The Oakland Raiders will be desperate for a victory to keep pace in the tight AFC Wild Card race when they host the red-hot Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday as 2.5-point betting underdogs.
The Raiders ended a three-game straight-up losing streak last weekend with a hard-fought 24-21 win in Tennessee, covering the spread for the first time in three weeks, this time as slim 1-point chalk.
While the win improved their record to 5-6 SU, Oakland still enters Sunday afternoon's matchup at O.co Coliseum trailing a backlog of teams at 6-5, including Kansas City, battling for the conference's two Wild Card berths.
Kansas City has bounced back from a five-game losing slide with five straight SU wins, and currently holds the edge in the AFC Wild Card race on the strength of tiebreakers.
The club posted an important 30-22 win over Buffalo last weekend, covering as 4-point chalk in their fifth consecutive ATS win, dropping the 5-6 Bills into a tie with the Raiders.
With each of their five remaining games coming against teams with losing records, including two against the Raiders, the Chiefs now own a real opportunity to pull away from the pack.
However, Kansas City has ended each of their last three campaigns in disastrous fashion, going a combined 5-13 SU in games after Week 11, and are a middling 3-3 SU and ATS in their last six games against Oakland
The Bills face another tough test this weekend when they entertain Houston as 3-point home chalk.
The 6-5 Texans have also roared to life following a dismal start, winning five of six SU and ATS to draw even with Indianapolis in the AFC South standings and lay claim to the second AFC Wild Card. The Texans have played ferocious defense during their current four-game win streak, allowing just 8.75 points per game and two total touchdowns.
The Bills continue to struggle with consistency, losing two straight following a pair of wins, recording just one SU win in their last four at home, and have lost three straight to Houston, both SU and ATS.
The 6-5 New York Jets can also remain in the AFC Wild Card hunt with a win when they battle the New York Giants as 2.5-point favorites this week, while the Colts are sitting as early 7-point underdogs against the 6-5 Pittsburgh Steelers.
However, injured Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's uncertain status has left that betting line in flux with limited action currently available at the sportsbooks.