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2023 NFL Week 16 Betting Picks Guide—Fading Big MNF Chalk

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

NFL Betting Pick: Las Vegas Raiders +11 -120 @ Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs will host the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas Day in 2023 week 16 NFL action

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The Raiders are coming off an absolute undressing of the Los Angeles Chargers last week. As 3-point favorites, Las Vegas beat L.A. 63-21 at Allegiant Stadium in week 15. This week the competition is stiffer though. In intra-division action, the Kansas City Chiefs, who sit atop the AFC West—with a 9-5 record—despite a more mediocre 4-3 showing in their last seven, will host the Raiders in the first NFL action of Christmas Day. Reflecting the disparity in talent between these clubs, K.C. opened as nine-point favorites, per Sports Insights. The line has drifted higher though, to the current (juiced up) 11 level.


Worth noting, these teams faced off a month ago, in Las Vegas. And while the Raiders' Aidan O'Connell acquitted himself well (completing 23 of 33 attempts for 248 yards and a touchdown—and no interceptions), Mahomes and his supporting cast posted ten points in the fourth quarter, while the Raiders were blanked, and ultimately pulled away late, to sock away a win by two scores (ironically though, Kansas City is the worst fourth quarter team in the League this season, averaging less than a field goal in the final period).


While we acknowledge that Kansas City is clearly the superior team, we suspect the Chiefs are likely to demonstrate a reversion to their true selves Monday morning. Running up the score in the 2nd quarter and then coasting to a win would fit with their typical pattern—and would leave room for Las Vegas to secure a backdoor cover. Consistent with this perspective, we are taking the points with the Raiders. We cite the following angle as support for this flyer.


Though fairly rare, backing big dogs on Mondays has proven a highly profitable

Despite the small sample size for the system described in the graphic, the 33% long-term return on investment is statistically significant at the 95% confidence level, which suggests a low probability that this observation is merely due to chance.


To explain the enduring success of this angle, we theorize that nationally televised games, which, per Wienbach (2012), tend to garner more action from casual bettors than games shown only in local markets, elicit a majority support for better teams, despite the normalizing effect of the spread (Newell & Cortis (2021) document a bias toward favorites in sports with only two outcomes). When the difference between the involved teams is large, as indicated by double-digit spreads, herding around favorites is exacerbated, we suppose (supporting this thinking, Paul & Weinach (2021) observe a bias toward road favorites, big favorites and high total OVERs in NFL betting markets). In response to this phenomenon, bookmakers might shade lines on better teams, which ultimately creates value with big dogs on Mondays


Thus, our NFL betting picks slate includes a play on the Raiders for the cover. .


Happy betting...and Merry Christmas!!


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