With just four games left to go in the regular season, Thursday night’s game (8:25 PM ET, NBC) between the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs is easily the most important matchup on the calendar. First place in the AFC West will be on the line, but the loser also has to worry about missing the playoffs. Kansas City are 3-point home favourites at press time with a total of 46.5.
The Raiders (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS) are in the driver’s seat. They’ve already clinched their first winning season since going to the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 campaign. But the Chiefs (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS) are only one game behind in the division, and they already beat Oakland 26-10 back in Week 6, cashing in as 1.5-point road favourites after opening at +1.
Both clubs are trying to stay ahead of the third-place Denver Broncos (8-4 SU and ATS), who would earn the second AFC Wild Card if the playoffs started today. Thursday’s weather forecast calls for sunny skies over Arrowhead Stadium and temperatures dipping below the freezing mark; the Chiefs should have the advantage with their superior defense and special teams.