Is Tonight the Night the Raiders Break Through?

Tony Sparano is looking for that first win of the season in Oakland as the Chiefs come to town.

The Oakland Raiders host the Kansas City Chiefs tonight looking for their first win while in college football there are two key conference games worth your time.

Kansas City (-7.5) at Oakland (O/U 43) – In their last 10 meetings, the Chiefs own a 6-4 advantage over Oakland but they are separated by just two points per game in that stretch. Oakland is of course the only remaining winless team in the NFL while Kansas City is 7-3 and tied atop the AFC West with Denver.

Two things to think about here; any time the spread goes over a full touchdown you have to pay close attention to the underdog especially at home. Secondly, we have to wonder if the Chiefs aren’t ready for a letdown.

They’ve won five in a row and are coming off of a very emotional statement win over Seattle. Against almost any other team on the road I’d strongly consider that second point but I’m not so sure in this case.

If the Raiders can protect Derek Carr they may have a chance, otherwise, forget it.

Key Injuries: KC WR A.J. Jenkins OUT/Shoulder… OAK CB Carlos Rogers OUT/Knee

Trends: The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Chiefs last nine trips to Oakland… The Raiders are 1-8 against the spread in their last nine games at home… The Chiefs are 5-0 straight up in their last five contests… Oakland is 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games at home against the Chiefs.

The Pick: I like the Raiders getting the points but KC to win. Take the UNDER as well.

Clint Trickett plays his final home game for the Mountaineers tonight in Morgantown.

Kansas State (+2) at West Virginia (O/U 57.5) – The Mountaineers own a home victory over Baylor and a near victory over TCU. With that in mind, K-State Head Coach Bill Snyder knows this will be no picnic for his Wildcats in Morgantown.

Behind QB Clint Trickett, WVU has little problem moving the ball and scoring but that had a bit of a hiccup last week in Austin as the Longhorns held them to just 16 points. The Wildcats’ offense isn’t too bad either ranking 20th nationally in scoring and their defense is also in the top 25 as well.

This game is ultimately about bowl positioning. The Wildcats feel they can still climb into that upper echelon of bowls if they finish 10-2 while West Virginia hopes to raise its’ bowl profile as well.

Trends: Kansas State is 4-1 straight up in their last five games on the road… WVU is 4-2 in their straight up in their last six games… The total has gone OVER in five of the Wildcats’ last six games on the road… The Mountaineers are 3-6 straight up in their last nine games at home.

The Pick: I love the Wildcats getting the points and take the OVER too.

North Carolina (+6) at Duke (O/U 66.5) – The Blue Devils had everything in place for another ACC Coastal Division title. They had just one loss and had their final three games at home against conference opponents. Phase one did not go well as the Devils lost to Virginia Tech 17-16. All is not lost however because now they have a very average Tar Heels team coming in tonight followed by a woeful Wake Forest team in the finale.

UNC won’t roll over though because a win makes them bowl-eligible and this after all is a rivalry game. It isn’t what it is on the hardwood but it still is for serious bragging rights.

Trends: UNC is 5-11 against the spread in their last 16 games on the road…The Blue Devils are 1-8 straight up in their last nine home games against the Tar Heels… The total has gone OVER in four of North Carolina’s last five games on the road at Duke… The Blue Devils have gone 4-1 straight up in their last five games.

The Pick: Duke rides its’ defense and covers. Take the OVER tonight.