Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 4:00 PM
Even though the Kansas City Chiefs are playing some of the best football in the NFL in recent weeks…and their Thursday Night opponent Oakland is winless through 10 games...we just learned a few nights ago that playoff contenders can’t take anything for granted!
The Pittsburgh Steelers almost lost to the Tennessee Titans!
Like Tennessee, Oakland is a team that needs to lose more than it needs to win right now in terms of building by the draft. Like Tennessee, Oakland is starting a rookie quarterback who’s shown to this point that he’s in over his head. And…like Tennessee…Oakland is a home underdog in a schedule spot where they don’t want to get embarrassed on national television in front of their home fans.
If Tennessee can rise from its slumber to lead Pittsburgh most of the night before losing late, Oakland can certainly do the same thing to a hated rival like Kansas City. Maybe they don’t want to win outright. Their 0-10 record is only one game “ahead” of Jacksonville’s 1-9 in the race for the top draft pick (Tampa Bay, Tennessee, and the NY Jets are all 2-8). The Raiders can certainly do enough to cover the spread, as they did last week in San Diego, and three games ago in Seattle as a big dog.
Let’s see what JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats have to say about the matchup…and about Kansas City’s chances to improve their Super Bowl hopes at a time when Denver and Indianapolis are slowing down…
Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)
Kansas City: 7-3 (#8 schedule in USA Today)
Oakland: 0-10 (#1 schedule in USA Today)
Sharps have been high on Kansas City for weeks. You can see why there. They’ve won 70% of their games while playing a tough schedule. Oakland would very likely have a win or two had they played a league average schedule. Though, maybe they prefer it this way for team-building. They weren’t going to compete in the tough AFC West this season anyway. So far…Kansas City is for real…and both teams may be a bit better than you had been thinking.
Kansas City: 5.4 on offense, 5.3 on defense
Oakland: 4.7 on offense, 5.4 on defense
Strikes against both teams here. A differential of +0.1 isn’t that great for a contender, even if you mentally nudge it up a bit because of schedule strength. Oakland has a horrible offense, which wouldn’t change too much against a softer slate. Rookie quarterbacks struggle in the NFL. And, Derek Carr struggled in college when he faced good teams (remember the bad Las Vegas bowl outing vs. USC?). The Chiefs are clearly better…but possibly not so good that they should be laying a touchdown on the road.
Kansas City: -3
Wow…how is Kansas City going 7-3 with an unimpressive yardage differential and a negative turnover rate?! They’re obviously doing something right somewhere. Usually this a sign of an offense that’s getting the most out of its field position, and a defense that’s stingy around the end zone. Really tough to endorse Kansas City as a Super Bowl darkhorse given how these indicator stats have performed historically through the years. The best teams thrive in these stats. Kansas City does not. For Oakland, more evidence that they have a rookie quarterback.
Kansas City: 8-2 ATS
Oakland: 5-5 ATS
The Chiefs have been money, even though sharps have been driving their prices up from the openers. Interesting that our key stats don’t show excellence for KC. Clearly some luck has been involved in their ATS performance…and a knack for timing their yards and points “just right.” Tough to do that over a full season plus the playoffs. Still, no reason for bettors who have been winning with Kansas City to back off yet.
Current Line: Kansas City by 7, total of 42.5
Home field advantage is usually worth three points in the NFL. But, it’s possible here that Oakland is only getting two because of their poor results this season…and because they don’t have experienced talent that knows how to exploit home benefits. Kansas City is way ahead in computer or Power Ratings. Should they be laying this much? Does the line even matter with possibilities so extreme. It wouldn’t be a shock at all to see Oakland stay feisty vs. a rival as they did last week at San Diego…or even as Tennessee did in a TV spot against non-rival Pittsburgh this past Monday. On the other hand, Oakland’s last road game was a 41-17 loss to Denver…and Kansas City’s playing up with the AFC elites over the past few weeks.
JIM HURLEY knows that volatility is a sports bettor’s best friend. He’ll do his best to make sure that NETWORK clients are on the right of this TV showdown. You can purchase the final word for Thursday (football and basketball) right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure you ask about combination packages that include football and basketball. The NBA is making headlines daily…and now college hoops is in full swing as well.
We jump from the NFL to college football the next two days in the NOTEBOOK to get you ready for some big TV games. Here’s the upcoming preview schedule…
Friday: College Preview…Wisconsin at Iowa on ABC
Saturday: College Preview…USC at UCLA on ABC
Sunday: NFL Preview…Dallas at NY Giants on NBC
Monday: NFL Preview…Baltimore at New Orleans on ESPN
Wisconsin/Iowa is a big game in the Big 10 West…and will play a huge role in determining who faces Ohio State in the conference championship game down the road. USC/UCLA is the best of the prime time games, and a renewal of a rejuvenated rivalry.
Big weekend ahead…be sure you GET ALL THE MONEY with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!
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