Breakdown: Oakland +8 Over Kansas City

Kansas City @ Oakland
Recommendation: OAK +8
Cover Probability: 59.38%
Cover Edge: 13.36%

Key Injuries:
Kansas City Chiefs:
-WR Tyreek Hill (chest) was injured week 1. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
-LB Breeland Speaks (MCL) is on IR.
-CB Morris Claiborne (suspension) is OUT weeks 1 – 4.

Oakland Raiders:
-RG Gabe Jackson (knee) was INACTIVE week 1 after not practicing all week. He did not practice on Wednesday (9/11).
-DI Justin Ellis (knee) is on IR.
-DI Corey Liuget (knee) is was INACTIVE week 1. He was limited in practice on Wednesday (9/11).
-CB Isaiah Johnson (concussion) has been placed on IR.
-CB Nevin Lawson (suspension) is OUT weeks 1 – 4.
-S Jonathan Abraham (shoulder) is on IR.

Quick note on this one — the Vegas consensus was at 8 when the model was run Tuesday night, but looks like it’s moved down to 6.5/7 depending on your book. Get your bets in early, dammit.

When Kansas City has the ball:
I wrote last week how much the model loved the Chiefs all last year, and since it went right back to them this year I theorized that the model was potentially a Chiefs homer. Well, there will be none of that talk as the model is BEGGING for us to bet against the Chiefs. I do as the model says, so here we are.

Everybody knows the story by now with the Chiefs offense. Pat Mahomes makes throws that could restore an atheists belief in God. He’s behind a solid offensive line with record breaking weapons. Last week they put up a 40 burger against the Jaguars stellar defense, and that was mostly without Tyreek Hill. Speaking of Hill, he’ll be out for at least 4 weeks with a shoulder injury, so don’t expect him to suit up here. Without Hill, Sammy Watkins jumped right into the top receiver role. He posted a very casual 9/192/3 line while being shadowed by Jalen Ramsey (no big deal). Behind Watkins will be rookie Mecole Hardman – essentially a poor man’s Tyreek Hill, and Demarcus Robinson. Travis Kelce will man the tight end role with Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy splitting carries. Even without Hill, it’s a top offense in football.

The Raiders had a total of 13 sacks last year. Thirtfuckingteen. That’s less than 8 different individual players. So it was no surprise when they called ED Clelin Ferrell’s name for the fourth overall pick last April. Ferrell comes in as an immediate starter, and he racked up 3 pressures and one sack in week one. Opposite Ferrell is Arden Key, who was probably the only person on the Raiders last year that rushed the passer and wasn’t a total embarrassment. Suffice it to say, this is still a problem area. It didn’t help that their secondary was also awful, but the good news is CB Gareon Conley came on strong in his sophomore season after returning from injury, and the Raiders picked up former Ram Lamarcus Joyner in the off-season. The Raiders also drafted safety Jonathan Abraham in the first round last year, but he injured his shoulder week 1 and is donezo for the year. I’m beating around the bush a bit — here’s the Raiders pass defense: still sucks, but probably not quite the joke it was last year.

Oakland’s run defense didn’t fare too much better last year, ranking 22nd in DVOA. They did bring in linebacker Vontza Burfict last year, but he projects to get ejected at least once in this game.

When Oakland has the ball:
The Raiders offense was a bit of a shit show to start the year (knock on wood if you’re with me). They went out and signed Antonio Brown to a massive contract.. wait, you all know this, moving on.

Image result for jon gruden

Without Brown, the Raiders will look to newly acquired Tyrell Williams, JJ Nelson, and rookie Hunter Renfrow. They also are utilizing TE Darren Waller like another receiver — he’s running a route on almost all of Derek Carr’s dropbacks and played well in the preseason. With 1st rounder Josh Jacobs working in the backfield, it’s not totally a team void of weapons.

With a 19/10 TD:INT ratio last year and a PFF grade of 73.2, Derek Carr had another less than impressive year. He is working behind an offensive line that has holes — Kolten Miller was one of the worst offensive lineman in football last year and continues to start at left tackle. They did solidfy things a bit by bringing in Trent Brown to play right tackle — in doing so making him the highest paid player in the league, and they have a solid center in Rodney Hudson. Outside of that, it’s question marks at guard.

Kansas City’s defense got off to a rough start, making rookie Gardner Minshew look like he’s all pro. Minshew did look solid in the preseason, so maybe there’s more to it than that.. time will tell. As I wrote last week, they have a bunch of new faces. The biggest question would be how their pass rush would fare without Dee Ford and Justin Houston. Unfortunately for KC, top replacement Frank Clark just had one pressure all game. I do think their pass rush will evolve into a solid unit, but it was a poor start for the Chiefs defensive line. The Chiefs also predictably had issues in coverage, which is an area that’ll likely be an issue all year.

That’s it for now, bitches.

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