better tackling defensive backs. Last year we saw glimpses of how important he could be on the outside from time to time. However, this season has seen more steady play. Breeland has been less penalized in pass coverage reps, and his game changing plays have been more consistent. In order to continue his hot start, the Chiefs must continue to let Breeland stay on top of routes. Whether it is in man or zone, he can clamp on a route sufficiently, as long as he uses his length and keeps his feet active.
Kansas City Chiefs (-7.0) @ Las Vegas Raiders (+7.0)
The last time these two teams met, the Las Vegas Raiders went into Arrowhead Stadium and handed the Kansas City Chiefs their first defeat of the season with a 40-32 win. Can the Raiders do it again, or will the Chiefs gain revenge and increase their advantage in the AFC West?
Josh Jacobs rushed for two touchdowns in the first game, and shutting him down will be essential if the Chiefs want to emerge from Sunday Night Football with the victory. The Kansas City run defense has allowed the fifth-most rushing yards per game, while playing well against the pass. The Raiders have allowed the seventh-most passing yards per game, and Patrick Mahomes should be able to orchestrate the win that alluded the Chiefs earlier in the year.
NFL predictions against the spread for Week 11 Sunday Night Football: The Chiefs get their revenge with a push on the spread.
Final score predictions: Kansas City Chiefs 35 Las Vegas Raiders 28
Kansas City Chiefs: WR Mecole Hardman
Mecole Hardman was a bit of a one-trick pony in his rookie season with the Chiefs. The speedster would essentially just run go routes down the sideline or flares to the flats as Andy Reid wanted to take shots with him over the top.
In 2020, he’s run a more advanced route tree and has seen an uptick in production because of it.
A look at his Week 8 route chart from Next Gen Stats reveals a player who is being used to attack all areas of the field as a receiver rather than just a “speed guy.” The result was a seven-catch, 96-yard performance with a touchdown against the New York Jets.
On the season, he’s already just one catch away from matching his total. His per-catch stats aren’t as gaudy as they were last season, but he’s proving to be a reliable target capable of big plays. The Chiefs would be wise to give him more time over Demarcus Robinson at this point.
Around the NFL
Washington coach Ron Rivera told reporters Monday he thinks Smith has completed his journey from gruesome leg injury, complications from surgery that nearly cost him his limb, grueling rehab and finally, a return to an NFL field as a starting quarterback. Smith’s performance in Washington’s Week 10 loss to Detroit — in which the quarterback completed 38 of 55 passes for 390 yards — proved it to the veteran coach.
“That he’s pretty much back,” Rivera said. “There’s still some things that he still has to work on, and he knows that, and he’ll continue to work on them, but this really was his first full week of work. But I think that he’s proven that he’s back as the player, and again, that’s something that we’re going to most certainly discuss going forward.”
Baker was released by the Giants this past offseason due to his alleged involvement in an armed robbery in Florida. On Monday, the State Attorney’s office dropped the charges against Baker and charged South Florida attorney William Dean with extortion. Per several reports, Dean told Baker’s attorney that his clients — three men who recanted statements last week accusing Baker of victimizing them in a robbery — would do “anything you want, so long as the money is right,” and attempted to extract $266,000 per client from Baker.
Baker’s attorney, Bradford Cohen, released a statement to NFL.com and indicated that his client is seeking a return to the NFL. “I’ve been saying this from Day 1, that this was an extortion scheme and that Deandre was the victim. This event did not play out as they insinuated. And the case was dismissed,” Cohen said. “Deandre has been working out since the day of this event. He knew he was innocent of the crime. He’s been working out in case he gets signed by a team.”
Baker was formally charged in August with four counts of robbery with a firearm. Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar, who was also alleged to have been involved in the incident, was not charged at the time.
Winner: Brian Flores and the Dolphins. I’m starting to think Ryan has a man-crush on the Dolphins, because for the second straight week, they are his winner. Wilson has been highly impressed with their defense and he’s starting to feel like they’re a lock to make the playoffs, which is saying a lot, considering this team started 0-7 just last season.
Loser: Ravens. After being upset by the Patriots, the Ravens have likely squandered any chance they had of winning the AFC North. Not only are they now three games behind the Steelers, but they’re also tied with the Browns for second place in the division.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Getting a first-round bye
This is the time of year where we would normally say that a team with an 8-1 record controls its own destiny to land a postseason bye — that is, if they win the rest of their games, they’ll be assured of a week off to begin the postseason. But since the NFL’s expanded playoff format now allows only one team to get a bye — and the Steelers now stand 9-0 after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday — it’s not that simple.
Should the Chiefs take care of business — finishing the season 7-0 — they’ll have a 91% chance to land the #1 seed. Given that 7-0 finish, Steelers losses to the Ravens in Week 12 (or the Buffalo Bills in Week 14) would clinch a Chiefs bye. Of course, other Steelers losses would improve the Chiefs’ chance to claim the top spot — but by themselves, only losses to the Ravens or Bills (combined with a Chiefs 7-0 finish) would clinch it.
But that also means any Chiefs loss would make getting a bye significantly more difficult. In terms of the bye, the best-case Kansas City loss would be to the Falcons in Week 16. With that 6-1 record to finish the season, the Chiefs would need that Week 14 Bills win (or the Week 12 Ravens win and at least one more Steelers loss) to clinch the bye.