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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Oakland can heap more pressure on Kansas City

Raiders and Chiefs locked in chase for NFL playoffs

Michael Crabtree returns for Oakland at Kansas City
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Sky Sports Action, 6pm Sunday

Kansas City looked the hottest properties in the NFL after they won their first five matches, but six defeats in their last seven have opened the door to their AFC West rivals, including Oakland, so their Week 14 showdown at Arrowhead is key.

The Raiders saw their Super Bowl hopes extinguished last season when quarterback Derek Carr broke his leg but, while they have not been the dominant offensive force they were last term, they have been given a chance after winning three of their last four games.

And it looks as though they are capable of overhauling the Chiefs, who will be weaker in their secondary after Marcus Peters was suspended by the team for throwing an official's flag into the crowd during last week's defeat to the New York Jets.

Oakland are still waiting on the availability of top wideout Amari Cooper but Michael Crabtree returns from his own ban and that will be a boost.

The standard of their recent opposition has not been great and their three victories in the last month have come against Miami, Denver and the New York Giants. However, running back Marshawn Lynch will be looking forward to playing against the league's third-weakest rushing defence.

The Chiefs can still make their presence felt – tight end Travis Kelce scored two touchdowns against the Jets last week and quarterback Alex Smith had one of his better performances against the Jets.

However, Kansas City's poor form must have had a damaging effect on morale and Oakland can take advantage of the upheaval being suffered by one of their keenest rivals. 

Oakland +4
2pts 10-11 general

The lowdown
Venue Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Surface Grass
Weather Clear, 4C
Vegas handicap Oakland +4
Vegas points line 48.5

Team news
Wide receiver Amari Cooper is questionable with an ankle injury after returning to practice on Friday. Cornerback David Amerson and receiver Cordarrelle Patterson are also questionable, but fellow wideout Michael Crabtree is available after suspension.

Kansas City
Centre Mitch Morse (foot) and defensive back Eric Murray (ankle) have been ruled out. Cornerback Marcus Peters is suspended.

Key stat
Oakland have covered the handicap on eight of their last 11 visits to Kansas City.

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Oakland are still waiting on whether top wideout Amari Cooper will be available but Michael Crabtree returns from his own ban and that will be a boost
E.W. Terms
Sky bet