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NFL Las Vegas at Kansas City Free Pick (Christmas Day)

December 22, 2023
Raiders at Chiefs

Christmas Day finds a trio of NFL games to conclude the 16th week of the season, with the opener a clash of the 6-8 Las Vegas Raiders and their AFC West-rival 9-5 Kansas City Chiefs.

Las Vegas was the first team to fire its head coach this season. It’s been another long year with the Silver and Black. Vegas did have its highlight last out, drilling the Los Angeles Chargers, 63-21, and ending the tenure of LA’s coach and general manager.

Kansas City, which disposed of the Patriots in Foxboro last Sunday, has nonetheless been a tough team to figure. KC still leads the AFC West, going after an eight consecutive division title, but just 2-3 in its last five. 

It’s Kansas City as a 10-point favorite (total at 41), according to NFL odds.

Moneyline is Chiefs -525, Raiders +405.

These bitter AFL rivals have met 129 times (including postseason), with the Chiefs leading, 73-54-2 (winning last six, 11-of-12, including the first meeting of this season, 31-17).

Raiders Went Zero-to-63

So, after being blanked at home, 3-0, by the Minnesota Vikings, the Las Vegas Raiders stuck around Sin City and slapped the Los Angeles Chargers to a tune of a club-record 63 points in a 63-21 beatdown.

Go figure. 

Quite the aberration, considering the team (even with that outburst) averages just 18.9 points per game (24th in NFL). Granted, two defensive scores padded that number, but seriously.

Quarterback Aidan O’Connell (1,613 yards, eight touchdowns, seven interceptions) has gone 3-4 as a starter, and whether he’s the long-term solution remains to be seen.

Wideout Davante Adams (84 receptions, 968 yards, five touchdowns) is having another solid season despite those mediocre surroundings. He has just a second 100-yard game last out. 

Running back Josh Jacobs (805 yards, six touchdowns), who missed the Charger game (quad), is expected to return. He has reached triple figures twice in his last four.

Vegas has held opponents to respectable numbers of 20 points and 334.4 yards/game.

Reservations About Chiefs?

KelceAs was mentioned, the Kansas City Chiefs are not consistent. While they methodically took down the New England Patriots on the road last Sunday, it’s been a season full of fits and starts. 

Leaving some questionable officiating (and sideline meltdowns) on the side, it’s an offense that’s not nearly as potent (22.8 points/game vs. 29.2) as a season ago. Total offense is also down close to 50 yards/game, both concerning figures.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes (3,703 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, 13 interceptions) was not overly sharp (two picks) against the Pats last out. He’s been intercepted in four of his last five. 

The other (defensive) side of the ledger is better, having surrendered just 17½ points (third) and 293.2 yards (fourth) per game.

Chiefs to Roll

Kansas City has swelled to 7-1 (+700) to win the title, while Las Vegas, if you’re inclined, is 1000-1 (+100000), as per Super Bowl LVIII odds.

The Las Vegas Raiders won’t sniff 63 points this time, as the Kansas City Chiefs have their number (six consecutive wins) in this dating-to-AFL rivalry. 

Kansas City gets the perfect Christmas present when it comes to righting the ship, needing a solid effort as the regular season is ending soon. 

Despite the number, take the Kansas City Chiefs -10 to begin the holiday. Go over as well. Bet these now at