The Oakland Raiders (6-6) are suddenly challenging the Kansas City Chiefs (6-6) for the lead in the AFC West as they visit Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday as small road underdogs.
The Raiders have won three of their last four games following a 3-5 start, while the Chiefs have lost four in a row.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 25.2-24.0 Chiefs (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Raiders can cover the spread
If losing teams like the New York Giants and New York Jets can beat Kansas City, then why not Oakland? The Raiders did defeat the Chiefs 31-30 back in Week 7, handing them their second consecutive loss after a 5-0 start. That makes this a massive game for Oakland in terms of the division standings, because a sweep would win a tiebreaker.
The Raiders have won their last two games at home but also have road wins over the Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans. They can win here too with another good effort.
Why the Chiefs can cover the spread
Seemingly all the betting trends in this divisional matchup favor Kansas City. The Chiefs have won five of the past six meetings and have gone 7-1 against the spread in their last eight games versus AFC West opponents.
Those are two of the strongest trends, but it does not end there. Kansas City is also 8-2 straight up in its last 10 December games. On the flip side, Oakland is 2-7-1 ATS in its last 10 games overall and 2-12 SU in the team's previous 14 during Week 14.
If the Chiefs lose this one at home to the Raiders, then head coach Andy Reid should be on the chopping block. That will not happen, as Kansas City has owned Oakland recently.
While this game is important to the Raiders, it is more crucial to the Chiefs, who cannot afford to lose with the Los Angeles Chargers also tied for the division lead and playing a weaker opponent at home this week.
Look for Kansas City to win its fifth in a row over Oakland at home and improve to 4-1 ATS during that stretch.
NFL betting trends
The total has gone under in three of the Raiders' last four games against the Chiefs.
The favored team is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games in this matchup.
The Chiefs are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games vs divisional opponents.
All NFL odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.